Tuesday, October 5, 2010
REPUBLICAN BUTTERWORTH RUNS INTO DEMOCRATIC POLITICAL BUZZSAW? IS FORMER WARD 8TH COUNCILMAN KARL KRAUS LOOKING TO TAKE BUTTERWORTH OUT IN NOVEMBER, 2011?
Former Canton Ward 8 Democratic Councilman Karl "Butch" Kraus and Mark Butterworth are not the best of friends. Kraus had worked hard to become Ward 8 councilman and finally succeeded in 2005 when he defeated Republican Rosemary Diamond.
After only four years on council, he was surprisingly defeated by newcomer Republican Mark Butterworth in 2009 by a mere 14 votes.
Butterworth's victory seems to have been a case of getting out his voters whereas Kraus seemed to assume that he would win. After all, he had defeated Republican opposition in 2007 by about 64% to 36%.
Now Republican Butterworth is stirring up a fuss on council with his "let's vote on a city charter movement."
Democrats (except maybe Bill Smuckler - who is playing mayoralty politics with the issue) are happy with the way things are and are not about to make it easy for Butterworth to get Canton voters the right to vote on whether or not Cantonians want a city charter.
The SCPR caught up with Kraus on September 7th at the Democratic conclave to select a new county treasurer and put several questions to him.
First, was he going to take Butterworth on in 2011 to regain the 8th Ward seat?
Amplified answer: "I am running for council-at-large."
Well, this makes sense. Councilman-at-Large Bill Smuckler has announced he is taking on Mayor William J. Healy, II. So there will be a vacancy.
Second question. Does he support Butterworth's effort to get the charter government issue before Canton voters.
Answer: Not as an action by council. "Let him [Butterworth] go out and collect the necessary signatures," says Kraus.
The Stark County Political Report that Kraus' statement is indicative of the general council attitude towards Butterworth's initiative. At the same September 7th Democratic meeting, Council Judiciary Committee Chairman Tom West told The Report, in effect: "Where 's the beef!"
In other words, Butterworth has not shown substantive reasons why Canton would be better off with a charter.
It's not looking good for Butterworth for getting council to spare him the effort of collecting signatures.
So why is Butterworth resisting going out to get signatures?
While the SCPR doesn't have a problem with charter government, doesn't Chairman West have a good point?
Doesn't the proponent (Butterworth) have to show that there is something to be gained?