Friday, April 5, 2013


UPDATE:  11:10 AM

In the original blog today, Councilman Cole challenges Vassar Park resident Bruce Brewer:  I would ask you to contact other councilmembers as to why they have voted against legislation that would have brought over a million dollars in police funding?



The SCPR asked four of Canton's council members:  What is Cole talking about?

Responses from them:
From Councilman John Mariol, (Ward 7)

I believe he is referring to traffic cameras. 

From Councilman Kevin Fisher (Ward 5)

Redflex...he is stuck on repeat the mayor mode with the the Redflex is about cops & safety song and dance... I would think a better question is, is he claiming that the mayor intends to enter into an illegal negotiation by negotiating with CPPA for cadet pay, as cadets are not CPPA members?

From Councilman Edmond Mack (Ward 8)

Not sure.  Maybe red light cameras? ...

From Councilman Frank Morris (Ward 9)

LOL sure I do, he's referring to us voting no on the [R]edflex deal. Mr. Cole was one of the council members who felt that these cameras would have made the city over a million dollars.  ... .

Mariol, Fisher, Mack, Morris along with Cirelli (Democrat - at large), Hawk (Democrat - Ward 1) and Griffin (Democrat - Ward 3) voted "no" in a 7 to 5 no vote on Redflex on September 17, 2012.



Chronic Crime in Canton
Is Not Just a Canton Problem and
a Ward 9 Problem.
It is a Problem for Any Stark Countian
Who has Reason to Go To Canton!

If one wants to be the councilman to represent Canton's Ward 9, then one wouldn't think it is wise to get into a tiff with a Ward 9 resident, no?

Especially if that resident is Bruce Brewer who just happens to be president of the Vassar Park Neighborhood Association.

Apparently, Brewer is ticked off big time with Councilman Joe Cole (a Democrat - currently councilman-at-large) who got hoodwinked by Canton city treasurer candidate Mary Cirelli (a Democrat) into running for Ward 9 councilman (against incumbent Democrat Frank Morris) because he thought Cirelli was running for reelection as a councilman at large and therefore he could not win one of the three seats open on November's ballot (the other two being Democrats Bill Smuckler and Jimmy Babcock).

Ticked off about what?

Cole's having, as finance committee chairman, pulled January legislation to increase the starting salary Canton policemen (now at $26,000 versus Akron's which ranges from $42,000 to $49,000).

In a series of back and forth emails shared by Brewer with the SCPR it is clear that Brewer and presumably his Vassar Park friends are miffed at what Cole did and are not buying his explanation.

Sitting Ward 9 councilman Frank Morris has to loving every minute of Cole trying to do political damage control over Canton's policing policy which Cole had a direct hand in.

For anyone who has been at a Canton City Council meeting of late has to know that dealing with the crime problem is far and away the number one issue in the Hall of Fame city these days.

Here is the back and forth (reconstructed by The Report for readability) between Brewer and Cole.

Mr. Cole.

I will now redirect my previous question to you, as I was unaware of how your actions to stop the legislation from coming to a vote by removing it from the agenda.

But in my opinion this was worse than a no vote, I now understand that the starting salary was for a cadet was at one time $32,000 but was reduced to $26,000 so the mayor could hire more officers for Canton.

Where are all the Officers?

Crime is running rampant in the city and yet we sit [idly] by and do nothing.
I did not take the time to see what section of our fair city that you live in and I hope it's safe for you. - But ours is not!

So maybe you will be able to respond to the question now that we have our facts are correct.


Subject: Re: police protection

To: "Brewer Bruce" ... .

Date: Tuesday, April 2, 2013, 8:48 AM

Mr. Brewer,
Just received your emails, was having some email tech. difficulties. Would love to sit down with you or talk over the phone to discuss the matter.



I think just explaining in an e- mail would do the trick, because I have a pretty good idea why a person pulls a item from an agenda mostly so it can't be voted on by all parties concerned.

But WHY??   no ones voice can be heard. I work with My Neighborhood Association [as] President and no one has ever asked me to pull any voting materials from a agenda. nor would I.



Subject: Re: police protection

To: "Brewer Bruce" ... .

Date: Wednesday, April 3, 2013, 11:31 AM

Mr. Brewer
Very well.  But it seems like you already have made upyour mind.  However, the explanation is as follows:
The Mayor killed that bill, because regardless of the outcome he was going to veto it. The Police Union and the Mayor had already agreed to discuss this issue when the wage negotiations reopened.
I would ask you to contact other [councilmembers] as to why they have voted against legislation that would have brought over a million dollars in police funding?
I don't make promises I cannot keep and I don't make promises for endorsements. Sorry.
Also, for future reference, I live in Ward 9, 1402 27th St. NE 44714.  I am also [a]ffected by the crime rates.

