The election occurred on May 7th in which William J. Healy, II proxy Joe Cole (currently councilman-at-large) tried to oust incumbent Ward 9 Councilman Frank Morris, III from office.
While Cole would have preferred to maintain a safe seat as councilman-at-large (although he now says that Canton City Council should do away with the at-large seats [LINK]) but got hookwinked by Councilwoman-at-Large Mary Cirelli (LINK) into believing it was not so safe.
Cole's alternative (undoubtedly with the political counsel of Mayor Healy) was to run against Morris since Ward 9 is home to Cole. So what if a fellow Democrat and an incumbent was already in place? Hey, man - politics is politics. One does what one has to do to survive politically, no?
While the mayor tried to maintain pretenses (e.g. making equal contributions [$100] to each campaign. the SCPR for one is not buying. Joe Cole has been way too much of a Healy foot soldier (and Morris a frequent opponent) for such to be true. Plus, one of the mayor's chief supporters (David Kirven of Local 94, Plumbers and Pipefitters) was instrumental in raising upwards of $10,000, if not more, in the Ward 9 political imbroglio.
So with all that background, it was predictable that "political warfare" would break out between Healy and Morris over the Memorial Day weekend on Facebook.
On Sunday, the SCPR received this e-mail (recited, in part):
Hi MartinThe opening salvo: (the following are selected excerpts. For a full treatment of the overall discussion here is a Facebook LINK)
just wanted to give you a [possible] news tip
kinda of a fight going on today on the Canton, Ohio Ward 9 News & Views [Facebook] page today between Frank Morris and the Mayor and a few others chiming in
[here's] the address
Cyndi HofacreApparently, Mayor Healy trolls the Internet looking for anything that may reflect negatively on the work of his administration. So several hours after Hofacre's starter, here is the mayor weighing in:
Interesting article in Rep today about the blight in North Canton. Why is it that North Canton is proactive in dealing with these eyesores while Canton administration is not? Canton has ordinances but seems impotent when it comes to enforcement. May 20 at 4:41pm
William J. Healy II This was from decades of decay and lack of enforcing housing codes. While we have made a huge dent in the problem, there still is a tremendous amount of problem homes out there. We have improved our codes over the past few years and we are more effective today than in the past, we are still dealing with a problem that took decades to create. It will take years and years, and lots more money than we have to get to all the probem homes. However, 1000 homes demo'd is the most agressive clean-up program we have ever had in the city's history!
May 21 at 11:00pm
William J. Healy II PS: North Canton has a handful of homes that fall into this catagory... much easier to deal with than the thousands we have!Enter Councilman Frank Morris:
May 21 at 11:01pm
Frank Morris Everything in the City of Canton is reactive not proactive and when challenged as to why things aren't getting done. HA nothing but bullshit excuses. Sorry for the honesty it just slipped out. Saturday at 11:11amAnd the Healy/Morris fight is on:
William J. Healy II Didn't you just post that you are bringing the City's I.T. Director and Police Chief to your next Ward Meeting to share all the new technology and proactive projects with your residents? Saturday at 1:38pm
Frank Morris Yes I did however I wouldn't exactly call the new technolgy proactive. Shot Spotters is still not up and running, the Tips411 is reactive not proactive and after 12 complaints issued on the complaint system without resolution Not exactly jumping for joy yet. Saturday at 2:33pm
William J. Healy II We can always target other wards in the city with those new technologies if your not satisfied with our efforts! We have offered many new ideas, modern technologies, and different strategies that continue to find ways to address our city's problems. But all of them take money to implement. And even with our limited resources, we still continue to make positive improvements: hundreds of homes gone and hundreds more coming down this year, and crime IS dropping since the beds at the county jail are open again. Our monthly crime stats are down for 10 of the past 11 months and we are on pace for one of the lowest number of violent crimes our city has seen in the past thirty years if we continue at this rate. Our unemployment rate dropped by 50% in a two year period, nearly double the national rate of reduction! There are lots of very positive things happening here. You can look at the city's cup as half empty....or even less than half empty, I choose to look at our cup as half full, or having more in it today than before I got here. Yes, the city was a mess, and still is in many areas.... But we have made many improvements and will continue to do so as long as I am here. [emphasis added]
As elected officials, we should be promoting the positives while also fixing the problems to the best of our abilities and available resources. We (elected officials) need to be giving our citizens hope and a positive outlook about our city and its future if we want people to stay here and to attract more people to move into our city. If we are the ones complaining, who is solving the problems? And by they way, there are more positive things happening in Canton today than we have seen in years! Canton is moving forward and we should be celebrating our successes. (And we should never be blind to the fact that we still have many serious issues that we must be working on every day to continue moving in the right direction.)
Saturday at 5:54pm via mobile
Frank Morris I'll quote you " We can always target other wards in the city with those new technologies if your not satisfied with our efforts!" I will only say that this isn't the first time I have been threatened for speaking my mind and most likely won't be the last time. You may say crime is down and the statics may say crime is down. I can say that there was an armed robbery on 20th St NE, a home invasion on 23rd St NW and a drive by 17th ST NE. Your glass can be half full and you can celebrate your success! Ohhh and by the way it's my job as the ward 9 representative to make sure their glass is full, not half full or half empty. Saturday at 8:03pm (emphasis added)So while Frank Morris may have won a battle in winning the May 7th primary, readers should expect that the political war within the Canton wing of the Stark County Democratic Party will continue unabated.
After all, the mayor of Canton has friends in high places, to wit:
So what if Barack Obama decides to do a little checking on his friend William J. Healy, II by Googling his name on the Internet and happens to read on the Canton Democratic Party "Family Feud" going on?
Well, the mayor can't have it appear to the President that he is not in control of the locals, right?
So look for the Canton Democratic Party "Family Feud" to continue until the mayor accepts that Ward 9 pipsqueak (from Healy's vantage point) Frank Morris is not going to be under his control, no?