As previously reported by the SCPR, WHBC's Ron Ponder ("Points to Ponder") did bring together officials from Canton, Jackson Township and North Canton to begin a healing process among some of Stark County's most important political entities.
Readers will recall that Canton and Jackson have teamed up in what can be best described in everyday human existence is known as a "lovers triangle" leaving North Canton on the outside looking in.
North Canton and Jackson had been discussing an annexation, but according to powerful North Canton City Council president Darryl Revoldt, broke up because of Jackson's demand that it be protected from "unwanted" annexation for 99 years and because the financial numbers did not make sense.
Spurned by North Canton, another Stark County political powerhouse, Randy Gonzalez (Jackson Township fiscal officer), turned to Canton and its political leadership (Mayor Healy and Councilman Smuckler - de facto leader of Canton Council) as a replacement suitor.
The Canton/Jackson "romance" took, but did generate "jilted-esque" hard feelings between former suitors Jackson and North Canton. So much so that when Canton and Jackson "married," North Canton went to court to force an annulment.
So far the courts have said "no" to the North Canton effort to force Canton and Jackson apart.
But enter Ponder. Being the wise man he is, Ponder knew that Canton, Jackson and North Canton weren't going anywhere. They are going to be a part of Stark County for as long as there is a Stark County.
So it is best for themselves and, indeed, all of Stark County that they reconcile.
Ponder who, for years, has been a leading Stark County politics and government commentator and who knows Healy, Smuckler, Gonzalez, Held and Snyder (North Canton Councilman) well, did the right thing and a good thing.
Yesterday, he had the five over to WHBC for a little "let's make up" chit-chat.
And here are the results as reported to the SCPR by Ron:
First, he says: "the bottom line is that they [Canton/Jackson on the one side; North Canton on the other] could not make definite agreements but agreed in general terms to some substantial items."
Second, the items:
- North Canton has a water issue that Canton promised to resolve to North Canton's satisfaction;
- Canton, Jackson and North Canton will work together on various future regional matters;
- Working together on 9-1-1 dispatch; and
- North Canton using Jackson's EMS collection service.
He along with The Report will be monitoring how well Canton, Jackson and North Canton are doing at their "making-up" efforts.
One fly in the ointment, according to Ponder, could be North Canton council President Daryl Revoldt.
Ponder could be right. The SCPR has talked with Revoldt at length about the Canton/Jackson and North Canton economic development love/hate triangle. He is fully invested in terms of being a primary even if "in the background player."
The SCPR will continue to discuss the triad relationship with Revoldt in hopes in some small way The Report can help Ponder bring these Stark County communities together.
After all, "making up is fun to do!" And and cooperative Canton, Jackson Township and North Canton benefits Stark County as a whole largely.
A renewed SCPR "tip of the hat" to Ron Ponder - "Points to Ponder" - WHBC-AM (1480 on your radio dial on Monday thru Friday 10:00 AM to noon).