Monday, November 9, 2009


is county commissioner Pete Ferguson Stark County's "Mr. Smith goes to Washington?"

The word is that Ferguson is working feverishly to bring a VA Hospital to Stark County to be located at the now closed Doctors' Hospital in Perry Township.

The commissioner is working hot and heavy with the VA's Washington-based officials and U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown as well as Congressman John Boccieri to bring his idea to fruition.

Notice that the SCPR placed Brown's name before Boccieri.


Because it appears to yours truly from Ferguson's emphasis at commissioners' meetings that his main man in Washington is Sherrod Brown.  Moreover, another Stark Countian who is very familiar with the Ferguson quest has told The Report that he has the same impression.

A paradox?


The SCPR believes that Brown has never served in the military whereas Congressman (Major) Boccieri is a United States Air Force Reserve officer who has had multiple stints flying a C-130 in and out of Iraq.

Ferguson has a good idea that probably is not doable since the Veterans Administration is in the process of finalizing a new VA Hospital in Wade Park on East Boulevard in Cleveland known as the Louis Stokes Cleveland VA Medical Center.

The SCPR understands that Ferguson got the idea for the former Doctors Hospital from an advertisement placed in The Canton Repository by the VA looking for more room because the Canton VA outpatient facility is being used to capacity and overflowing.

It is no surprise to the SCPR that Stark County veterans are highly enthused about the Ferguson project.  The Report encourages the Stark County public to get behind Ferguson with the level of the Veteran-demonstrated enthusiasm level  so as impress on Brown and Boccieri with how critically important it is that some VA plan of utilization be implemented in Perry Township.

The rebirth of Doctors clearly will bring sorely needed jobs to Stark County.  The chances that these jobs will be staffed by resident Stark Countians is enhanced by the reality that the Jackson Township located Stark State College of Technology has a robust medical services educational facility graduating a quality medical-specialty workforce.

This coming Wednesday, November 11, 2009 (Veterans Day) would be a great time for Stark Countians to contact Brown and Boccieri's office statements of support for Ferguson.

If a VA Hospital is not likely for the Doctors site, what would be?

Answer - the relocation of the Canton outpatient to the Doctors campus and the placement of a Stark County Veterans Home at the complex.

The Veterans Home idea comes from Stark County Veterans Service Commission executive director Bob Toth.

Toth shared information with the SCPR about the Ohio Veterans Home located at Sandusky.  Below is a graphic which shows the facility and summary data on the services provided.

The SCPR has not been very complimentary of Ferguson as commissioner since he was elected in November, 2008.  But if he continues with activities like he has under way on the Doctors Hospital thing, the SCPR will gladly eat crow on Ferguson.

The SCPR's critiques are not personal but are spurs to action on the part of every Stark County-based elected official.

These are critically distressed financial/economic times and each and every elected official has to outperform expectations in a constructive fashion that will withstand scrutiny, if Stark County is to get out of the deep hole that the county now finds itself in.

The Stark County commissioners are showing life:  Bosley with his BioMass, Harmon with the Expo Center idea and now Ferguson with the Doctors Hospital proposal.

All of Stark County should be pleased with these developments.

But there is much, much more to be done!

And Ferguson's "march on Washington" is a good thing for Stark County.

No comments: