One would have had to be in a Rip Van Winkle-esque sleep not to know of the bitter politically rancorous discord that has been at play in recent years in Massillon Democratic politics.
It has been the forces led by Massillon Clerk of Courts John A. Maier, Jr and a number of his top lieutenants squared off against former Mayor Francis H. Cicchinelli, Jr and his top lieutenants.
One would have thought that once the Maier-led contingent achieved mastery over Cicchinelli in last year's Democratic primary, the certain-to-be new mayor Kathy Catazaro-Perry would be counseling her loyalists to back off and work at healing the rift so that she could get on with effective governing once she defeated token Republican opposition in November and took office in January of this year.
But it is beginning to appear that Mayor Kathy not in charge of her cohort political group and that political retaliation, retribution and rift may be the order of the day in Massillon these days.
If the SCPR's suspicions are borne out as the new administration takes charge, then the mayor is in for a tough, tough four years. What's more, Massillon's citizens will suffer unnecessarily.
This morning The Report got two e-mails which clearly suggests that a supporter of the mayor has taken it as his/her mission to fire another shot in the ongoing political battle between the Catazaro-Perryites and the Cicchinellis.
E-MAIL #1 - From an anonymous source to Scott Graber who was a Massillon Council President Glenn Gamber (a close political ally to Cicchinelli) opponent in the 2011 Democratic primary (Graber losing in a closer than expected race), to wit:
E-MAIL #2 - From Councilman Gamber to the SCPR, to wit:Hey, were you aware that on Tuesday night your former opponet [sic] Glenn Gamber hit a car twice in the parking lot. He stayed in his car for 6-minutes and then jumped out and entered council chambers. A MP put a note on his car, when he came out of council he grabbed the note and took off. Gamber denied it, until he was caught on camera in the act.
Martin,My vehicle was involved in an incident in the City Hall parking lot on Tuesday, and I wanted to let you know what happened before you hear of it through the media and blogs.
The SCPR believes that Mayor Kathy can put a stop to the political warfare from her end now! And she should do so if she cares anything about being able to govern effectively in the interests of ALL Massillonians and not just those who supported her in her drive to become mayor.
On Tuesday evening I parked my vehicle in the City Hall parking lot just after 7 PM and went into a meeting. When I left the building nearly two hours later, there was a note on my windshield to call Massillon Patrolman Masters, which I did immediately. I called from the parking lot and was a block away on Lincoln Way when he came to the phone.
He told me that the right rear of my vehicle had apparently bumped into the right rear of an adjacent car causing minor damage to the plastic bumper cowling. The contact was so minimal that I was not aware it had occurred. I asked Patrolman Masters what I should do, and he said there was nothing to do at that time. I called him again an hour later to follow up, but he was on a call and not available. I left my phone number for him to call me back.On Wednesday I went to the Police Station to discuss the incident with and realized that I did indeed bump into the other car’s bumper while backing into a parking space at 3 MPH. I got the name of the owner and immediately called him to accept responsibility. He was very cordial and said the damage to his bumper was minimal. He told me that he mentioned to the officer that if my vehicle was still parked next to his car when he made his report, it must be because I did not realize I had contacted his bumper. That is exactly the case.Glenn
If she chooses to do a little sit down with her zealot supporters and rein them in, then Massillonians should be encouraged that she will be concentrating on applying her best efforts towards bringing Massillon back from the financial crisis that currently plagues the city.
The new mayor has a lot of good qualities that she can bring to bear to defuse the political warfare and over time bring the hostiles into a working relationship with her administration, again, in pursuing interests near and dear to all Massillonians.
The only question is whether or not she has the strength of personality to do so.
Like or dislike Francis H. Cicchinelli, Jr., certainly the new mayor can point to the positives that the long time former mayor brought to Massillon.
The SCPR is not aware of whether or not Catazaro-Perry has been invited and/or plans to attend a March 4th celebration of Cicchinell's contributions to the well-being of Massillon over his many years as mayor. If not invited, she should seek an invitation. From the Cicchinelli standpoint, he should see to it that the mayor of the city gets invited.
And, of course, if invited she should be afforded an opportunity to speak to his accomplishments as mayor in a believable and authentic way.
If not invited, she undoubtedly knows she can show the class that The Report believes she has and issue a press release in this regard.
The Report believes that Kathy Catzaro-Perry is a person of goodwill and that she should resist any naysayers in her core group of supporters that counsel her and do acts designed to fan the fires of political turmoil. Now is the time for her to show moral leadership and demonstrations of character that may not be responded to in the short term. Over the long haul chances are gestures of goodwill pay huge dividends.
The timing is right for Mayor Kathy Catazaro-Perry to do the right thing for Massillon governance and call off the enthusiast "political" dogs who are baying at if not snarling at her political enemies post-election victory.
Catazaro-Perry needs to show one and all that she is the captain of her own ship.
Will she do it?
That is the question!