Thursday, August 29, 2013



JUNE 17, 2013
AUGUST 26, 2013

AUGUST 26, 2013
501 BEDS

Canton mayor William J. Healy, II "may have met his match" in his face-off with Canton citizen extraordinaire Bruce Nordman of the Vassar Park area of Canton.



For those who haven't seen it, it is an absolute must to see the SCPR video on Nordman and Healy screaming at one another over the issue.

Months ago in an appearance at Canton City Council (Council) and using the Public Speaks forum provided for on Council's agenda, Nordman started demanding that Canton officials beef up police force strength to 175 officers.

He came armed with data he collected from Canton records showing a correlation between the number of arrests and the number of police officers on the CPD staff.

Nordman pointed out that the "Zero Tolerance" mayor of Canton had let police strength slip since his taking office on January 1, 2008 and strongly implied that rather than solve the crime problem in Canton, the mayor's inattention to the slippage of law enforcers on the streets of Canton is part of the rampant crime problem that currently besieges the Hall of Fame city.

After an absence of a couple of Council meetings, perhaps, some thought that Nordman had given up his fight with William J. Healy, II.

Nordman had, "after all was said and done," gotten Council to agree to pass a non-binding resolution committing the city to apply current general fund monies (a little over $1 million) spent on Canton's parks to beefing up Canton's safety forces (mainly police) if Canton voters pass a proposed four mill levy dedicated to the parks on November's ballot.

It might be reasonable to think that for what can be done right now, Nordman is at "Mission Accomplished," no?

To think that Nordman would go away on such a modest achievement is not to know Bruce Nordman.

He was "back with a vengeance" at Council this past Monday.

Here he addresses Council (at the Public Speaks portion of the meeting) with his primary point being that Canton ranks #62 of the top 100 crime ridden city in all of America.  Of course, he attributes the ranking to the dropoff in numbers of police officers patrolling Canton's streets.

A major, major point that Nordman makes that the Healy administration has never debunked (in the SCPR's assessment) is that because of the Canton Police Department's (CPD) staffing problems, a large part of the Canton crime goes unreported simply due to the fact that the department cannot physically deal with the volume of actual crime.

The "unreported factor" makes official reports (emanating from the FBI or wherever) suspect.

One such report probably is closer to the truth than claimed either by the city administration or its critics.  It shows that the crime rate - overall - has not changed much.  This report shows a "slight" tick downwards, but which is likely not statistically signifcant.

By any measure, Canton's crime rate is way above the Ohio average and the U.S. level and therefore by definition is totally unacceptable.

The question becomes:  What is Canton doing wrong in controlling crime?

The answer, according to Nordman and his Group 175 :  Too few police officers staffing the CPD.

Group 175 under Nordman's leadership is determined to get Canton police force up from its 150 officers to 175.

Healy apparently feels Canton crime is at "tolerable" levels (undoubtedly, he wishes that Canton was crime free) and therefore does not want to put more money into safety force personnel increases.

Nordman did do somewhat of a shift at Monday's meeting in his bring the staffing of the Canton Fire Department into the equation for remedying the total deficiency in safety force involvement in Canton which means not only police but also the fire department and EMS operations.

Some Cantonians believe that the Healy administration was to force Canton out of the ambulance business and compel those in need to use private ambulance service.

Still others believe that Healy has made a political football out of the Canton Fire Department because the union which represents firefighters (IAFF [249]) endorsed his opponent (Republican Chip Conde) in 2011 and did not endorse Healy political favorites Kim Perez (certain to be Canton's next treasurer) and Councilman Joe Cole (who lost in a record breaking, in terms of campaign monies spent, effort to unseat fellow Democrat Frank Morris in Ward 9.

A number of Healy detractors insist that Healy plays political games with the safety of Cantonians in the staffing of Canton's fire stations.

Healy, of course, outright denies that such is the case.

The question of staffing Canton's law enforcement and emergency forces, the SCPR thinks, comes down to which as among Mayor William J. Healy, II and citizen Bruce Nordman has the greater will power.

While The Report believes that Healy has an ego that surpasses most politicians, it may well be that in "simply a citizen" Bruce Nordman, Healy has "met his match" and more.

The Report did an interview with Nordman after Monday night's Council meeting.

Readers should watch this video in order to get an full and unfettered appreciation of Nordman's determination to force the mayor to do his group's will in beefing up Canton's police and fire departments.

There are not too many Stark Countians (mostly public officials) that engage Mayor Healy that The Report thinks can out-maneuver, out-finesse, and out-power Canton's Master of Manipulation.

While Nordman is not a finesser, he is quite skilled in political maneuvering and certainly demonstrates (see the Healy/Nordman confrontation of June 17, 2013 above) that he has a personal power side to him that is very much the equal of Healy.

The SCPR's experience with Healy is that:
  • He first tries to sweet talk one to accepting his spin. 
  • If that doesn't work he gives the cold shoulder. 
  • His final approach is to start yelling and screaming and getting downright ugly.
Nordman is a "what you see is what you get" type of guy.

If yours truly were a betting man, the bet would be on Bruce Nordman on whether or not Canton gets to the 175 CPD force level.

Undoubtedly, in the eyes of the polished New York University Stern School of Business MBA guy, to get bested by the brusque Bruce Nordman will be taken as the ultimate in humiliation.

It should quite apparent to anyone who has any sort of handle on him, that William J. Healy, II:
  • Really does think that he is smarter that the rest of the world.
  • Thinks he can stay one step ahead of the rest of us (by whatever means).
  • Is supremely confident that In the end the result is always going to be:  William J. Healy, II: "thy will be done."
It is impressive to the SCPR that Bruce Nordman and his compatriot Group 175ers are persisting in putting "the test of wills" question in doubt.

A "test of wills" that the SCPR believes Nordman et al will eventually prevail on.

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