UPDATE: 02/04/2010 AT 1:00 PM
The SCPR has had numerous conversations with North Canton mayor David Held about persistent reports that city administrator Earle E. Wise, Jr. and fellow city administrator Tom Chufar are not having a good time of it with city employees and consequently Wise is falling out of favor with a number of members of Council.
Held consistently denies to the SCPR that such is the case and says that all the rumblings are almost entirely the work of Councilman Jeff Davies.
Davies and Held do have a very fragile relationship. Held, along with Chufar and others in the Held administration filed letters of complaints against Davies with Law Director Hans Nilges making allegations of untoward behavior by Davies.
The Report hears that David Held is unhappy with the report (not released to the public and held confidential under what the SCPR believes to be a questionable "attorney/client priviledge") issued by Law Director Nilges as the conclusion of an investigation he launched in response to the letters of complaint. Although Held tells the SCPR that he has nothing to say as to whether or not Niges remains as North Canton's law director, The Report is told that Held is lobbying with Council not to retain Nilges - who is on a temporary hire at present.
Held is said to be displeased with the Nilges report because it exonerated Davies of any wrongdoing, according to a source familiar with it.
Back to the Wise/Chufar and Council's unhappiness with how they are handling employees relations.
Held affirms Wise as being a man with one of the highest integrity indexes he has ever known. Moreover, the Mayor repeatedly tells yours truly he has no intention whatsoever to ask Wise to leave and that Council can butt out.
However, a SCPR source (not Davies) says that Wise and Tom Chufar, superintendent of services and utilities for North Canton are raising the eyebrows of a number of members of City Council (not just Davies) because of the number of complaints they have been receiving from city employees about being unduly stressed by Wise and Chufar about their job performance.
A former employee of North Canton has told yours truly that he left city employment because of Wise and Chufar.
The Report believes that at next Monday's regular Council meeting there will be an executive session in which those members of Council who are dissatisfied with Wise and Chufar will air their grievances over the duo's handling of North Canton's labor force.
The SCPR sees all of this Council action to be a building up of a crescendo of crisis atmosphere which may, one day, force Mayor Held to dismiss the man he is consummately enamored with.