Tuesday, May 1, 2012
(VIDEOS OF UNION LEADER SCIURY & COUNCILMAN COLE) CANTON CITY COUNCIL MAJORITY SHOWS DISRESPECT FOR STARK CO. ORGANIZED LABOR?
At last night's Canton City Council meeting Hall of Fame AFL-CIO president Dan Sciury was indignant (to use a nice word) with council as he scolded (another nice word) them during "Public Speaks" for voting last week to spend $25,000 of the money of Canton, OHIO citizens in a "promote Canton, Ohio marketing initiative" to possibly (i.e. who really knows) provide jobs for workers located in Canton, CHINA.
Here is a video of Sciury's admonition:
Stark County unions have poured mega bucks into the collective political campaigns of Democratic members of council over decades and decades only to seemingly get kicked in the teeth by the council beneficiaries of union largesse.
Only 5th Ward Councilman Kevin Fisher (new elected in 2011) stood by organized labor in voting "no" on Ordinance 61/2012.
The SCPR has to believe that council President Alan Schulman too would have voted no had there been a tie (the only time the president votes) as he has always been the most vocal pro-organized-labor member of council.
The lopsided 11 yes and 1 no vote occurred notwithstanding Sciury's lobbying council to reject the proposal days before the vote was called. He pled with a primary proponent of the ordinance; namely, Councilman Joe Cole (who joined with the author of the legislation, according to Cole, Councilman David Dougherty of the 6th Ward who serves as the majority leader in a council that has no Republicans) to stop the project.
But to no avail. To The Report it is no surprise that Cole is not moved by a "for union jobs" argument. After all, he is the principal of a charter school which has no union teachers.
Here is a video of Cole's (last night) weak defense of the out-of-area contract, to wit: "this was the only full service vendor we could find."
Sciury later told yours truly that Cole's point was utter nonsense. That he can provide council with the names of companies who do full service promotional services work.
Joining in with council members was Mayor William J. Healy, II in that he had to sign the legislation for it to become the law of Canton, Ohio.
He gave the lame reason why the legislation got his signature: "in the rush of winding up the meeting." Really? Obviously, the mayor thinks everybody is totally stupid.
The SCPR has underway a compilation of campaign finance contributions to Healy going all the way back to when he first sought public office in Stark County.
So far the consolidation of Healy's campaign contributions goes back through the successful re-election bid for a second term as mayor.
Healy collected a whopping $70,000 plus from Canton/Stark County/Ohio/USA in campaign contributions!
He signed the legislation inadvertently (i.e. "in the rush of winding up.")
A $70,000 plus contribution and you can't keep track of a piece of legislation that you know your union friends do not like?
He did promise to push for council to revisit the matter. In a post-council-meeting with Councilman Cole, the SCPR did not get the impression that Cole was in favor of undoing the ordinance. But he did not completely rule it out.
So what are the unions going to do about Council's "in your face?"
Probably very little.
Unions are so tied to Democrats that they have nowhere else to go and accordingly they get treated as the proverbial "step-child."
They do have opportunities. For instance, they could draw back on their support of Healy's sister Joyce Healy-Abrams in her quest to unseat Republican Congressman Bob Gibbs.
But do not look for them to do it. Healy and Canton council members may use and abuse them, however, it would be quite a step for them
Democrats have unions exactly where they want them: no place to go.
Beyond the jobs for unions question are a number of other issues with the expenditure of $25,000.
First, what about the point Sciury made: jobs for Canton and Stark County at large even if they are non-union jobs.
Canton Council and the Healy administration makes a huge public relations to-do out of "new" jobs brought to Canton.
Then to support sending Canton taxpayer money out of the city perhaps all the way to the likes of Canton, China? Hmm? Will that play with the citizens of Canton, Ohio?
Second, as Councilman Fisher pointed out to the SCPR, how is it that an administration and council who has a looming $4 million plus budget shortfall to make up come 2013 can spend $25,000 on anything but absolutely essential city services?
Of course, this is not the only glaring inconsistency that Canton government has engaged in lately. Last year Canton Council approved an ordinance with the blessing of the Healy administration that resulted in tens of thousands of dollars for pay increases for Mayor Healy, other members of his administration and council members.
It appears to The Report that Healy and council are building up to asking voters to increase Canton's city income tax from 2% to 2.5% in this November's election.
Multiple thousands upon thousands of dollars being spend on non-essentials and you're are asking for a tax increase?
For the SCPR what is happening in Canton government is a consequence of the arrogance of one-party-rule.
Even the union-bankrollers of the Democrats' absolute control of the seat of Stark County government are powerless to check the cockamaimee ideas that come from the likes of Dougherty and Cole.