One should be careful indeed in latching onto any numbers that Democratic Canton Mayor William J. Healy, II (WJH-II) may through your way in making this or that argument in support of this or that program, policy or whatever that he wants to make in any given situation.
Apparently, a part of the mayor education at the New York University Stern School of Business was on "how to work the numbers."
At the end of May, Canton Repository reporter Matt Rink wrote a piece (Canton mayor changed tune on doom, gloom) which does a masterful job of documenting the trail of Healy being all over the place with this or that number depending upon what the mayor's objective has been.
According to the article, Canton (by the gospel of WJH-II) was facing a $4 million deficit a year ago, a multi-million dollar shortfall in October, 2012.
But wait a New York minute, by the time the New York educated number cruncher applied some Healy miracle-making-potion to the numerics, SURPRISE: Canton receives a financial blessing out of nowhere (reference Councilman's Hawk's "miracle of loaves and fishes" in Rink's piece) and shows a $3.5 million carryover from 2012 to 2013 in the recently Canton City Council passed budget.
So now, according to Healy, Canton is in the best financial shape it has been in the last five years.
Sounds like a back hand compliment to his predecessor Republican Janet Creighton in implying that Canton was in decent financial condition during her administration?
Well, that is not what he told yours truly in early 2008 at a Democratic Governor Ted Strickland visit to a Brewster business. Then it was: "Janet Creighton had left him a terrible mess" type talk.
Which is it Mayor Healy?
Did Creighton leave you with a mess or is it a sign of financial health and progress getting back to the Creighton standard?
Surprise? (i.e. the "miracle of loaves and fishes).
Not at all!
One should come to expect "about faces," "turning on a dime," and the like from Stark County's most eely politician in many a decade if not over the total existence of Canton since it first achieved corporate existence.
Canton Chief Deputy Auditor Gary Young said it best in describing Healy and his revenue/deficit machinations, to wit:
- he did not change his message when it had to be clear to him that alternative (counterbalancing Ohio's local government funding cuts) sources of revenue were filling in the void,
- “The only person saying that last year was the mayor. There was never any statement by the auditor’s office. ... We never believed it was true.”
- “Every time he talked about it [Canton finances] he only talked about what we were losing,”
The SCPR predicts that Cantonians are in for more finessing of the numbers by this mayor.
It is pure and simple to him like breathing is to the rest of us.
In Matt Rink's reporting of the:
- Where, and
Indeed there is "Danger Ahead" for anyone who would buy into Mayor Healy's "Cherry-Picking Data."
Ask the residents of Canton whether or not they feel safer when the mayor trots out his crime statistics?
What was that number at one time?
"0" tolerance of crime.