UPDATE: (12:18 AM) - MORE HEALY SPIN?
After learning last night at Canton City Council meeting that Warren Price "is back" according to clerk of council Cynthia Timberlake and that he was not present at council tonight because of "illness," and council President Allen Schulman saying that he knew nothing (until he read it in yesterday's SCPR blog) about Safety Director Warren Price having had a heated argument with Mayor Healy late last week over Price's alleged authorization of overtime emergency ambulance service contrary to Healy's wishes and consequently quitting 159 days shy of last agreed quit date of December 31, 2013, the SCPR minutes ago checked with The Report's source as to the accuracy of yours truly's original report as "breaking news" on Saturday evening as amplified in a blog published yesterday which is set forth in full below.
In short, the source stands by his account.
This source is one of the SCPR's most credible "go to" people in terms of being borne out as having the essence of his story correct as communicated to The Report.
The conjecture is that, as he always does when he does something goofy or bizarre, Healy summoned the help of someone like an Allen Schulman (who truly and genuinely cares about Canton over his personal interests) to make a telephone call to Warren Price and implore him to retract his having summarily quit on Friday of last week.
So the Price quit date:
- originally two weeks,
- turned into 90 days,
- turned into December 31, 2013 and
- which is now August 31, 2013;
is a quintessential William J. Healy, II face-saving move.
As the SCPR has stated numerous times, Healy is Stark County's version of William Jefferson Clinton and his "Well, it depends on what is is? Moreover, his escaping one scrape after another after another after another makes him the envy of a cat having nine lives.
And The Report believes that being the good soldier he is (loyal to the end), Price is willing to help Healy save face.
For he too is a guy who cares about the city of Canton and The Report thinks he realizes that to leave precipitously (i.e. "I quit today") from the key position he serves in is not in the best interest for the stability of Canton city government.
In time (sometime after August 31st), yours truly believes that The Report's source will be vindicated in an "off the record-esque" acknowledgment.
The SCPR is of the mind that Healy is once again in "damage control" mode. Just think of the number of times over the past 5-1/2 years Healy has had to scramble to get himself out of a bind.
It is truly amazing that this modern day Houdini is the mayor of Canton.
May God save Canton!
UPDATE: (08:50 AM) INPUT FROM CANTON PARKS & RECREATION DIRECTOR DEREK GORDON
As is the policy of the SCPR, yours truly publishes in its entirety the Healy's administration's reaction to information published in today's blog as provided to The Report by a well-placed source in terms of generally having high quality information about the work/actions of the administration.
A big "thank you" to Derek Gordon.
Mr. Olsen (sic),
I wanted to provide a point of clarification on your blog post from this morning in regards to the park levy. The decisions regarding millage adjustments, legal options, and the inclusion of the Community Centers have been determined by the Park Commission, representatives of the Canton Recreational Services Coalition and the Law Department. Mayor Healy has had relatively little involvement with the process or conversations with the Law Department regarding the levy since he originally brought the representatives of each organization together in 2012.
I can provide more details on the content of these discussions with the Law Department following tonight's Council meeting. However, the majority of the decisions made by the Park Commission regarding the levy have been a result of legal limitations discovered by our Law Department.
-- Derek Gordon
Canton Park Commission
Unbelievable! Simply unbelievable!! A third time: utterly unbelievable!!!
After agreeing to stay on until the end of the year, Canton safety director Warren Price abruptly quit Friday after a heated discussion with Mayor William J. Healy, II over Price recently having authorized overtime for ambulance runs out of the Canton Fire Department.
So the SCPR has been told by a source.
It is becoming readily apparent to the SCPR that - not only - is William J. Healy, II too arrogant to be mayor of Canton; he is obviously "in over his head."
During his five and one-half years as mayor, he has gone through three very good administrators: Tom Bernabei (a former long time Canton law director and city councilman), Tom Nesbitt (a former top official with the Nebraska Highway Patrol) and now - as of Friday, July 26, 2013 - the very loyal and dependable (since being hired in 2009) Warren Price.
The Stark County Political Report did a "breaking news" at 6:30 PM on Saturday on Price's abrupt department but at the time did not know the reason.
It turns out that Price walked out on Healy Friday after what is said to have been a ferocious argument between the two over Price's having recently authorized Canton Fire Department ambulance service overtime.
Overtime for an ambulance run.
A number of Canton politicians are alleging to the SCPR that Healy has threatened the leadership of the union with station closings if they supported folks like Mary Cirelli (D-Canton) when she ran against Healy pal Kim Perez (D-Canton) for treasurer of Canton and Councilman Joe Cole (D-Canton) when he ran against Ward 9 incumbent Democratic councilman Frank Morris in this year's May primary election.
Healy has tried to make out like that the political actions of IAF Local 249 has had no ramifications on his administration's relationship with the fire department.
But The Report's take on the mayor is that he has a long memory and it is unbelievable that he takes such as being "so much politics" and simply lets political opposition roll off his back as water runs off the back of a duck.
The Report chooses to believe those who assert that the mayor is out on a vendetta against the fire department which has the potential to adversely affect the safety of everyday Cantonians.
