UPDATE: 03/22/2012 AT 11:09 A.M.
While I am an avid reader of your blog, I must say that this review is confusing to me. What is it that council is not doing ? What criticism would you have us direct at the Mayor?
Personally, I believe the Mayor and council are working together to improve the lives of our city residents. Particularly in the area of economic development..Jobs...we are far ahead of other urban areas in seeking out businesses which put our residents back to work.
This has been accomplished against the wholesale attack on cities by the Kasich administration. It's not easy to navigate through the worst economy since the Great Depression.
It is even more difficult when state and federal leaders abandon our urban areas. We are doing more things right than other communities.
If you have specific concerns, I wish you would publish them.
I do listen to what you have to say!
You need to get a clue...i vote issue by issue & i take no marching orders. Sometimes the mayor & i agree & sometimes we disagree...i have voted no as about as much as anyone on council this term, and will continue to decide each issue on it's merits...if you want to try to paint me as a rubber stamp, that speaks to your ignorance, not my independence.
Canton City Council has two faults.
First, all of its members are of one political party (Democratic),
Second, a majority of its members have no political spine who merely fall into line with the wishes of .Mayor William J. Healy, II.
It makes sense that the latter is a consequence of the former.
A godsend to Massillon was the election (November, 2011) of four new Republican members of its city council to join the already-on-council Republican Donnie Peters (re-elected in 2011).
And it appears that Councilwoman Nancy Halter (2nd Ward) is a real force on Massillon's council holding the Republican caucus together.
Consequently, each and every move that the newly elected Democratic Catazaro-Perry administration advances will be thoroughly vetted.
Though Catazaro-Perry in and of herself seems to be a weak mayor in that she appears to be controlled by a power "kitchen cabinet," that controlling force bears close scrutiny for the well being of Massillon.
And Massillon City Council as presently constituted is demonstrating that it will provide that scrutiny.
No such luck for Cantonians.
With former Councilman-at-Large Bill Smuckler having taken himself off council in his run against Healy in May, 2011 Democratic primary, even those remaining on Canton's council who are not shy about differing with the Healy administration appear to be fragmented and unable to make the mayor sweat on any given issue when push comes to shove.
An ally of Smuckler was Councilman Greg Hawk. He was a major frustration to the Healy administration in his former role of being Finance Committee chairman. But guess what? You've got it. While he remains on the committee, he no longer has the powers inherent in the chairmanship and "the bully pulpit" effect to remain the force he has been in keeping the mayor somewhat in check on financial matters.
How did he come to lose his chairmanship, the SCPR has asked Hawk?
Obviously, Hawk could not say for sure because these matters are the product of back room politics. However, the SCPR gets the impression that Hawk believes it was a collaboration between Healy and his sycophantic allies on council.
Another amazing turnaround has been Council President Alan Schulman. While he is not a voting member of council unless there is a tie among the other councilpersons, he is a "behind-the-scenes" powerful factor on council.
It is as a distant memory when Schulman (who was out-of-town at the time), returned to Canton to pillory Mayor Healy for unceremoniously firing Service Director and Chief of Staff Thomas Bernabei early in the first Healy administration.
Bernabei's offense? Having the audacity (for Healy's own good, and, by the way, and more importantly - Canton's good) to take exception to the mayor.
Schulman faded so much from his confrontations with the mayor, that he could not even bring himself to openly support Bill Smuckler in his drive to unseat Healy.
With there being talk of Healy supporting Councilman Joe Cole to replace Canton City Treasurer Bob Schirack (when he retires - believed to be soon) and possibly offering Patrick Barton (Ward 7) a high paying job as a information technology specialist, it appears that Healy is doing what he does best: Using the prerogatives/power of office as tools to bring those who might scrutinize/criticize into line.
Yours truly almost fell of his chair at the last attended council meeting when Councilman Griffin (Ward 3) actually asked a question.
But he is not alone. It is apparent that Canton has a number of his ilk. Tailor-made for one like William J. Healy, II.
Mayor Healy is a "my way or the highway" type politician who uses carrot/stick political methodologies to get people on TeamHealy.
Because Canton City Council for the most part (excepting out Cirelli, Hawk, Mack and Morris) is spineless, Canton's way will be Healy's way unchecked by council and Cantonians will be the worse for it!