Wednesday, April 7, 2010
PERRY TOWNSHIP: A NEW FRONT IN THE WAR BETWEEN GONZALEZ & PETERSON OVER 9-1-1 CENTRALIZED DISPATCH?
The SCPR believes that "the big elephant in the room" in the "disagreement" going on in Perry Township between Trustee Craig Chessler on the one hand and Trustees Anna Capaldi and Lee Laubacher on the other is in reality a proxy political fight on behalf of the "behind the curtains" real contenders Randy Gonzalez and Rich Peterson. (See Perry Township dispatch contract still in limbo, The Repository, April 07, 2010, Benjamin Duer).
It appears to The Report that Chessler (a member of the Stark County Council on Governments - SCOG) is a close political ally of SCOG Governance Committee chair Randy Gonzalez (who is also chairman of the Stark County Democratic Party) and of Perry Fiscal Officer Joe Schlegel and is in reality taking the lead in another manifestation of Gonzalez's long term fight with Nimishillen Fire Chief Rich Peterson over the configuration of 9-1-1 centralized dispatch.
The apparent issue is a 71% increase claimed by Schlegel to have been made by Peterson on Perry last year for dispatch services. Really?
For the time being, the SCPR is not buying Chessler's and Schlegel's contention that this is a money fight.
The SCPR believes that this fight is a spillover from Gonzalez versus Peterson and that Stark Countians will not hear the end of it until centralized 9-1-1 dispatch has become a reality and CenCom has been absorbed into the centralized unit.
As a sidenote, the SCPR has learned from Stark Emergency Management Agency head Tim Warstler that 9-1-1 project manager Joe Concatto is on the verge of receiving a quote from AT&T on its projected role on the 9-1-1 configuration.
Meanwhile, expect the Peterson/Gonzalez fight to continue to be waged on one front or another over the next 18 months or so.
Nimishillen Fire Chief Rich Peterson and his sponsors - the Nimishillen Township trustees - are not going away quietly on this fight. They have too much invested in time, effort and township financial resources to just capitulate to the SCOG Governance Committee.