You gotta just love Ron Ponder of Points to Ponder (WHBC1480AM).
He provided Stark Countians with nearly two hours of Repository Editorial Page Editor Gayle Beck and listening to her hang herself - metaphorically, of course - (and, naturally, her employer, too) with her explanation of The Rep's core prescriptive message for what ills Stark County.
And what does ill Stark County?
To sum up what Beck had to say, its "all that negativity out there about Stark County," that's it!
Again to sum up, "create achievable, measurable goals."
In other words: "Stark County needs to build up its self-esteem!"
But not too much, too soon!
Stark Countians need to take their time.
How about 10 years?
Never mind that the promoter (The Rep) who according to Beck, by virtue having been around since 1815, may not itself be here in 10 years - at least as a print edition.
Here is a sampling (criteria and specific examples) of the kinds of things that Beck, Jeff Gauger (executive editor) and Don Detore (managing editory) think we (Stark Countians) can be working on in order to achieve by our own definition of success and therefore be able to feel good about ourselves and thereby miraculously through a self-generative combinatory process create a Stark County social, political and economic order that will restore Stark County to her former greatness? Or, at least create a better? Stark County.
Some of the input that The Repository editors have gotten so far is, according to Beck, "so negative as to be comical." A strange way to describe contributions? Contributions not in the format that Rep editors pre-ordain?
Sounds like to the SCPR that Editor Beck and her fellows cannot handle a strong dose of reality. And if they can't square up with what "really" needs to be done, then neither should Stark Countians. Is this the message?
Beck also talked about how The Rep plans to use its "bully pulpit (the editorial page of The Rep) to impel, shape and achieve three to five "feel good goals" (the SCPR's phrase) over ten years.
It appears to The Report that The Repository is setting up a T-ball game for Stark Countians.
Now that is exactly what We Stark Countians need to regain our self confidence, no?
The SCPR's take on "Stark 20/20" is that it won't hurt anything and may actually help in some small measure. But it is an insult to suggest to thinking Stark Countians that what boils down to a "building self-esteem" program is substantial and has a "real" hope of putting Stark County on a track to "being all that it can be."
It is exactly the "minor league thinking" going on at Mahogany Row in the upper reaches of The Repository that is emblematic of what the SCPR believes is what ails Stark County.
However, let The Report hasten to add that it is not only a drop off in the leadership qualities of those who staff the summit of Stark County's only countywide newspaper (which, incidentally is termed by some lower staff types within the halls at 500 Market Avenue, South as being: "owned by a bunch of bankers"); leadership qualities have dropped off dramatically in both the private and public sectors across the county.
Moreover, the "Leadership Stark County" effort of the Canton Regional Chamber of Commerce has not staunched the leadership bleeding. It, too, is infected with a "let's kids ourselves" virus.
Until and unless Stark County rebuilds an effective leadership base that proves to the Stark citizenry it actually exists through the realization of visionary job producing goals; no amount of self-esteem building will solve what ills Stark County.
The SCPR encourages Stark Countians to participate in Stark 20/20, but we should not have any illusions that this is much more than a "let's feel good about ourselves" exercise.