Monday, March 25, 2013


UPDATED 03/26/2013 AT 8:00 AM



Bruce Nordman
Canton City Council on Jail Beds
March 4, 2013 


Stark Co. Commissioners
"Award to Commissioners"
Getting Canton to 175 Police Officers
March 20, 2013


Councilman Joe Cole
Canton Policing
His "Popsickle Stick Index" 
October 19, 2009 


Mayor William J. Healy, II
Defining Zero Tolerance
June 6, 2011   
For two elections now Cantonians have bought into what the SCPR thinks has been Mayor William J. Healy, II's ongoing political scam on solving the Hall of Fame city's rampant crime problem.

The scam?

Zero Tolerance Crime in Canton!

That's it, folks!!

The SCPR wrote an incisive blog on June 7, 2011 (a must read as a refresher for The Report's readers - LINK)

It appears to the SCPR that Canton's citizens are finally wising up to what The Report believes to have been a political ruse and are about to - re: the Healy administration and some Healy-aligned-members of Canton City Council - call checkmate on the chess-like stratagem called Zero Tolerance.

If he really had the smarts that he thinks he has, the mayor should have figured out three weeks ago that "the gig was up" on his: it amounts to a  political rhetoric only Zero Tolerance.

In his State of the City message of March 14th, Healy feigned that he was dealing with the police shortage problem in announcing that he was adding 14 new police to the Canton force.

But even that announcement was a "smoke and mirrors" exercise because in the end, in working through retirements and other personnel adjustments, the Healy administration is likely to be adding a half-a-dozen or so officers perhaps to as high as a police force of 150. 

The SCPR believes that civic activists Nordman and friends are committed to - not as a matter of political rhetoric - but as a matter of reality to make Canton zero tolerant of crime and thereby begin to restore Canton to her former greatness.

It appears to the SCPR that the Vassar Park folks have thrust themselves into a lead role in actually solving Canton's crime problem in a multifaceted approach.

Their number of approaches appear to be expanding as the activists get more understanding of the dimension, scope, and factors at play in their grappling with the problem too much crime in Canton.

So far they have a three-pronged program of action, to wit:
  • Get the jail fully utilized at 501 beds,
    • The Healy administration has used the underutilization as an excuse for continued unacceptable level of crime in Canton
  • Get the police manpower levels up to 175 officers,
    • Note:  Focus on the decline in numbers of officers/number of arrests in the Healy years as mayor.  Accordingly to Healy, Canton is less crime infested than with 33 less officers in the Creighton administration:  who will believe that?
  • Get the quality of the CPD higher by offering competitive wages in relation to other area police department
    • Healy administration opposes ordinance to raise beginning officers' pay
These folks are not politicians.  Mayor Healy is.  Who do you trust to make zero tolerance of crime in Canton anywhere near becoming the actual state of affairs in the city?

On March 4, 2013, Bruce Nordman appeared before Canton City Council and got on Council and the Healy administration to do something in the way of getting the Stark County sheriff to bring the county jail capacity up to full utilization at 501 beds.  On the 4th about 400 beds were in use.

Here see Nordman in action.

That particular Nordman initiative was an easy one for council to dispose of inasmuch as they have no say in how the Stark County jail is run.

Of course, every public official at the council meeting was sympathetic and supportive but powerless in terms of correcting the deficiency.

The following day Nordman appeared at the regular weekly meeting of the Stark County commissioners.

At that meeting he succeeded in getting the commissioners to bring the sheriff in the following week for some answers.

The result?

On March 13th, Sheriff George Maier (an appointee of Stark County Democratic Party) under bizarre circumstances (i.e. told a local reporter before the meeting about his decision to increase bed space before telling the commissioners, an omission he later apologized for), jacked up the bed use to 450 beds.

Interestingly enough during the meeting itself (after having already made the decision to go to 450 beds [unbeknownst to anyone other than the reporter) that it would take months to get to the 501 level.


Pretty impressive that Nordman could get action so soon, no?

Again, the point is that if Healy is so bright he should have figured out that he would be next in Nordman's sights.

Here is an extract from Canton City Council minutes of what Nordman said on March 18th which should have been a heads up to Healy, to wit:
Good evening....good evening, my name is Bruce Nordman. I reside at 1623 Logan Avenue, NW. Good evening to Council President and the Mayor. A belated thank you also to the Council... to the Council Members.

This evening I’m coming before you because I would like to talk about police ranks as it relates to crime in the City.

At the end of this meeting we are going to pass out the crimes as they have gone from 2,400 with a strength of 175 Police Officers to about 1,600 last year. We would ask that you give this some study.

We’ll be back next week and would be looking for your answer.
Again, I thank you for your time and interest.  (emphasis added)
Afterwards Nordman tells the SCPR that Council President Allen Schulman told him:
  1. To marshal his forces (i.e. the Vassar Park folks) to get the Ohio Legislature to provide adequate local government funding to the likes of Canton so that the city has the funding to bring on more policemen, and
  2. To look at the city budget and come up with a plan of his own whereby monies would be available to hire more policemen

On Schulman's item #1, take a good look at this goody. 

Can you believe it?

Canton's representative - Democrat Stephen Slesnick - to the Ohio House of Representatives is going to be in Akron tonight after having been asked back in February by Councilman Schulman to come to Canton City Council to explain the state funding cuts.

The SCPR has asked Slesnick's office when he is going to be appearing before Canton City Council.

Guess what?  No response.

He can't answer the Stark County-based Stark County Political Report nor Canton City Council, but he can appear in Akron.

Now if Slesnick's insult to Canton and Stark County is not enough for Cantonians to find another state representative come next year's Democratic primary, then nothing is, no?

On Schulman's item #2, Nordman tells the SCPR that "Hell will freeze over first" (the SCPR's interpretation; not Nordman's actual words) before he takes on the job of the administration and/or council members.

