On December 28, 2009, Ohio's 5th District Court of Appeals (which sits midway between Stark County Court of Common Pleas - "the trial court" and the "the highest court in the state of Ohio - The Ohio Supreme Court - Ohio's "court of last resort," decided that North Canton and its annexation client (Dan J. Fosnaught) have no basis on which to stop a annexation agreement involving Canton, Jackson Township, Metro Regional Transit and - though a non-party to the suit - RM Investments.
It appears that to the SCPR (yours truly also happens to be an attorney), that North Canton is "dead in the water" on this case.
It is unlikely that the Ohio Supreme Court will agree to hear North Canton's appeal of the adverse 5th District decision.
Even if the Supreme Court does take the case up on appeal; it is unlikely that the august Court will overturn the lower courts.
If North Canton really gets the itch to carry the fight on (assuming that the SCPR is analytically correct (i.e. the Ohio Supreme Court refuses to hear an appeal or does hear it but rules against North Canton), officials could opt to spend taxpayer money by trying to get the case in the U.S. Supreme Court in the basis a denial of due process of law under the 14th Amendment to the United States Constitution.
The chances of getting all the way the the U.S. Supreme Court are between "Slim and None and Slim just left town."
The real story in all of this.
Apparently, Ron Ponder of "Points to Ponder" (WHBC-AM 1480 on your A.M. dial - Monday through Friday: 10:00 AM to Noon), takes exception to the North Canton endeavor.
The SCPR has learned that Ponder is scheduled to meet with North Canton mayor David Held and North Canton Councilman Jon Snyder, Canton Mayor William J. Healy, Canton annexation director Sam Sliman and de facto Canton City Council leader Bill Smuckler on Wednesday next to talk the matter over.
A question that The Report has for North Canton Council president Daryl Revoldt is this: Is this meeting on or against the "advice of counsel?"
It is the SCPR's experience with North Canton officials that when they want to withhold what the SCPR believes to be a public document they somehow arrange to have it labeled as attorney/client material and then "on advice of counsel" refuse to share the information/documents with media types like yours truly.
Back to Ponder and North Canton officials
Back on January 5, 2010 Canton Repository reporter Edd Pritchard did a piece: North Canton officials to take annexation case to Ohio Supreme Court. Although many of The Rep's commenters are "off-the-wall," not all are. Some demonstrate a lot of insight and food for thought.
And, sometimes prominent local public figures weigh-in on the article published on CantonRep.com.
In the Pritchard story, prominent and widely listened to WHBC-AM talk show host personality Ron Ponder expresses his point of view on the Canton, Jackson Township and North Canton controversy with this comment, to wit:
The SCPR contacted Ron via email earlier this morning and he added to his Repository comment as follows: (edited structurally to make Ponder' comment easier to follow)
Hi martin...your tentacles are everywhere!Yes, we are supposed to meet onweds afternoon at whbc's boardroom....from the beginning, I knew this was a power play with daryl revolt (he likes to be called "dr. death")...
it makes no sense for n. canton to continue to spend money to fight canton and jackson's agreement...he is just pissed off that he turned jackson down at first then realized canton would take n.canton's place
they [North Canton] have spent over $100,000 of the city's money fighting this, and will spend more if they take it to the supreme court...this is virtually the same case that thecourt heard before and ruled that the agreement was valid...they may not even take this case...so, I want to try to make this go away for the elected officials who are really trying to run their governments the right way (at least in this instance!!)...
healy is balking, but I will call out him and daryl publically and show how foolish they can be if he continues to try to stop this....(BOTH OF THEM!)...he has no influence over me and what I do, and he has been told that and shown that in the past, so I have no problem in doing it yet again (as I'm sure you have proved that to him as well!)..
the meeting will be with held, snyder, smuckler, sliman and healey...if you have any otherquestions, just let me know, and
Maybe Wednesday's meeting will produce positives. The SCPR endorses Ponder's effort.
Who is that?
North Canton's law director Hans Hilges, that's who.
The Report believes that Revoldt uses the law director, whomever that person may be, to shield the inner workings of North Canton city government from public view.
A SCPR "tip of the hat" to WHBC's Ron Ponder to doing this public service!