Monday, October 5, 2009


In the SCPR's book, you can mark long time Plain Township trustee Louis P. Giavasis as a "shoe-in" on November 3rd.

Beyond that political reality, it is anybody's guess who will replace Pam Bossart (another Plain long timer who is not running for re-election as her job may take her out of Stark County).

Giavasis, Leno and Boggart (all Democrats, but remember trustess are "non-partisan by Ohio law) have done a terrific job running Plain Township which is, in the SCPR's opinion, the best run township in Stark County and, perhaps, in all of Ohio.

So with Boggart not running again, who should Plain Township voters choose to replace her.

The odds on favorite is likely Dawn L. Campanelli.

Why "odds on favorite?"

Two reasons:

First, according to registration records she is a Democrat whereas her opponent Scott Haws is a Republican.

But wait a minute, didn't the SCPR just say that trustee is "non-partisan" by Ohio law.

Yes, yes and yes.  However, no one in Stark County really believes that Stark's Dems and Reps view township races that way.  Most political observers do believe that political affiliation does play a role.

If one takes Louis Giavasis at face value, it plays no role in the Plain Township.  Giavasis, a thorough-going Democrat, is careful to be even-handed in talking about Campanelli and Haws.

The second reason why Campanelli is the "odds on favorite" to win.

She recently (May, 2009) ran a successful campaign (the nuts and bolts person - as levy campaign communications co-ordinator:  KEEP PLAIN PROUD) for the Plain Township schools.

Clearly, most of those folks can be depended upon to vote for Campanelli as well as Giavasis which likely leaves Haws on the outside looking in.

The word is that Campanelli is relying on the KEEP PLAIN PROUD political infrastruture to carry her to a second place finish on November 3rd.

The SCPR has asked Campanelli for campaign information, but she has not reponded.  Moreover, apparently she has not provided The Rep any information on its Election Central 2009 site, but it could be that The Rep has the information and simply has not gotten around to publishing it.

For a candidate not to respond for requests for information to media outlets, should be a mark against a candidate.

The SCPR has gone out on its own and obtained information on Campanelli.  Readers are remineded that it is of the self-serving variety and also remember that Campanelli has not responded to questions on her specific views on Plain Township trustee operations and the future for Plain.

Scott Haws has.

Here is Campanelli's "self-serving" self description:

Now on to Scott Haws:

Haws has responded to the SCPR candidate questionnaire, which gives him a leg up with yours truly.  He is not afraid to answer third party framed questions.  Apparently, Campanelli is.

The SCPR asked candidates to criticize the sitting Board of Trustees.  And Haws had a reasoned critique:
It is critical that our next Board of Trustees take a bigger focus on working to attract and retain business for the residents of Plain Township.
Recently, the SCPR attended a meeting put together by Trustee Giavasis for Plain Township residents to learn about Township economic re-development efforts at the old Oakwood Square shopping complex.

Haw was at the meeting; Campanelli was not.

As for the future of Plain Township, Haws has the right idea:  "focused [Trustee] leadership" on economic development in the context of developing a ten-year master plan and partnering with the likes of the Stark Development Board.

The SCPR is not a big fan of the likes of the Stark Development Board.  It is somewhat disturbing that Haws in buying into the notion that "chamber of commerce types" have economic development answers.

The track record of the Ohio Chamber of Commerce, the Canton Regional Chamber of Commerce and the "chamber of commerce" mentality is rather dismal.

Ohio's Republican Party used the Ohio Chamber of Commerce as it's main economic development arm as recently as the Taft administration and going back to Voinovich.  As we now know, the chamber ideas were placed into Ohio law and economic development policy by the majority/supermajority Republicans.  But they have been a monumental failure.

Some area chambers of commerce have contracts with local government entities to do the entities' economic development.   The ideas are largely the same as as the Ohio Chamber and folks like Scott Haws need to abandon the "failed chamber of commerce-esque thinking" and put on a fresh mind.

But will Haws?

He seems politically married to Ohio House 50th District representative Todd Snitchler (Republican - Lake).  If that is the case, he does not offer much hope to be a catalytic force to help the already solid Plain reach the next level.  Snitchler has unbridled "faith" in the chamber of commerce crowd.

Misplaced faith as far as the SCPR is concerned.  Does Haws share that faith?

The SCPR thinks he does.

Evaluate for yourself.

Here is a link to Haw website.

The SCPR has not determined whether or not to endorse in this race.  If there is an endorsement, it will come in form of an update to this blog

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