Tuesday, June 29, 2010


Because citizen activist Chuck Osborne (a former Noth Canton city councilman) has been digging, a "new" surprising revelation was in the offing at North Canton City Council last night.

As everybody knows, North Canton is facing a $231,000 deficit in FY 2011.  Well, almost half that deficit is attributable to "Christmas bonuses" (officially:  longevity payments).  For 2010, the amount is $102,550.00.  Couple with that the $64,258.68 for a performance audit and you have just about eliminated the 2011 deficit.

And the deficit is a huge concern to the employees of North Canton government.  Because, as Council president Daryl Revoldt said at Monday meeting that the deficit will be made up and it will have to be cured on the backs of city workers.  Of course, if there are less employees, the spin off to the taxpayers of North Canton, will be less in city services.

One more note on the Revoldt comments.  Undoubtedly, he will deny this as an intent of this comments.  However, the SCPR believes that the comments were shot across the bow of North Canton's unions.

In effect, The Report's take on the comments is this (in The Report's words. not Revoldt's):  "Okay, unions you have had your day with organized labor's having successfully lobbied to having fact-finders and conciliators appointed who are biased in the unions' direction. but now economic and financial reality are taking hold, and we (North Canton) as a city government will fulfill our obligation to balance the city budget.  Unfortunately, this is going to mean a decline a the number of union jobs in North Canton."

Confirmation of union apparent control of the State Employment Relations Board in contained in a comment to The Repository's Ed Pritchard's coverage of last night's North Canton Council meeting, which, The Report, believes is the work of Robert Tscholl who is labor relations legal counsel for North Canton, to wit:
Mr. Osborne doesn't understand the CBA process in the Public sector. Neutrals appointed by The State Employment Relations Board make the decisions regarding wages and benefits for police and EMS , not City Council. These Neutrals are very pro employee, that is how they receive these appointments. Mr. Osborne should be complaining to his State lawmaker about the process. Public sector wages and benefits have increased by 200% to 300% since the Statute was passed in 1984. Council does not control their destiny for the most expensive item on the budget.
And the 2011 projected North Canton deficit is nothing compared to the coming deficit in 2012.

The SCPR has learned that the current projects of about $1 million are way too low.  The $1 million number does not take into account that:
  • a new roof is needed for city hall.
  • a new roof is needed for the North Canton civic/community cienter.
  • the cost of cleanup/fines for the city's illegal dumping of street sweepings on city owned property in Jackson Township which The Report understands to have been determined by the Army Corp of Engineers to be "wetlands."

To be fair about the performance audit cost part of the deficit, one should ask:  how much has implementation of the performance audit recommendations saved "the Dogwood City?"
Mayor David Held had the following response.


The issue of the cost of longevity payments looks like the following as expressed in a letter issued by North Canton Finance Director Alex Zumbar:

It appears to the SCPR that North Canton Councilpersons are listening more and more to the likes of Citizens Osborne and George Daniluk who both addressed Council last evening.
In the opinion of the SCPR, North Canton government is making real progress in becoming more attentive to the concerns of its citizens.  This is the way governments gain the confidence of it citizenry who then are more of a mood to heed calls to support government financially.  Citizen willingness was demonstrated by the passage of two small levies in May of this year.
Here are couple samplings.  See Councilman Peters and Davies addressing the the longevity pay issues and union contracts (Davies also deals with Osborne's claim that there has been a huge increase in Council's unwarranted use of executive session) in the following video.


No comments: