Monday, November 22, 2010


Matthew Rink of The Massillon Independent wrote an interesting piece last night:  Massillon panel rejects renaming Shriver Park.  In the article he has a number of quotes that, when one knows the full history of the "open" aspect of an internal Democratic Party political fight that has been going on in Massillon for about a half of dozen years (not long after Johnnie A. Mailer, Jr. became Massillon's clerk of courts), indicate that the fight continues unabated while changing its manifestation from time-to-time.

The focus of the fight in the Rink presentation is from the Massillon Parks & Recreation Board which met recently and decided to recommend NO! to Councilman Tony Townsend's desire to rename Shriver Park in honor of Massillon's esteemed T. Roy Roberson who served as Ward 4 councilman (Townsend's ward) from 1982 through 1993.

The SCPR believes that nobody on the Cicchinelli side of the War of Massillon "really" opposes the renaming.  However, they are at loggerheads with the Maier-led "anybody but Cicchinelli" forces.  And, whomever gets caught in the crosshairs of the scope the rifle seeking opposition target in the political battles that erupt is likely to get hurt.  "No harm to third parties intended," but "war is war" and the innocent will get caught up in the fight; the thinking goes.

So The Report thinks Massillonians can take Mayor Cicchinelli at his word when he says he is not against the renaming.  On the other hand, if he can deliver a black eye to his political opponents through the work of others (i.e. the park board members who voted NO! on Townsend's idea), he will do so and then take the high ground claiming that his appointees voted their conscience and not at his directive.

The target is not the memory of T. Roy Roberson,  The target is multiple:  Maier, Elum, Catazaro-Perry, Townsend et al. The folks who have been going after Cichinelli for a number of years now.

It appears to the SCPR believed that the hallowed memory of Roberson was a mask behind which they could hide in effecting a political victory over Cicchinelli and his loyalists.  For public consumption, Townsend's move for Roberson was a magnanimous thing to do.  For inside Massillon politics, his move was a poke in the political eye and message to Mayor Francis H. Cicchinelli, Jr that "We're coming after you Frank.  Se ya in May, 2011! And, by the way, winning this battle over the park renaming is an indicator of our political strength!"

As Townsend said in the Rink piece, the park board vote is one thing; however, the city council vote may well be another.  However, the vote turns out, no one will admit in public that fight is not about Roberson is worthy of being honored; it is, rather, about political gamesmanship and affording the "Cicchinellis" and the "Maiers" an opportunity to get at one another.

The main question presented by this blog, however, is will this political war in Massillon ever end?

Answer:  only when Francis H. Cicchinelli, Jr is no longer mayor of Massillon, Ohio!!!

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