UPDATE: 09062012 AT 3:45 PM
See additional footage just added to video.
THE SET UP
Yesterday's Stark County commissioners' meeting had an interesting twist to it.
Commissioner Janet Creighton was fresh off returning from the Republican National Convention. As he oft times does, Commissioner Tom Bernabei (a Democrat) made a bizzare introduction to the meeting.
He and Creighton often banter back and forth on the fact that she is a staunch Republican and he a pretty solid Democrat.
Politics aside, the SCPR sees Creighton and Bernabei as the most accomplished and the most respected members of their respective political parties in Stark County.
Many Stark County Democrats crossed over and voted for Creighton when she defeated former Jackson township trustee and Stark County commissioner (appointed by the Stark County central committee to replace Tom Harmon) Steve Meeks.
Creighton has built up a positive impression with Stark Countians, no matter what their underlying political preference might be. She has served as Stark County recorder, Stark County auditor and mayor of heavily Democratic Canton. Beyond that she even has served a stint in the George Bush White House.
Democrat Tom Bernabei, on the other hand, has enjoyed most of his political success in the Democratic stronghold of Canton. He has been elected as a Canton councilman, Canton law director (many times over) and served as Creighton successor and Democratic mayor William J. Healy, II's chief of staff.
The only blemish on Creighton's political run was her loss to Healy as she sought a second term in November, 2007.
In a non-electoral context, Bernabei's only political blemish was his being fired by Healy as chief-of-staff when he dared to differ with the mayor on policies, practices and procedures of the administration.
While he narrowly became Stark County commissioner (the SCPR believes Jackson trustee James Walters would have won if an independent candidate had not been in the race), the fact of the matter is that he did win and therefore can say that he has never lost a political race.
Beyond their respective election records, both Creighton and Bernabei are widely respected by Stark Countians (regardless of political affiliation) and therefore they became the ideal candidates to heal the loss of public confidence in Stark County government coming out of the Vince Frustaci (one time chief deputy Stark County treasurer) theft of Stark County taxpayer dollars which came to light in April, 2009.
While the-then Stark County treasurer (Gary Zeigler) was not implicated in the theft, most political observers believe that the Stark County public developed a perception that proper safeguarding procedures, policies and structures had not been implemented by Zeigler and other county officials to have prevented the theft in the first place.
Accordingly, Stark County government suffered from "trust-deficit-disorder" and needed emergency room-esque politico/medico attention.
With their election in 2010, Bernbei and Creighton have pretty much proved that their taking office have been "what a political doctor" would have ordered for what ailed Stark County government.
All of the foregoing is background and a pathway to the political fun that Bernabei and Crieghton engage in sporadically during the course of Stark County commissioner meetings.
It is usually Bernabei who initiates the political frolicking.
And, just as an aside, Bernabei is known to inject humor in his unique Bernabei-style in a completely non-political vein in back and forths with those who appear before the commissioners on a weekly basis.
So it is a treat for those of us who attend weekly commissioner meetings to anticipate "what is next" coming from Commissioner Bernabei.
Back to yesterday.
Watch this video. What a hoot, no?