UPDATE: 05/14/2014 at 12:45 p.m.
To republish the headline of this blog: SHOULD CANTONIANS BE WARY OF MAYOR HEALY & HIS TALK ABOUT THE NEED FOR AN INCREASE IN TAXES?
In a word: YES!
Consider this background:
Councilwoman-at-Large Mary Cirelli called Healy a liar Monday night during the pre-regular-council-meeting Democratic caucus meeting.
During the caucus meeting she pressed him on whether the proceeds of a "in the talking stages" safety forces levy would be an add-on to what the safety forces already get.
Cirelli says that Healy said in the context of a lot of double talk that the safety forces would not get "all" the money generated by a safety forces levy.
To her, this was justification for calling the mayor a liar.
Another basis for her being so "out-with-it" in calling Healy a liar has to do with the passage last week of a measure generated by Councilman David Dougherty (majority leader).
Readers of the SCPR will recall that Hall of Fame AFL-CIO president Dan Sciury (LINK here to prior blog which has a video of Sciury speaking) showed up at last week's council meeting to ask council to rescind Dougherty's ordinance that put Canton on a track to invest $25,000 in a "promote Canton"scheme.
Sciury was upset that the work was being contracted with a North Carolina based company (non-local, of course, and non-union) which he felt confident would be including promotional materials made in China, perhaps even Canton, China.
Under the shepherding of Councilman-at-Large Joe Cole (with Majority Leader Dougherty monitoring), the legislation had gotten passed the preceding week as an "emergency" matter. Cole gave a number of reasons to his fellow council members as to why they needed to "rush to judgment" on the vote.
None of them (chiefly, for the youth of Canton), in the assessment of yours truly, hold water.
So what's the rush?
Of course, we all know (except for the 10 other than Cole members of council) from life's experience that anytime one is being rushed along - watch out!
Apparently, Healy, Cole and Dougherty think the ordinance holds something politically good for them and accordingly they have to rush it along.
To her discredit, even Cirelli got hoodwinked. She doesn't know who she dealing with by now?
Before the vote, Cirelli says she talked to Healy about her concerns that the ordinance would connect Canton, Ohio city government to buying goods manufactured in, perhaps, Canton, China.
He promised her in no uncertain terms that if it came out (like he didn't already know) that non-USA produced goods were to be part of the contract: "I will veto the legislation!"
Well, the veto never happened.
In a SCPR post-April 30th meeting videotaped press conference type interview with Cole, he all but absolutely conceded that Canton, Ohio under the contract would be very likely buying goods manufactured in China.
Healy's response to Cirelli (last week after the Sciury appearance) and a week after the 11 to 1 vote for the out-of-state; out-of-country buy (only 5th Ward Councilman Kevin Fisher voting no):
"Oh, I must have forgot!"
As the SCPR has written prodigiously over the last four years, Mayor Healy thinks everybody else is totally stupid whom he can politically use and abuse at-will.
When he gets caught, he gets angry.
To Cirelli according to Cirelli: (paraphrase) "I never said any of that. You are a f_ _ _ _ _ _ liar. And don't you ever come to me for anything ever again!"
Indeed, Cantonians should be very wary of the mayor and any tax increase proposal he comes up with.
The Report believes that Healy could well be in the process of concocting "a bait and switch" to bamboozle council and the Canton electorate with.
With the "Canton, China" escapade in mind, it does not appear that more than a couple councilpersons have the inclination and/or the capability of analyzing proposed tax increase legislation to ferret out the loopholes that Healy is likely devising.
And, as the SCPR full well knows, the mayor of Canton is one of the most accomplished finessers that Canton and Stark County has ever seen.
Only council president Allen Schulman matches up ably against Healy. But he is only rarely inclined to do so. One has to wonder why.
Though he denies that it was his intention, Schulman did bounce around Healy surrogate David Dougherty on "the buy China matter" Monday night.
A number of area politicians are telling The Report that there is no way Healy can get a tax issue passed.
Apparently, they do not know Canton Mayor William J. Healy, II very well.
In the view of the SCPR, no Stark County politician has the "bait & switch" and overall scheming skills of Healy.
Don't count him out!