Monday, September 10, 2012


Democratic Massillon mayor Kathy Catzazaro-Perry is the darling of the poobahs of Stark County.

And, outside of Massillon and Stark County, she has held court with the likes of President Obama and former Governor Ted Strickland and heaven only knows who else in the political/governmental stratospheres.
Even top-tier Republicans among Stark County's social elite support and toady up to her.  Just look at her list of campaign finance contributors that show up for her 50th birthday bash back in June.  (LINK to prior blog detailing contributions).

Among the more curious credentials she self-advertises (LINK) on the City of Massillon website is her graduation from the Leadership Stark County Government Academy and Leadership Stark County Signature group.

Notwithstanding the biography grandstanding, Massillon is now in its ninth month of Catazaro-Perry leadership and the city finds itself bereft of effective executive leadership.

She says she is about new ideas and that she will tirelessly present them.  But, of course, "the proof is in the pudding."  Thus far the SCPR has heard very little, if anything, in terms of new ideas from the new mayor.

So is it that Catazaro-Perry is simply not made from the raw material of political/government leadership or is it that Leadership Stark County (a Canton Regional Chamber of Commerce project) is not all its cracked up to be in terms of preparing its students for leadership roles?

Kind of strange that a credentialed leader such as Mayor Catazaro-Perry cannot muster more than two votes from the body she served on for eight years (i.e. Massillon council) on what she says is a critically needed infusion of  revenues by way of reducing the income tax credit for Massillonians working outside of the city who pay income taxes to other villages or municipalities.

Last Monday she went down to yet another defeat on the issue and it appears that she can keep bringing the matter up "until the cows come home" and she will not win on this issue at the end of the day.

How so?

Because it appears to The Report that she is so accustomed to succeeding within protected environments that she apparently cannot adjust to the world of deliberative political environments.  Moreover, her closest advisers are power politics folks who cannot grapple with the reality that some people cannot be bulldozed in to doing her will.

On the other hand, check out Councilwoman Nancy Halter (Republican - Ward 2).

As far as the SCPR knows, Halter does not advertise herself as being a particularly credentialed person nor does she have a political power obsessed machine behind her.

She has served on council before for five years as a councilperson-at large.  But other than that, it seems that she is just an ordinary person (perhaps a person that owns a Nixonian "Republican cloth coat") who is out to save her community from blight, deterioration and inevitable decline.

While Catazaro-Perry has been an executive director, a director, a chairman, a member of several boards, a recipient of several distinguished awards, a hall of fame member and has two college degrees; Halter is a high school graduate who has mostly done her civic work in low-profile local political and community endeavors.

On the same night Catazaro-Perry suffered her latest defeat on the tax issue, Councilwoman Halter turned what appeared at one time to be "a death by a thousand cuts" legislative effort to make owners of Massillon neighborhood residences more accountable and trackable as Massillon's building code enforcer (William Kraft) sought council's assistance to get legislation with more teeth on the books to aid him in his effort.

The battle in Massillon council has been going on over the requested legislation for about three years.

Kraft is likely thanking his lucky stars that Halter was elected to council in November, 2011 over incumbent Gary Anderson.

Halter "the bull by the horns" not long after her election and worked tirelessly building bridges with other members of council to get the result she got on September 4th.  (LINK to prior blog

Maybe, just maybe, there is a lesson in the Halter example for Mayor Kathy Catazaro-Perry?

Massillon:  a city of champions?

Yes and Councilwoman Halter is a leading example of what a leadership champion is!

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