Wednesday, July 6, 2011


Jim Repace - a former councilman - who says he is going to run this November, told the SCPR after the North Canton's City Council (Council) meeting last night that the proposed tree trimmer licensing ordinance was the brainchild of Mayor David Held for newly selected Councilman Mark Cerreta to use to make is mark (no pun intended) as a legislator.

Repace also was one of a number of applicants for former Council President Daryl Revoldt's position when Revoldt (as predicted by the SCPR) left North Canton for a post with the Kasich administration.

Cerreta has taken out a petition with a number of others (incumbent DeOrio is missing from the list) for three council-at-large positions.

What was interesting from Council's discussion about the proposed ordinance that several members (Dan Peters - Ward 2 and Pat DeOrio - at large) seemed to be amazed at the lead off of the discussion by Cerreta (as chairman of Ordinance, Rules & Claims Committee) as if the ordinance as originally proposed was going forward.

After the meeting, Peters told yours truly that the last he knew from when Council last met, passing an ordinance was not the way North Canton was going.

They (Peters and DeOrio) understood (see the video below this paragraph) that the ordinance was being scrapped in favor of asking tree trimmers who wanted to do business in the city to have certificates of insurance filed with North Canton which residents could then confirm as being in existence on North Canton's website or by calling city hall.  DeOrio told The Report that if a trimmer dropped the insurance the process would include the insurance company notifying the city of such.

Apparently, the "going ahead as if there had been no understanding of scrapping the ordinance" was a ploy by Held and Cerreta to see if they could push it through notwithstanding the understanding.  At one time in the session, it seemed that there was going to be a showdown on the matter.  However, Council President Jon Snyder jumped into to keep a confrontation from occurring.

The prime movers of this legislation (Councilman Cerreta and Mayor David Held) are Republicans.  One of the basic tenets of the Republican Party is:  (1) "the best government is the least government, " and (2) "we are over regulated - get government out of our lives."  Hmm?

So why are Republicans Cerreta and Held for more government and regulation (including a criminal penalty on offending tree trimmers), while  Democrats DeOrio and Peters lead the charge for less government and substituting voluntary compliance?

Here is the tree trimmer licensing debate (sort of) video in two parts because YouTube limits the duration of stored videos: 

On another matter, right out of the shoot at the beginning of yesterday evening's meeting, President Snyder announced that Council was rescinding Ordinance 53-11 which had been passed on June 6, 2011 as an "emergency" ordinance and proceeding on a "non-emergency basis" with Ordinance 68-11 which had its first reading on the 5th, will have its second reading at a special meeting today and its third and final reading on July 11th when it is likely to pass.

Snyder said to The Report (after the meeting) that North Canton Law Director Hans Nilges felt 53-11 could withstand the legal attack launched by a North Canton resident and one Andy Martin (a former Suarez employee) in a lawsuit filed in Stark County Court of Common Pleas shortly after Council passed the ordinance.

The SCPR also learned that Suarez was not concerned about the delay (68-11 for 53-11) in getting the required ordinance passed.

For the SCPR, the most significant developments occurred after the meeting that came out in The Report's interview of President Snyder.  He told The Report that:
  1. He agreed with North Canton citizen Chuck Osborne (although not sure Osborne's number - 92% - is correct, that emergency clause legislation is overused not only in North Canton but across Ohio.  He cited an Ohio audit that commented on the extensive use of emergency clause ordinances.  He has the power - as president - to limit its use and says that he plans to do so.  Moreover, he said that when North Canton uses the emergency clause in the future, he will be requiring that specific reasons be articulated as to why the ordinance needed an immediate effective date (the primary reason for emergency status in the first place); not relying on for the broad and vague "general welfare and in the public interest" language.  Snyder added that North Canton has nothing to hide and has no desire to cut off the citizens right to initiate referendums on legislation a citizen might disagree with.  
  2. He was going to prevail on his fellow councilpersons to expand "Public Speaks" to Committee of the Whole meetings.  Snyder said there would have to be time limits (but the president would have discretion to extend in appropriate situations).  His reason?  The real work of Council is in the context of the Committee of the Whole and North Canton citizens should have the opportunity to weigh-in on the process.
Here is Snyder speaking on the issue of emergency legislation and his plans to ask Council to extend the Public Speaks portion of regular council meetings to the Committee of the Whole meetings.

No comments: