DISCLAIMER: This blog is posted in the context of being opinion journalism and has nothing to do whatsoever with the fact that the blogger is an attorney-at-law.
Mayor Francis H. Cicchnelli, Jr., tells the SCPR that the City of Massillon has been victorious on all counts in Massillonian Edward Todd's lawsuit versus Cicchinelli and other Massillon officials in their official capacities.
And, the SCPR has obtained a copy of Judge Haas' decision that validates Cicchnelli's claim, to wit:
Construing the pleadings, affidavits, and other supporting documents in a light most favorable to Plaintiff, the Court finds Defendants are entitled to judgment as a matter of law as set forth. herein.
Ordinance 235-2002 was not unlawful and the Recreation Board legally controls and directs the operation of the Legends.
Further, the Recreation Board has properly used Park Levy funds in its direction and control of the Legends.
With regard to Genshaft Park, the Court will not issue a declaration regarding the lawfulness of the Ordinance purporting to sell the Park as the issue is moot nor will this Court issue an advisory opinion as to whether or not City Council, in passing Ordinance 92-007, abused its discretion.
Finally, any future sale of Genshaft Park may be effectuated through the Massillon Community Improvement Corporation without Recreation Board approval or competitive bidding
This is a final appealable order and it is so ordered.The SCPR believes that Cicchinelli has it right and therefore has made the decision to post this blog noting the Cicchinelli-vouched result of the case. Moreover, The Report believes that the source of the email with the face page of the court order attached is indication in and of itself that matters went well for the Mayor, his administration and other Massillon city officials named as parties in the lawsuit.
The case was filed in May, 2009.
Mayor Cicchinelli has told the SCPR that the litigation was the work of his political enemies, one of whom he identified as being Massillon Municipal Court Judge Edward J. Elum.
If Cicchinelli is correct in his assessment of the political motivation, then it will be interesting to see whether or not the result in this case has any affect on the relationship between Cicchinelli and Elum.
Right now there is a fuss underway between Elum and the Mayor appointed police chief Rob Williams. This afternoon the Mayor repeated to The Report that nothing has changed and that he disagreed that a recent one and one half hour meeting between the Chief and Elum yielded positive results as Elum claimed in an email to the SCPR.
The next thing to look for in the Massillon political scene is whether or not Cicchinelli decides to run for yet another term. He has been mayor since 1988, but is thought to be in for a challenge by Councilwoman Kathy Catazaro-Perry who is allied with another political enemy of Cicchinelli; namely, Johnnie A. Maier, Jr. who is Massillon clerk of courts and a former chairman of the Stark County Democratic Party.
Cicchinelli has told The Report he will be making his decision no later than this coming summer.
If he decides to run, a Cicchinelli/Catazaro-Perry will be a continuation of the political "cat fight" that has been going on in Tigerland for some years now!
The Report does not believe this is helpful to a city that is struggling in tough economic times, but such is politics.