Monday, July 19, 2010


Are there five members ("coffin nails?") of Canton City Council poised to vote "no" in putting the matter of whether or not Canton should form a commission to make a proposal for a charter form of city government?


At last Monday's Council meeting the Reverend C. David Morgan engaged Council in the Public Speaks forum that is available to citizens to address Council?

His topic?

The "apparent" naysayers on Council on the charter issue.

Before the meeting, the SCPR spoke with Canton Law Director Joe Martuccio about progress on putting together legislation as requested by Republican Councilman Mark Butterworth in a June 10th communication to Council.

Martuccio said he is working with Butterworth to craft the necessary legislation and things are going well but that there is little doubt that the measure will have to wait until May, 2011 before getting on the ballot.

Judiciary Committee Chairman Thomas West tells The Report he is waiting for Butterworth to schedule "educational sessions" with members of Council before considering whether or not to recommend passage of the measure out of committee onto the Council as a whole to vote on placing the measure on the May ballot.

Yours truly is getting vibes that Butterworth faces a major problem in getting the charter consideration on the ballot.

The Report believes that there is a stealth undertow among Canton City Council members to take Butterworth's proposal under (bury it) in the procedures of Council so that it does not make it onto the ballot.

Butterworth has told The Report that he is confident that he can get the eight of twelve votes needed on Council to pass the proposal on for Cantonians to vote on.

But can he?

In the view of the SCPR, there are a core group of Council members who like the security (with respect to their personal political interests) of keeping things in Canton the way they are.  And, while they will not openly fight reform of Canton city government, the will wage a "secret" war from within the maze of parliamentary-esque procedures to slowly kill the measure.

Sort of like putting nails (at least five of them) in the lid of the coffin bearing the body of Canton Charter Commission one at a time until the coffin is sealed and placed six foot underground.

Pastor Morgan's talk last Monday is clear indication that all is not well with the charter initiative.

Councilman Butterworth is now working carefully with his fellow members in order to secure the needed eight votes. However, he made a huge political mistake in being the sole councilperson to sign on to seeking the legislation.  Perhaps, that political procedural mistake was, in and of itself, enough to make prospective supporters of the legislation "nails in the coffin" preparatory to burying the body of Canton Charter Commission.

The real question remaining is: are there five nails waiting to be driven in the the coffin lid as the final act prior to burial?

Or is there going to be a revival of the body Canton Charter Commission to stand before the voters of Canton?

Here is Pastor Morgan voicing his concern with the "straying" members of Canton City Council.

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