As the transition of political power approaches in Massillon, yours truly is getting the impression that Mayor-elect Kathy Catazaro-Perry is getting more than a tad worried about having the burden of the resurrection of Massillon on her shoulders.
While she is not the real political power in Massillon (the SCPR says it is Clerk of Courts Johnnie A. Maier, Jr et al), Catazaro-Perry will go down in Tigerland infamy as being responsible (as the de jure leader) for the city's final decline into economic oblivion should her administration (ladened with Maier loyalists) not be able to pull Massillon out of its seeming Cicchinelli induced 45 degree economic decent.
Catazaro-Perry indeed is about to inherit a number of ulcerous problems from outgoing Mayor Francis H. Cicchinell, Jr., to wit:
- a financially broke city that cannot pay its bills on a timely basis including a failure to pay Massillon's share of emergency call/dispatch services currently provided by the R.E.D. (Regional Emergency Dispatch) Center,
- a park system falling into disrepair because its infrastructure monies have be diverted to keep a money sucking golf course complex going, and
- making mortgage payments on a senior citizens high rise and a private sector hotel
Catazaro-Perry has been on Massillon City Council for eight years and has done precious little to impede/correct the errant Cicchinelli direction that she and her supporters allege and cry about. Nor has she, on the cusp of assuming office, set out a plan to turn Massillon's fortunes around. A plan that the voters of Massillon could use as a benchmark for holding her accountable by her own standard as her administration unfolds.
It appears to The Report that the mayor-elect vacillated about running for mayor in the first place. Having allowed herself to be nudged into running for mayor by backroom Massillon political operatives and now that she has been elected, Catazaro-Perry is now looking for ways to have a win-win situation for herself.
Lower expectations and publish a "work in progress" list of bogeymen who endeavor to make her an officeholding failure.
Now the list includes Cicchinelli, Gamber, Slagle, McCune, Manson, Hersher, Jayne Ferrero, Stergios and Todaro-Kirchner and Brunckman.
After January 1st, whose names will grace the Maier/Jackson enemies list?
Answer: anyone who disagrees with the Catazaro-Perry approach, however helter-skelter, chaotic and directionless it may prove to be.
Disagreement of a stripe will be the key to making the list however well-founded particular opposition might be.
It is apparent that the greatest fear of the Maier led cabal is that failure of a Catazaro-Perry adminstration to turnaround Massillon, (not unlike Maier political hero and former Democratic Governor Ted Strickland's failure to turnaround Ohio). Such appears to the SCPR to be the most likely outcome of the Massillon regime change.
Of course, the ultimate fear is that Francis H. Cicchinelli, Jr., being young enough and intentional enough, will be there waiting in the Democratic primary of 2115 to return the favor of his 2111 defeat.
In the meantime, a Catazaro-Perry enemies list headed by Cicchinelli will be written, rewritten and rewritten again and likely be accompanied by political smear after political smear and political smear in order to distract Massillonians from the real problems which continue to plague them, the change in leadership notwithstanding.
Such is the nature of power politics. The only politics that Maier and friends know.
Look for the blame game to continue.
The politicians will thrive as Massillon bottoms out.