Tuesday, January 8, 2013


The only question is whether or not Massillon Safety Director George T. Maier has maintained his credentials so as to be qualified to be Stark County sheriff.

That is what Canton Mayor Healy told yours truly at last night's Canton City Council meeting.

Healy says that his safety director, Tom Ream, is qualified.

But Healy concedes that if Maier is qualified and wants to be sheriff that brother Johnnie (former Stark County Democratic Party chairman and probably still the man to be reckoned with as the "real" power in a behind the scenes sense) has the political clout to make it a reality.

The Stark County Political Report believes, despite his denials to the contrary, that Healy would like to be a dominant player in Stark County Democratic Party politics.

For that to happen, Maier would have to decide he has had his fill of politics.  Who believes that is likely to happen anytime soon?

The man eats, drinks, sleeps and dreams politics. He'd probably be a cop on the beat or a mental health worker if it were not for his good fortune that former state Rep. Red Ash ran into personal difficulties in 1989/1990 making Maier a person being in the right place at the right time in November, 1990.

While no one in Stark County has the individual political skills that Healy has, he does not have the far reaching and long term connections that Maier has.  

It is truly amazing that he has been able to survive one problem after another, after another, after another.

He is a guy that is resilient as they come.  Just when it appears that he put himself between a rock and a hard place, he somehow finds a soft landing.

One has to wonder whether or not - going back far enough - he has blood ties to Bill Clinton.

Ream becomes the choice only if Maier is unqualified or is qualified but does not want to be sheriff.

Healy sees nobody but Ream or Maier emerging as serious contenders to be sheriff from any field of candidates that the Stark County Democratic Party Central Committee considers later this month or sometime in February.

And the SCPR thinks Healy is right on the mark on this one.

While Stark County Sheriff Tim Swanson has something to say in whom will be the next sheriff, The Report gets the impression from Swanson that either would be just fine by him.

Swanson says he doesn't care about the political thing.  However, he did not become sheriff and the staying power he has enjoyed without being appropriately political.

However, the SCPR believes that the Stark County sheriff's department will step up in politicization if either Healy or Maier is "behind the scenes" in terms of being the political sponsor of the new sheriff.

Certainly it is more difficult to impose a political litmus test on who would be deputy sheriffs than it used to be.

One thing The Report believes either Ream or George Maier as sheriff will expect of existing deputies and new hires is personal loyalty.  One way or another that will be communicated to the deputy force and such has the makings of evolving to the point of taking on a political dynamic to it.

That folks is a dangerous thing when it comes to policing.

Behind the scenes politicking and policing are not a good mix!

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