UPDATE: PLAIN TOWNSHIP TRUSTEE VOTE TO TABLE RESOLUTION at December 28th meeting.
The Stark County Political Report predicted in yesterday's blog that Plain Township Trustee Louis Giavasis would be put under pressure to abandon his motion to pass a resolution to ban hydraulic fracking in the township.
The Report did not know exactly where the pressure would come from, but now that "the cat is out of the bag" yours truly can say that it certainly is no surprise that Attorney William G. (Bill to me) Williams is the messenger for the oil and gas industry.
Stark Countians will now see what kind of public service mettle Trustee Giavasis is made of. He does say that he is taking on this fight for the public health, safety and general welfare.
For in antagonizing the oil and gas industry and the bevy of Stark County moneyed stakeholders that Williams represents, he truly has a well-financed "tiger by the tail" and the SCPR believes that Williams' et al will work tirelessly to make him ex-Trustee Giavasis in November, 2013 - even if Giavasis caves in!
The Report believes that much of Giavasis' problems are owing to fellow Trustee Scott Haws. Giavasis is a thorough-going Democrat and Haws (a Stark GOP central committeemen) is a devoted Republican.
Who was the first person Haws hotfooted it to when he learned of Giavasis' plan? Probably to Stark County GOP chairman Jeff Matthews who likely in turn redirected him to state Senator Kirk Schuring.
But it could have been Haws to Schuring direct. Anyway, what the SCPR believes was a "tear apart the Giavasis plan" for going public with the fracking issue was likely hatched in the midst of the counsels of Haws and Schuring. Both are trying to appear to be non-partisan in their efforts. It would take a terribly politically naive person to believe that one.
Giavasis, to is credit, has tried to kid himself that he and Haws could work together. However, when you get public officials so consummately tied to one political party or the other; working together for the public good goes flying out the window very quickly.
BACK TO BILL WILLIAMS AND HIS LETTER
Yours truly made the acquaintance of Bill Williams when as a law student he was an intern at the Stark County Legal Aid Society located in Canton where yours truly was managing attorney back in to 70s.
So it is a delight for the SCPR to be a position to publish Williams' hybrid "political pressure" and "for my clients?" and for the "oil and gas industry?" letter designed to get the Plain Township trustees "to come to heel" on Giavasis anti-oil & gas industry move. Just goes to prove that one never knows when paths will cross again and under what circumstances.
While the SCPR agrees with Williams' basic premise of "why the rush" by Giavasis. To be fair, The Report asks Williams why he is playing the political hammer? If he is so right on the law - as "his reputation apparently suggests he undoubtedly is - i.e on the Ohio Super Lawyer list - as it is finally promulgated by the legal heights of Ohio, and perhaps, the nation; why not let justice take its course?
He sounds a little like Allen Schulman (also a well known and powerful local attorney) but from the opposite direction. Schulman started out his involvement in the fracking discussion saying that there is only one side to the discussion and that any threat whatsoever to the safety of the drinking water supply makes the case in and of itself for not allowing fracking.
Williams, on the other hand, seems to be saying in his letter to Plain Township trustees (reproduced below) that the Ohio Revised Code - without a judicial determination of any constitutional challenges that might be made to the specific statutes - per se precludes even a test of the statutes he cites. Kind of sounds like to the SCPR that Attorney Williams wants to be judge, jury and executioner, no?
Another interesting parallel between Schulman and Williams is the high degree of political partisanship both partake in. Schulman is a main player in Stark County Democratic politics as Williams is for Stark Republicans.
As The Report wrote yesterday, the battle over fracking has political overtones galore. Republican officeholders are generally supportive of oil and gas interests whereas Democrat officeholders are prone to take the side of the environmentalists.
The SCPR believes that the fracking issue could become a huge national battleground between the right (Republicans) and left wings (Democratic) of the two political parties.
What generally happens in these kinds of partisan fights is that the public interest gets sacrificed in the heat of political battle.
If the Republicans win, do we end up with polluted water? If the Democrats win, do we end up with an energy crisis?
Here is a copy of Williams letter which was e-mailed to the Plain trustees at 5:54 last evening.
Again, the letter is in the opinion of the SCPR a political classic intermixed with what appears to be a plea for his clients. While not writing this blog as a lawyer, yours truly in all my 37 years of being a lawyer has not quite seen the likes of this letter.
Take a close look at the names copied at the end of the letter, interesting, no?