Friday, August 3, 2012
ON THE WRONG SIDE OF MAYOR KATHY CATAZARO-PERRY: FORGET GETTING AN ANSWER TO YOUR MASSILLON CITY GOV'T QUESTIONS?
A primary factor that voters should check out when considering who to vote for in any given election is the candidate's sense of personal security (i.e. being confident in oneself) in terms of whether or not she/he is willing to answer tough questions.
Recently, Mitt Romney campaign spokesman Rick Gorka, when media following Romney on his recent visit to Poland besieged him with questions, told them to “Kiss my ass, this is a holy site for the Polish people. Show some respect."
Gorka later apologized and said that his conduct was inappropriate.
And that's all well and good, but that attitude is all too common with political figures and public officials (elected and unelected) when it is not convenient for them for them to field questions.
Lest we think that the affliction is at the national political/public figure level only, think again.
Stark County and its political subdivisions have a number of political personages and public officials who take the same tack attitude-wise when asked questions not to their liking, or if the questioner is likely to ask tough questions, the answers to which might embarrass or show an out-of-touchness.
A front and center example of such a person is Massillon's Mayor Kathy Catazaro-Perry.
The Report's take on the new Massillon mayor is that she is so insecure in her knowledge of city government operations or in formulating answers to the problems which plague the city that her ego will not allow her to be abide questions that might betray her deficiencies.
Never mind that she had eight years as councilwoman to get fully schooled in Massillon operations, figure out where the problems are, and be up and ready to go if and when she was ever elected mayor to propose specific solutions to resolve the city's troubles.
Rather that do that, she instead has chosen to let others (i.e. the Johnnie A. Maier, Jr faction of the Massillon Democratic Party) feed her with a prepared script to communicate with the Massillon public when she has no other choice.
An interesting thing about Maier and his sidekick Shane Jackson (the latter of whom the SCPR believes to have been the "anonymous" [a profile in courage, no?] poster of the Massillon Review), is how it appears to The Report that the blog unwittingly shared with the general public an inside look into the thinking going on in the Maier/Jackson et al political strategizing and tactical approach creation for Catazaro-Perry.
In late April or early May yours truly appeared on a local talk radio show and shared the "inside look" observation.
Guess what? The last blog publication date of the blog (according to a Google search) as of the writing of this blog was May 10th.
Because Catazaro-Perry did not advantage herself with ample opportunity and time to prepare, the mayor appears to know that she cannot handle incisive questioning and consequently blows off anyone who poses a question - the answer to which she has not been cleared with the Maier faction.
The mayor can refuse to answer questions and her supporter(s) can ramp down a telltale blog, but there are alternative sources for information about the inner workings of the administration.
It is strange indeed that someone who is on the public payroll receiving taxpayer dollars doing the work of a chief executive officer of a unit of Ohio government thinks she has a right to only answer questions she pre-approves in terms of the question, and, in terms of who the questioner is.
Residents of Massillon can do as Mayor Catazaro-Perry beckons: "E-mail the Mayor."
And if the questions are benign enough or if you contributed to and/or worked on her campaign or are otherwise perceived to be a political friend, then the e-mailer is likely to get an answer.
However, if there is a hint of critique in the question(s) posed or if the questioner is known for tough questions; forget getting an answer.
For heavens sake, one should not think a impromptu question can be asked her (outside official proceedings) and to expect an answer, that is, unless you have proven to her satisfaction and her handlers' satisfaction you are a friend of Kathy and, even then, a response may well have to wait vetting of the question(s) by George, Johnnie, Shane or any of a number of members of the Maier-led faction.
Go ahead e-mail the Mayor.
But whether or not you get a response will depend if it is deemed friendly or critical and/or whether or not you are a persona grata or non-grata in the minds of those who are minders of the mayor.