Tonight look for Nordman to tell council and the Healy administration such in his three minutes before council.

Healy et al should take Bruce Nordman very seriously.

A quote: "The gauntlet is down.  We intend to pursue this aggressively (i.e. the increase of the Canton police force to 175 officers). 

The day after his appearance at Canton City Council on the increase of police strength (to 175 officers), he was back to the commissioners with a Canton Citizens Award to Commissioners Bernabei, Creighton and Regula and to ask them to help in applying pressure on Canton City Council and Mayor Healy to get the Canton police force up to 2007 levels, the year Healy was elected as mayor. (emphasis added)

As Nordman sees it, for Stark County to be a safe community to which businesses are likely to be attracted, it is of critical importance that Canton get its crime problem under control.

Here is Nordman's full presentation at the Stark County commissioners meeting last Wednesday.

(Note - video includes the commissioners' response and also including remarks/inquiry by Vassar resident Bret Moore):

The SCPR completely agrees with Nordman.

For Stark County to thrive economically, the first order of business is for the county seat to be relatively crime free.

An ancillary issue to this citizen group call for an increase in police department strength is the matter of the pay that new police officers get.

It is absolutely ridiculous.

Entry pay in Canton is $26,000 per year (which becomes $33,000 when a hiree becomes certified generally a year or so later; an experienced police officer hires in at $33,000).  This according to Sam Sliman who is Canton's civil service director.

Also, last Monday Nordman colleague Bruce Brewer said this:
Yes, my name is Bruce Brewer. I reside at 1520 Harvard Avenue NW in Canton, Ohio.

Ladies and gentlemen of Canton City Council, it has come to our attention that the beginning wages for the new recruits for the City of Canton is so low that candidates applying for the spot and...and trained by the City of Canton would seek employment in a different County or different City.

We are asking Council to re look at the starting wage for the new officers. We sit here at City Council, the average wage being $17,000.00 for a part time job. We ask our Police Officers as a new recruit to strap on a weapon and...and go throughout the City of Canton and put their lives in danger, whether it be a girl or a man for $24,000.00
[SCPR Note:  actually $26,000] a year.   ... .
Guess what it is in Akron?

$42,390 TO $49,504.

Well, if you were going to lay your life on the line which would be the more attractive pay incentive?

And guess what?

The politicized zero tolerance mayor is resisting a move by about half of Canton City Council to raise the pay for new officers.

It is stuff like the lowering of the numbers of policemen on the street and their pay level which tell a good part of the commitment or lack thereof of Canton officials to zero tolerance.

Councilman Joe Cole (a Democrat) is in particular, in the opinion of the SCPR, a political hypocrite.

Below is a video of Cole when he was running for Canton council-at-large (he is running against fellow Democrat Frank Morris in the 9th Ward) back in 2009 had to say about his commitment to policing in Canton.

On October 19, 2009 at a community forum for candidates seeking office Cole made the interesting observation that he observed that it would be community activists who would solve Canton's problems.

Moreover, it is ironic that he (at-large and Finance Committee chairman) and Councilman Griffin (Democrat - 3rd Ward) were the Healy administration's point men on council to kill a request in January of this year by Members Cirelli, Fisher, Hawk, Mack, Mariol and Morris that Canton get competitive in attracting quality applicants for its police force.

Here is the October, 2009 Cole video with him speaking on policing issues and in particular his Popsickle Stick Index of Safety:  "It is an unacceptable standard of safety in which a child cannot be allowed to go to a neighborhood store for a popsickle."

Even if the rest of council opposed the measure, Council President Allen Schulman would have had the deciding vote and thereby could have helped that Canton do the right thing in terms of making the beginning salary attractive enough that the very best candidates would apply to become a Canton policeman.

The SCPR believes that Schulman would side with the proposers of the change.

Schulman has a history of putting his money where his mouth is.

And this proposed legislation provides him an opportunity to do so.

Leader Dougherty needs to revive the effort and thereby provide a vote opportunity which will show who on council cares about the quality of Canton's police force and who does not.

The SCPR ends this blog with the video of Mayor Healy on June 6, 2011 defining zero tolerance and the Canton effort at zero tolerance.

As far as The Report is concerned, this presentation is a political performance.  And note the soon-to-be-resigned safety director (Thomas Ream) nodding his head in full agreement with the mayor.  No wonder Canton's crime footprint has in reality grown larger notwithstanding Healy's protestation to the contrary.

LINK to prior blog showing Canton crime rate as being 4 on a scale of 100 with 100 being a completely safe city.

And to further show his commitment (sarcasm) to effective Canton policing only this past week announced that Canton would no longer have a full time safety director for the next six to 12 months.

Warren Price is a capable city official.  However, there is no way he can be an effective service director, chief-of-staff, safety director, and annexation director all-at-one-time.

No way!

To the SCPR, Mayor William J. Healy,II has by his downgrading of the numbers of Canton police on the street, supporting a non-competitive salary, and going to a part-time safety director and thereby overburdening Price shows his true stripes.

The SCPR believes Healy's zero tolerance political rhetoric is a political scam on the people of Canton and, moreover, anyone who has an occasion to be in Canton, either as a resident or to visit to do social, cultural, government or business activities, has their personal safety hanging in the balance on the outcome of the good work of the Vassar Park residents.

These folks live in the heart of Canton.  Mayor William J. Healy, II lives out on 52nd Street.

Not quite the same vulnerability to the effects of crime, no?

If one lives on 52nd Street, it is easier to game zero tolerance for political purposes, no?

1 comment:

Kathy O. said...

Thank you for your unwavering effort to bring Stark County and Canton City government news and background issues to the rest of us. We all owe you a significant debt of gratitude.