Is the main issue shaping up in the looming primary battle for the Democratic nomination for mayor of Canton come May, 2011?
The SCPR thinks so.
What will the main issue be?
Healy will likely say that it is economic development and that Councilman-at-large Bill Smuckler has been a hindrance in equipping Canton government with the proper structure/staffing to go all out in reversing the slippage in Canton's economic development effort in recent months.
Smuckler will probably seize on Healy's "Zero Tolerance" campaign theme against former mayor Janet Creighton and the obvious reality that crime still exists in Canton's neighborhoods in intolerable quantities.
On Monday night, Canton City Council voted 10 to 2, with only out-and-out Healy loyalist councilmembers Thomas West and Chris Smith voting with the Mayor, to reject Healy's plan to reconstitute Canton's economic development effort in rejecting the creation of a new cabinet-level position.
In the post-vote discussion, what did Smuckler talk about? Taking money saved with the resignation of the City's communications director (Adam Herman) and putting it into Canton's high crime neighborhoods.
The SCPR believes that Smuckler has hit a Healy nerve which has the Mayor on the defensive already. Healy is disclaiming a George Bush-esque "Mission Accomplished" stance.
Why the need for a disclaimer?
Because Healy has been going around Canton with Police Chief Dean McKimm and Safety Director Thomas Ream touting FBI statistics showing that Canton crime is down.
Any yet what are Canton residents doing in significant numbers these days? They are showing up at City Council meetings and complaining about what?
You guessed it! Yes, crime in the neighborhoods.
Yes, we are more than a year out from May, 2011, but it appears that "the heart and soul" of the looming Smuckler versus Healy mayoralty battle is already becoming apparent.
Economic development on the one hand versus safety in the neighborhoods on the other!