Wednesday, August 22, 2012


Recently,  Massillon Mayor Catazaro-Perry threw a 50th birthday bash for herself at Massillon's Firehouse Grill and Pub to shore up campaign finances (she raised upwards of $9,000) for her re-election drive still some three years away.

Now the party is over and she has to deal with the reality of actually being the mayor of Massillon.

Up to the age 50, life does not get any better than it has been for the mayor of  Tigerland, at least over the past 10 years in so far as her political life in concerned.  In fact, to most of  Massillon/Stark County's politically astute, Catazaro-Perry life must seem as her life has been perfect and perhaps a fairy tale too.
  • She swept into town around the year 2002 and took up residence with a doctor she is married to (Anthony) into the posh (purchased for $410,000 [now valued at $325,101] according to Stark Co. auditor records) Mill Ridge Path enclave in Massillon's third ward,
  • In 2003, she ran against Republican incumbent Claudette Istnick and bested her by an impressive margin:
  • Her victory over Istnick caught the eye of Massillon's two Democratic power brokers, to wit:
    • Mayor Francis H. Ciccihinelli, Jr., and
    • Clerk of Courts Johnnie A. Maier, Jr.
  • A tussle ensued between Cicchinelli and Maier (an outgrowth of their competition going back to their days as students at Kent State/Stark) for Catazaro-Perry's political alleigance,
  • Maier wins out and the two collaborate to put Catazaro-Perry on a course to confront Cicchinelli as a proxy for Maier for control of the executive branch of Massillon city government,
  • In May, 2011 the confrontation takes place in the Democratic Primary and Catazaro-Perry walks away a victory,
  • In the lead up to the May, 2011 confrontation, Catazaro-Perry holds a fund-raiser (July 23, 2010) for the-then Governor Ted Strickland (a confidant and political pal of Maier who was the first Democratic Party chairman to endorse Strickland in the Democratic gubernatorial primary of 2006) at her well-appointed Mill Ridge Path digs.   How many Massillonians can say that the Governor has been to their homes?
  • On August 1, 2012, President Barack Obama lands at Akron-Canton airport (in route to Mansfield and Akron for campaign appearances) and who gets an invitation, among other politicians and dignitaries,  to visit with him at the airport?  Kathy Catazaro-Perry, that's who.  You talk about a perfect end to birthday year number 50.  How can you top that!  
  • Next up?  President Obama visits 900 Mill Ridge Path on October 27, 2012 immediately before the McKinley/Massillon game:  a mere 10 days before the nation decides whether or not the country's top Democrat will continue to lead America.  Wow! Wow! and Wow! again.
So the SCPR rests the case on Kathy Catazaro-Perry having a fairy tale Year #50.  From a political standpoint, things do not get any better.

However, there has been a tinge of trial and tribulation as the realities of having to govern set in with her taking office on January 1st.

Nevertheless, the SCPR has to believe that Catazaro-Perry is still basking in ten year ride of bliss that she has experienced for 94.5% (120 months/8months as mayor) of the decade.

Upon her becoming mayor, it could be that Mayor Kathy is undergoing an Alice in Wonderland-esque realization of not being protected by a childlike innocence of everything being perfect and of being shielded (by the likes of Johnnie A. Maier, Jr) from the harsh realities of the world of politics as it really is.

For the next three years Catzaro-Perry will experience the adult political world in spades.  

Already she has had to layoff firemen and policemen.  Her administration is desperate for revenues just to pay the day-to-day bills of Massillon city government.  She is getting bounced all over the place on her effort to get the relatively benign matter of getting a reduction in the city's income tax credit.

And, of course, there is the reality of campaign fund raising.  

On July 31st, Ohio candidates for political office were required to file their semi-annual reports.  And on Catazaro-Perry's report we find out the names (and the amounts contributed) of those who presumably took the occasion of Kathy's 50th to wish her a Happy 50th Birthday with perhaps a dash of Merry Christmas having been thrown in by Robert Senkar of Medina.

Here is the complete list of the Catazaro-Perry Happy Birthday! wishers which includes such luminaries as Stark County Common Pleas Judge Tayrn Heath, many of the Elums of Massillon (including Massillon Municipal Court Judge Edward Elum and his wife Margaret who works for the mayor), Richard Jusseaume (president of Walsh University), David Waikem (co-owner of the Waikem Auto Group), Jayne Ferrero (Massillon auditor), Marshall Weinberg (Massillon Board of Education member), Robert J. Shearer (co-founder, chairman and CEO of Shearer's Foods), Perry Stergios (Massillon law director), David Held (Republican and North Canton mayor), Richard Regula (Republican and former Stark County commissioner running to retrieve his seat), Jeannette Mullane (deputy director Stark County Board of Elections), Ronald Frailly (former editor of The Massillon Independent who Catazaro-Perry recently tried to get hired in with the Massillon Parks), Joseph Martuccio (Canton law director), Sam Ferruccio (Democrat member of the Stark County Board of Elections), Thomas Cecconi (president and CEO of Mercy Medical Center), Andrea Scassa (member of the Massillon City Council), Chuck Maier (former Massillon councilman and brother of Clerk of Courts Johnnie A. Maier, Jr and Safety Service Director George Maier), Greg Hawk (Canton councilman and former employee of Johnnie A. Maier, Jr.), William J. Smuckler (former Canton councilman running against Richard Regula for a commissioner's seat), and Ken Koher (Massillon's finance director and former Stark County treasurer).  Quite an impressive list, no?

But where are Johnnie A. Maier, Jr., Shane Jackson (Maier's "right-hand-man and political director of the Stark County Democratic Party), and, of course, Safety Service Director George Maier.

Do they really think that their absence from a published campaign contributor list obscures their controlling of the mayor factor?  Hmm?

No comments: