Friday, November 13, 2009


Historically, "turf wars" are the death-knell of many communities trying to better themselves.

Stark County is no exception.

In fact, a case can be made that Stark County is a national model for the art of turf warring.

But yesterday, Stark County Council on Governments Governance Committee chairman Randy Gonzalez declared an "end to hostilities" as least in so far as in building a Stark County centralized 9-1-1 dispatch center is concerned.

And he might be correct, however, the name of Nimshillen Fire Chief Rich Peterson certainly did come up frequently in yesterday's Governance Committee meeting for Stark County emergency services turf wars to be over.

The SCPR was at the meeting to record video of the session to provide SCPR readers with a opportunity to make assessments from the various presentations.

Main presenters included Gonzalez, Sheriff Tim Swanson, and Project Manager Joseph Concatto.

Other key figures in the discussion who did not have a formal role in the meeting, included Stark commissioners Bosley and Harmon, former commissioner Jane Vignos and Tim Warstler of the Stark EMA.

The question of the day was repeatedly asked by Massillon Fire Chief Tom Burgasser which, boiled down, was "What are we (SCOG) missing [in our plan to fix 9-1-1], Chief Peterson? (Nimishillen fire chief)

Later segments published by the SCPR will show asking this core question in various forms.

Other stakeholders in the meeting room included "Vote No Increased Taxes" committee members Snyder, Marcelli and Fronimo.

They couldn't have liked what they were hearing from the SCOG representatives.  Interesting enough, neither piped in when the discussion turned to Rich Peterson assertion (made in the media) that he had no contact or involvement with the Vote No folks, even though their plan for fixing 9-1-1 (from what is known of it) has Rich Peterson written all over it.

The SCPR hopes that Chairman Gonzalez is correct in saying that the 9-1-1/emergency services turf wars are over.

The SCPR's assessment?  That remains to be seen.

Here is the introduction to "where Stark County goes from here on 9-1-1" made by Gonzalez yesterday.

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