I have a daughter that is a year and a half old and I am very concerned for her safety along with that of every other resident as well.
Good Day,


From: Brewer Bruce ...

Subject: Re: police protection


Date: Wednesday, April 3, 2013, 1:54 PM


Well then the Mayor should have been able just to veto it. [A]nd then you and I would NOT be having this conversation now would we?

Another Question, [I] received your flier today and it [lets] one think you have been a ward councilman all along, or am [I] just reading it wrong[?]
Vassar Park residents are taking the lead in forcing Canton's Mayor Healy administration to beef up the capability of Canton policing.

The participating residents who have dubbed themselves "Group 175" (which is their goal for CPD strength [up from the present 150) have published a report showing that for the four day period of March 29th (2013) through this past Monday (April 1st, but these numbers are not April Fools numbers) there have been 39 very serious crimes committed in Canton with ONLY four arrests.

Group 175 is also handing out to every Cantonian they come in contact with the following chart showing that when Canton (in 2007) was at 175 police officers, there were nearly 1,000 more arrests than there are at the present 144 officers (soon-to-be 150).

Indications are that Group 175 will only get the Canton PD to 175 officers is if THEY COME UP WITH THE $ to finance the increase.

So city officials have been saying publicly and privately.

But increasing the numbers of policemen is not the only quest of Group 175 and a group of councilmen, including Cole's opponent Frank Morris.

They see police officers being paid a competitive salary to nearby analogous (in terms of working high crime districts) cities like Akron ($42,000 to $49,000) as being key to obtaining and retaining the very best in police professionalism.

Accordingly, the Vassar Park folks have joined Councilpersons Cirelli, Fisher, Hawk, Mack, Mariol and Morris in pushing for a pay increase for police cadets (who are not union members until they get certified which is usually a year of so after being hired) and, as a follow on, when they become certified officers.

For Councilman Cole to have deep sixed the proposed legislation (or blaming his withdrawing the legislation from the agenda back in January on his political ally, the mayor) is not helping his effort to unseat Morris.

The fact of the matter is likely that if Cole had any chance to unseat Morris, his January act and his trying to justify it to Brewer "is not going to play in Peoria err Vassar Park and, indeed, the entire 9th Ward.

So on top of his planting of campaign signs suggesting (in the opinion of some Cantonians) to the unawares that he is the sitting 9th Ward councilman rather than the actual councilman who is Frank Morris, you now have the above-described email exchange (re:  getting cadet police salaries to a competitive level) with Brewer in which he:
  1. seemingly blames Mayor Healy, and
  2. suggests that the money is not available from city finances (reference:  "I don't make promises I cannot keep and I don't make promises for endorsements. Sorry.")
Lest the readers of the SCPR think the matter of adequate and effective policing is just a matter for 9th Ward members or residents of Canton at large, think again.

Canton is the county seat of Stark County.

Many of us who living in Stark County's outlying villages, cities, unincorporated areas (townships) have reason to go to Canton for various and sundry reasons:
  • some of us to work (as in "being gainfully employed"),
  • some of us for government service matters/issues/meetings,
  • some of us for shopping,
  • some of us for entertainment (e.g. the Canton Charge, Arts In Stark, high school sporting events, the Canton Art Museum, et cetera),
  • some of us to visit places like the McKinley Museum, the Professional Football Hall of Fame, the National First Ladies Libriary and other touristy attractions which also draw Stark Countians, or
  • some of us simply go to Canton to visit our relatives and friends who live there
In many ways Canton getting a grip on its rampant crime problem is a Stark County issue.

Accordingly, 9th Ward contest between Cole and Morris has ramifications far greater than just affecting only the nine wards of the city.

All Stark Countians have a stake in the outcome of this race and in a sense the participating Vassar Park residents (Group 175) are speaking for all of us who travel to Canton and whose very personal safety may be at stake.

Moreover, this blog has not up to this point addressed the likely reality that all the Canton officialdom (i.e. the Healy administration and Healy's councilmantic friends: Babcock, Dougherty, Griffin, Smith and West) hoopla about economic development is pretty much a non-starter unless and until the administration and council solve Canton's crime problem.

Right now, who in their right mind, would move to the apartments being developed at the old Hercules Engine Plant with the aid of $3 million (as a loan) in Canton taxpayer money?

Rather than making excuses, Councilman Cole (for 3-1/2 years now) needs to be offering solutions.

Morris is acting with independent minded cohorts on council to come up with solutions.

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