The SCPR thinks that:
- Healy is a "hothead" (e.g. arguments with 9th Ward residents [and Councilman Morris] on Facebook, arguments with Bruce Nordman of Group 175, and directing sneering comments at Mary Cirelli in Canton City Council meetings), who cannot handle it when disagreed with, and
- he makes too much of having graduated from the Stern School of Business of New York University and as a consequence of being well-taken with himself, has hugely overestimated his abilities to be an effective chief executive of the Hall of Fame city.
A shorter and more pithy way to say the same thing is to raise the question: Is Healy in over his head?
Only a few days ago, it came out that the Canton Community Improvement Corporation (CIC) is floundering (CIC working through major 'flaws,' Matt Rink, The Canton Repository, July 27, 2013).
Until he resigned recently in the context of a controversy surrounding his "inadvertent/mistaken" use of a CIC credit card (the issuance of which was not authorized by CIC in the first place) for personal items and which he has reimbursed the CIC for, Healy has been chairman of the semi-private, economic development organization of the city.
Flaws pointed out by Rink:
- the organization nearly running out of money for day-to-day expenses,
- having only one employee, and
- having no director for over a year
At a recent meeting, board member Allen Schulman (only on the board since February), the SCPR thinks, impliedly (at least for the 5-1/2 years he has been mayor) makes a telling criticism of Healy (remember, only recently resigned as chairman) with a series of negatives about the operation of CIC, to wit:
- "We don't know how we inherited properties" (going back 20 years - undetermined by the Healy administration over the past 5-1/2 years),
- "We don't know what their purpose is,"
- "We don't have a [job] description for a director,"
- "We don't have HR policies,"
- "We don't, as far as I can determine, have a vision,"
- "I don't know exactly what it is we are doing,"
- "I don't know our goals," and
- "I don't know the vision we have for this organization."
One of the things that yours truly heard from Healy shortly after he took office is: "what a mess the predecessor Republican Creighton administration had left things in."
The clear implication of what some of the board members said in Rink's report is that it has not just been the Healy administration who has presided over the "flaw[ed]" organization but also goes back to the Purses administration.
But another implication of Healy's criticism of Creighton et al is that it would be up to him to straighten things out.
Has he straightened things out not only with the CIC but the rest of the city that he alleges Creighton left in shambles?
While not agreeing with Healy's assessment of the Creighton years, he has not by his own in the SCPR's estimate of the condition of the city on July 29, 2013.
An argument is to be made that Healy has overblown any problems that he may have inherited and that he has created many more of his own over his time in office.
And who suffers from a deteriorating Canton?
You've got it. Everyday Cantonians.
The Report has a source saying that the Healy administration has another current botch job in process.
It has to do with the parks and recreation levy.
Out-of-the-blue two weeks ago, we learned that there was a snag in the wording in the 4 mill property tax levy which is set to be voted on in November.
The Report is told by a source that Healy is asking that the J. Babe Stern Community Center, non-profit, 501(c)3 organization (located in Ward 5), be included as a recipient of funds from the levy and specified as such in the ballot language.
"No can do," The Report is told is the word from Canton law director Joe Martuccio to Mayor Healy inasmuch as it is not a part of the Canton parks and recreation system.
So what does Healy want to do?
Reduce the millage of the levy.
It will be interesting to see how the tale is told at tonight's council meeting, no?
Beyond those matters already cited in this blog, who can forget a number of other Healy administration miscues.
To name just a few:
- Trying to water down the requirements of the director of the Canton-Stark County Crime Lab (CSCCL) to non-scientist status so that Healy could pick Rick Perez as director,
- NOTE: the CSCCL remains more or less in a state of limbo as to its future.
- Canton missing out in $481,000 in Housing and Urban Development Funding for Canton economic development because the city missed a March 31, 2010 application deadline.
- The fiasco with Canton retire/rehire of some 30 Canton employees that still is not fully settled.
On and on and goes the beat with the Healy administration. Not as much with his appointees as with the mayor himself and his micromanaging, intermeddling style.
One more story about the mayor and his self-importance and his estimate of his abilities.
The Report is informed by one who formerly served in his administration that a question of the basis of Canton's participation in Ohio's (by statutory authority) natural gas aggregation came up early on in the administration.
Canton had an expert consultant on the natural gas industry advising the city. The consultant gave his opinion in which direction Canton should go on the particular issue whatever it was.
That pretty much closes off the discussion, no?
Not with Mayor Healy.
After all he was a graduate of the Stern School of Business of New York University and when he was a student at NYU, he had taken a course that indicated to him that the city should take a different tack than that suggested by the expert.
A man who doesn't know what he doesn't know.
Not only a "hothead," arrogant man but also a man who doesn't know when he is in-over-his-head.
No wonder Warren Price walked out is disgust on Friday, July 26, 2013, some 159 days short of his originally promised staying date.
Who can blame him?
But a lament to the citizens of Canton.
Most of them cannot go anywhere. Those who can are leaving in a steady stream (i.e. population continues to edge downwards).
Those who remain just have to sit and suffer with William J. Healy, II as their mayor.