MAYOR HEALY IS BACK ON TRAFFIC CAMERAS
On September 17, 2012, Mayor William J. Healy, II of Canton seemed to suffered a fatal blow to his hopes to bring Redflex traffic cameras to downtown Canton.
The SCPR wrote on the 18th (LINK) "[l]ast night's council action was an outright defeat for the mayor."
But was it? Is this 3rd try at Redflex headed to the "dead letter office?"
Call it getting "a foot in the door," "a trojan horse," or whatever but Healy is proving again that he a "never-say-die" politician.
And somehow he is consistently able to maintain a group of loyalists at his side to keep him politically alive. In this instance, witness his hold on Councilpersons West, Smith (Ward 4), Dougherty (Ward 6), Babcock (at-large) and Cole (at-large).
In the long run, knowing this mayor and how pugnacious he is; he never, ever is going to give up on any issue. Even if it is clear that most Cantonians do not want what he is offering up. That's how much ego this man is consumed with.
EXAMPLES OF HEALY WORK-AROUNDS
When it became apparent that his plan to interest oil/gas drillers into fracking (a controversy to a number of citizens and councilpersons) on Canton owned lands was not going to make it through council, he withdrew it and went back to the drawing board.
Mark the SCPR's word; in time Healy will be back. His ego simply will not allow him to be bested by anyone.
When it became apparent in August of this year that Healy's plan to dismantle the "independent" Canton Board of Park Commissioners (which has be around for nearly 100 years) was not going over with council and many in the electorate, he withdrew the proposal. (Reference: see Canton to seek levy for parks, Ed Balint, The Repository, November 28, 2012)
End of story?
Not on your life! Not with the "my way or the highway" Healy!!
It appears that he now has commandeered the Canton Recreational Services Coalition (CRSC) which was started about two years ago considering ways and means to possibly merge the Canton Parks and the Canton Joint Recreational District.
The SCPR thinks so.
He has his main man administrative assistant Derek Gordon serving as "interim assistant park director" and Healy himself has led the discussion with the CRSC (undoubtedly made up of those committed to doing his bidding) to get it to promote putting a levy on at next May's primary election towards getting funding together to provide the finances for his outflank council move.
The eventual goal: merge the recreation and park functions of Canton into an entity controlled by the mayor of Canton.
And for anyone who knows Healy, it would be a big mistake to count him out on reaching his goal.
This guy is a political Houdini who has demonstrated that "a cat with nine lives" has nothing over him.
WILL HE BE SUCCESSFUL ON THE TRAFFIC CAMERAS?
Here is what Fisher had to say to a SCPR inquiry about West's effort as specifically whether or not the 7 to 5 "no" will hold this coming Monday's council meeting.
I have every confidence that the Redflex contract will be defeated by the 7 to 5 margin, if not by a wider one. Despite the rebranding of the contract as a "Pilot Program", this is the same vote that was held a mere couple of months ago and in my frequent discussions with my colleagues on city council, I have seen zero indications that anyone has flip flopped on the issue since then.
I did not attend the sales pitch given by Reflex Tuesday evening. As I said when I was invited, that my presence would merely be a waste of my and everyone else's time. I am absolutely opposed to red light/speed cameras at every level and there is no sales pitch that Redflex could make to overcome my constitutional and philosophical objections. Furthermore, I do not feel that Redflex as a company is the type of vendor that Canton should consider doing business with (see their long history of suing their municipal "partners") even if I did not hold such objections.
The people of Canton are absolutely opposed to these cameras and recognize them as nothing more than a "cash grab" and their council has rejected them twice in 3 years. I look forward to voting against them again and putting this issue to bed for good. I think 3 "bites at the apple" are plenty for the proponents of Redflex and once we reject them for the third time, we should consider the topic dead.
It has been talked for some time now that Healy is tiring of the mounting rancor he faces from week to week in the hubbub of Canton politics and governance and is looking to move on to a venue more fitting of a man of his political talents.
In a direct question put to him by the SCPR on his looking to move on, he has not denied that he is indeed surveying the field of possibilities.
While The Report thinks he has the "cloak and dagger" political skills and other oily qualities needed to succeed at a higher level, yours truly thinks it would be a mistake for voters to carry him to a higher level.
Why, you ask?
Though many of the folks who staff elective offices across Ohio and the nation are not Sunday School teacher types, it seems to The Report that Mayor Healy is over-the-top in terms of his ego and Canton government and politics should be his last stop on the political trail.
The nightmares "for the people" need to stop!!!