Wednesday, December 12, 2012


The political sniping has begun!

The SCPR, from many decades of life experience, knew that it was inevitable that the activism and energy of a group of Canton councilmen whom The Report has affectionately dubbed as "the four young turks" (Fisher, Ward 5; Mack, Ward 8; Mariol, Ward 7 and Morris, Ward 9) would draw the attention of those whom have not been all that effective in solving Canton's longstanding problems.

The Report believes that a line of inquiry at Monday night's council meeting initiated by Councilwoman Chris Smith (Ward 4) on the availability of a downpayment subsidy for those who want to locate in Canton's surplus housing was a tip-off that the inquiry is, perhaps, indicative that there is a sub rosa discussion underway among oppositional circles within Canton City Council, with contribution from the Healy administration, on finding ways to rope in the straying councilmen.

Joining Smith (by happenstance, of course) in the indirect criticism of the Ward 5, 7, 8 and 9 councilmen, was Ward 2 Councilman Tom West.

It was a weird sort discussion that involved, in turn, Smith (to start), then Mariol, then West and then Mack in sort of a zigzag line and finally Councilwoman Mary Cireilli (at-large) defending her fellows from 5, 7, 8 and 9.

Smith obliquely approached what The Report believes to be the real issue:  What are these councilmen doing banding together, just the four of them, to lay a foundation for finding solutions for Canton's decaying neighborhoods in partnership with the people?

Cutting through all the crap, The Report  believes that is where she and West were heading.

Take a look at this little "dog and pony show" (so, The Report thinks) put on by Smith and West.

Judge for yourself.

Please note that Smith's apparent "mask question" asked of Community Development Director Fonda Williams was, in effect:  "Doesn't Canton already have the ability to subsidize the downpayment money to those who want to buy redeveloped/rehabbed property in the city?

It so happens that the idea of a downpayment subsidy was discussed at some length by Fisher, Mack, Mariol and Morris at their joint townhall meeting of December 5th.

But it seems to The Report that there was just a tad of dissembling going on by Smith, West and their "silent" allies.

So, whose bright idea was this to, by insinuation and in misdirection, to start a "below the radar" campaign against the collaborative effort of the four?

The Report believes that Mayor William J. Healy, II is the "behind the scenes" person.

His objective?

Yours truly thinks: to create just enough turmoil (a divide and conquer strategy) to make Fisher, Mack, Mariol and Morris back off their scrutinizing of his poorly thought schemes of government and to back off their aggressive and proactive search for effective and enduring solutions for what ails Canton.

They have been a primary force is making him retreat from several legislative initiatives and you can bet that this man MBAed by the New York University Stern School of Business is not liking it one bit!

The Report thinks he will do what he has to in order to come out on top.

And there is precedent for Healy trying to put others up to doing his dirty work.  It could be that the tools of Healy's effort are not even aware of how they are being manipulated.

Does anyone doubt that as Canton's chief executive that Healy (given his grandiose view of himself), in his heart of hearts, thinks he and his administration is the only legitimate authority to deal with Canton's overwhelming problems?

However, Healy has one huge chore in trying to sell that notion to Cantonians.

Notwithstanding his having been mayor for five full years, Canton is not making headway in solving its problems.  Many think Canton is sliding more quickly and deeper into an abyss of no return than ever before.

Healy undoubtedly sees that if allowed to show success, the four newer council members will put him on the sidelines looking on.

Anyone who knows Hizzoner has to know that being on the sidelines is not a option for him.

So we shall see what kind of determination that Fisher, Mack, Mariol and Morris have.

All they have done so far is to start meeting with their constituents on a regular and sustained basis and in doing so they are raising eyebrows.

And for the four to have come together on December 5th for a mass meeting, wow!  The raised eyebrows appear now to have been converted into clanging alarm bells.

If they actually get some "redeem Canton" solutions up and running and showing effectiveness restoring Canton into becoming a viable city, they "ain't seen nothing yet" in terms of the subterranean lighting and thunder that will began flashing to the surface.

It could be they will "get the message" and back off.  After all, they are elected officials likely with future political aspirations. Moreover, they are human beings.  And if they start producing results, the pressure to back off will ratchet up proportionally. 

If they do, then Canton loses perhaps its last chance to escape its inexorable destiny of political and governmental oblivion.

The Report looks for Healy to try to use the likes of West (Ward 2), Smith (Ward 4), Babcock (at-large) and Cole (at-large) in one fashion or another to stymie Fisher et al.

They already are pretty much in Healy's hip pocket.  But that is not enough to fire them up to do "in the trenches battle" with the insurgent councilmen.

Aha! (a finagler might think)

Who likes to standby and watch peers achieve what one has not been able to do him or herself?  Think that won't generate some passion?

Indeed, the recipe!  "Look, you are being shown up!!"

Go figure that one of the observations on Monday night was in effect a finger pointing at the four young turks as being a cause for concern as bringing division within council for actively pursuing solutions - just the four of them - for Canton's deep, deep problems.

Blame the victim, pure and simple!

Another telltale sign that an attack is underway?

As far as the SCPR is concerned, what is beginning to unfold has William J. Healy, II's hand written all over it.

For the future well being of generations of Cantonians, the question is: will these "can do councilmen" have the strength of character and personality to hold their ground in doing the right thing; not the politically expedient thing?

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