At yesterday's work session of the Stark County Commissioners, Commissioner Ferguson shared with fellow commissioners Janet Creighton and Tom Bernabei the results of a meeting he had in Columbus last Thursday with Director Moe of the Ohio Veteran Services Commission, Mayor David Held of North Canton, state Representative Kirk Schuring (R-Jackson, the 51st) and state Representative Christina Hagan (R-Marlboro, the 50th) to explore the prospects for getting a veterans home located in Stark County.
The effort is an outgrowth of a letter generated out of the Cuyahoga County Veterans Service Commission which fell into the hands of Commissioner Ferguson.
As Commissioner Ferguson explains in the accompanying video, if the project is realized (and Representative Schuring says (to Mayor Held) that - if it happens - it will be at least three years in the making), then North Canton or wherever the home is eventually located could get up to 200 jobs.
The political significance of the timeline is that Commissioner Ferguson's term expires on December 31, 2012. As readers of the SCPR know, doing something for military veterans has been a consuming passion with Ferguson. The Report can't imagine that he would not want to remain to see this project through to the end.
Ferguson has worked hard disassociate himself from what fellow commissioner Janet Creighton has termed as being the "good old boys network" of the Stark County Democratic Party. Should he seek re-election, which The Report believes he will, only then will Stark Countians know the full impact of the Frustaci scandal.
No Democratic official had any involvement whatsoever in former Stark Treasury Chief Deputy Vince Frustaci theft of at least $2.46 million (some believe to have been $2.96 million) in Stark County taxpayer money. However, there may be a public perception that certain public officials (e.g. Kim Perez, Todd Bosley, Steve Meeks) did not exercise enough oversight to see to it that the possibility of a theft of public funds be eliminated.
Perez (for auditor), Bosley (for state representative) and Meeks (for county commissioner) (thought by many to part of a Democratic officials "good old boy network") were soundly defeated in November, 2010 and one has to wonder whether or not a negative public perception as set forth above played a part in the outcome. Bosley may have caught a double whammy because of his participation in imposing a 0.5 sales tax increase on Stark Countians in December, 2008.
Ferguson has been commissioner since January, 2008. He was a member of the board that removed Gary Zeigler as county treasurer - August, 2010) under permissive authority of the Ohio Revised Code for the mere fact money was missing from the treasury even though Zeigler was completely exonerated of any involvement by county and federal prosecutors. So his success or failure in 2012's election might well be dependent on whether or not in the public mind he was part of the network as expounded upon above.
Here is the video of Commissioner Ferguson and Mayor Held speaking about the prospects of a veterans home for Stark County and specifically for North Canton.