Last week the SCPR complimented Mayor Kathy Catazaro-Perry on her apparent turnaround on working with Massillon City Council on getting her administration's dispute with council as to who has the power to hire and fire (among other issues) the director of Massillon's Parks and Recreation Department.
The hope is that the mayor has turned over a new leaf and is abandoning her confrontational "it's my way or the highway" or, at best, a non-cooperative "drag-my-feet" modality in favor of seeking out common ground with council members in working through Massillon issues.
From the aforementioned blog:
Another important ingredient in Monday's meeting was "born again" Mayor Kathy Catazaro-Perry's attitude.
Her outlook was conciliatory in terms of sharing power with council on the matter of who is to hire a new director notwithstanding that the chairman had stated in very clear terms ("absolute, 100%") that the ultimate decision on hiring a director should be with council.Maybe The Report should have taken a "wait and see" posture vis-a-vis the mayor before ascribing a "change of heart" to the mayor.
At that same meeting (July 29, 2013), Councilwoman Nancy Halter (Republican - Ward 2) expressed concern about the enforcement of legislation she patiently though persistently guided through council with passage occurring on September 4, 2012.
The Report meant to follow up with Halter after the meeting as to specifically what the problem was and who the problem was. However, yours truly got sidetracked with other matters.
In due course, the SCPR will recall the intention to do this thing or that thing and is certain to follow up.
And sad to say - when yours truly did follow up - what Halter tells The Report is not a pretty picture in terms of the Catazaro-Perry administration doing anything to implement Ordinances 48-2012 and 49-2012.
It could be that Massillon's mayor is learning the wrong lessons from the mayor of Canton.
As reported in prior SCPR blogs, Catazaro-Perry, in addition to being mentored and monitored by Massillon clerk of courts Johnnie A. Maier, Jr., has been taken under the wing of William J. Healy, II.
What a combination: Maier and William J. Healy, II, no?
No wonder Mayor Kathy is flopping all over the place in her relationship with council. Both, in the opinion of The Report, are "you have do what you have to do to politically - to survive" types.
The SCPR covers Hizzhonor at Canton City Council meetings and recalls the complaints from Canton councilpersons and Cantonians about his not staffing commissions established by council legislation.
If memory serves correctly, Healy dragged his feet (about a year) appointing members to the Canton Tree Commission and had to be embarrassed at a "Public Speaks" segment of a council meeting before getting off his duff and getting the commission up and running.
(Note: Catazaro-Perry's original safety director, George T. Maier (Johnnie's brother), had been appointed by the Stark County Democratic Party Central Committee in February to be the Stark County sheriff (an appointment which is under legal challenge to be decided any day now by the Ohio Supreme Court).
But then again, it does not appear that Johnson's move should have anything to do with "not getting the job done" in Massillon's building department (which adjoins the mayor's office) in terms of enforcing the existing building code including Halter's legislation.
For The Report is told that the department has two new hires who, Halter thinks, should be "Johnnie On The Spot" in terms of thoroughgoing enforcement.
Halter says that when Johnson had the job (and she thinks he was a good building code enforcement officer), he would send out reports as to what he did with complaints about building code violation allegations. When asked about why those responsible now to do the work of enforcing Massillon's code were not doing reports, Johnson's response?
They think it would be "a waste of paper."
Halter's response: "Have they ever heard of e-mail?"
One of the hires is David Mayle (husband of Johnnie A. Maier, Jr. secretary Tammy Mayle.)
Formerly, until Stark County voters unelected him in November, 2010, Mayle was a top level employee of now former Stark County auditor Kim Perez (now in line to become Canton's treasurer as he is currently unopposed for the office as of the date of this blog).
So it is an SCPR premise that as things stand now, Mayor Kathy Catazaro-Perry is sending out mixed messages.
On the one hand she shows promise with respect to being part of the solution regarding the long time, chronic problems with regard to Massillon's Parks and Recreation board operations.
On the other hand, her administration (after all "the buck does stop at the top, no?) is showing that getting Massillon's neighborhoods ship-shape is not a priority in that it apparently is not leaning on the Massillon Building Department to consummately enforce Massillon law.
A note to Mayor Catazaro-Perry.
Councilwoman Halter is not going away on this issue.
It was a core issue in her running for the Ward 2 council seat in 2011 that she was going to do something about redeeming Massillon's declining neighborhoods.
And in seeking re-election this fall what is her core message to the voters in Ward 2 going to be?
Bingo! You've got it.
She is going to say something to the effect: "I am going to double-down on my effort to push the administration to vigorously enforce Massillon's building code and to implement my sponsored and guided passage of ordinances 48 & 49-2012."
Councilwoman Halter showed in defying the odds in getting her legislation passed in the first place that she is "one determined councilwoman" and she is not going to quit until the Catazaro-Perry administration starts energetically enforcing 48 & 49-2012 as well as all aspects of Massillon's building code.
Massillonians take the condition of their neighborhoods very seriously.
And Councilwoman Halter will not rest until the Catazaro-Perry administration does too.
When will it dawn on the mayor that she cannot pick and choose what she will or will not work with on council with respect to solving Massillon's problems?
It is looking like that Catazaro-Perry has met her match in Halter and she is about to learn an important lesson: "Quit sending mixed messages to Massillon City Council."