Sunday, October 30, 2011
POLITICS MESS UP THE FACTS, BUT THERE ARE FACTS!
Hat's off to Ed Balint of The Repository (Canton ambulance debate boils down to budget, OT [today's online edition] for trying to clear matters up on the "true" cost of keeping the Canton fire stations fully staffed, but after reading his examination, the SCPR comes away thinking that getting a grip on who is right and who is wrong between Healy, Ream and Carcione [and in the background - Healy mayoral opponent A.R. "Chip" Conde] remains a puzzle.
Healy, Ream (Healy's safety director), Carcione and/or Conde (endorsed by Carcione's Local 249, Canton Firefighters Association) are exactly the wrong persons to talk to if one wants to get to the actual facts of the matter.
To greater or lesser degrees, they are all "spin" artists on the issue in service of their particular political interests.
There is however one person in Canton government - if given agreed upon "apples to apples" criteria who likely could settle the dispute once and for all with exact numbers.
Who might that be?
Gary Young: who is one of the leaders of the Canton auditors department headed up by elected Auditor Richard Mallonn.
Young may be the most respected and trusted government employee in all of Stark County, if not all of Ohio.
The SCPR talked with Young right after the Healy/Conde debate in early October.
Young could not forthrightly address the question The Report posed to him (Who is correct, Healy or Conde?) because it is obvious to Young and yours truly that they (the candidates) had used different criteria in the debate, again, in service of their respective political agendas.
As close as Young could come was to tell The Report via a "gestimate" that the truth was somewhere in the middle.
Such could not have been a comfortable thing for Young to have done. For he is a numbers man who does not massage, he does not manipulate, and he has no political agenda. Agree on precise criteria and he will provide the numerical truth of the matter.
Of course, neither Healy (Ream) nor Conde (Carcione) want precision.
If the truth were zeroed in on, it would be politically uncomfortable for Healy for Cantonians to learn that his exaggerated number of $1 million is just that and that the voters may conclude that he has been willing to jeopardize their safety in service of his political agenda.
If the truth were zeroed in on, it would be po0litically uncomfortable for Conde for Cantonians to learn that his "Canton can make a profit with ambulance service" is politically contrived and thereby put into question for Canton's voters as to whether or not he is all that different (as he likes to project) from known political spin artist William J. Healy.
If it is the truth you want, set the criteria and then give Canton Auditor Gary Young a call.
He can provide substance to the biblical injunction: THE TRUTH WILL SET YOU FREE!