Thursday, October 24, 2013




They are both Democrats and they both serve in Canton city government.

But that is about all the commonality that Ward 9 councilman Frank Morris and Mayor William J. Healy, II have with one another when one gets beyond the superficialities (see photo above).

Healy is a cosmopolitan, suave, politically sophisticated, debonaire, polished, highly educated (MBA from NYU School of Business) and calculating politician who lives out on 55th Street.

Morris is a "down-home," "speak from the heart," "rough and tumble," "in-your-face," union member guy who works with his hands to earn a living and lives in the heart of Canton.

On September 25th, Councilman Morris (one of a group [the dean?] of enterprising "young" councilmen the SCPR has dubbed as being "the four young turks") had Healy come to one his regularly scheduled "monthly" meetings within Ward 9 that Morris holds.

Back on May 21st; Healy, Morris and several Ward 9 residents got into fuss over the safety of Canton's neighborhoods and the failure of the administration to effectively provide for the safety of Cantonians.

Out out that exchange, Healy was invited to a future Ward 9 meeting.  The meeting materialized on September 25th.

The SCPR's introductory blog and accompanying video was published on September 30th.

As can be seen in the first video (more to come in future editions of the SCPR), Healy refers to a series of meetings he is holding with Morris among others on working out a plan to improve safety in Canton.

And Morris himself says that he feels they are productive meetings.

But the question becomes:  how productive?

While Morris and Healy seem to put a "politically correct Happy Face" on the ongoing discussion regarding Ward 9 and all of Canton safety issues (see the introductory Ward 9 video); The Report does not think the relationship is in reality all that cozy.

A glimpse into continuing dissatisfaction with improvement in Canton's safety profile surfaced at Monday night's council meeting in the form of an Morris initiated informal resolution (# 48), to wit:

The resolution passed on a voice vote but with Ward 2 councilman Thomas West not voting (see West video below).  West, Smith, Griffin, Dougherty, Cole and Babcock are usually reliable pro-Healy votes on council.  And West may be the "unofficial" spokesman for the mayor's position on any given legislation that comes before council.

The noteworthy thing about the resolution is that it was co-sponsored by seven councilpersons in addition to Morris.
  • Jimmy Babcock (at-large),
  • Mary Cirelli (at-large),
  • Greg Hawk (Ward 1),
  • Jim Griffin (Ward 3),
  • Kevin Fisher (Ward 5),
  • John Mariol (Ward 7),
  • Edmond Mack (Ward 8), and, of course,
  • Frank Morris (Ward 9)


Mayor Healy seems unalterably opposed to the ordinance - witness The Repository's Matt Rink follow- up with Healy.

The gist of the Rink/Healy exchange is that the passage of the resolution on the votes of 11 of 12 councilpersons left him unmoved.

He says that his administration will not be adding a fire captain.

The political significance of the passed resolution (given the number of sponsors it had, and the nearly unanimous vote in its favor) is that Mayor Healy is fast losing his clout on council.

Even his friends (e.g. Babcock and Griffin [on the sponsorship thing;  Cole, Dougherty and Smith [on the vote] are leaving him.


Are they looking down the road and seeing that come January 1st that the political tide will have turned on the mayor insofar as the vote on key council votes are concerned?

The SCPR believes that come the organization meeting of the 2014/15 council, Mayor Healy may have to deal with Frank Morris more than he wants to.

Earlier this year (January 14, 2013) there was an incident in which Morris challenged the mayor on an issue.

The mayor's response?  

"This matter needed to be discussed on the eighth floor (where the mayor's suite of offices are located) before it is brought up on the floor of council." (paraphrase)

No surprise here to the SCPR.

Just one more manifestation of Healy's track record of trying to shut down that which he does not want to hear.

One would think he would be getting used to such.  More and more (with the election of "the four young turks), the mayor is being compelled to abide that which he does not wish to entertain.

Matters will only be worse for him with the new make up of council come January 1, 2014.

The Report hears persistent reports that there is very little likelihood that current council majority leader David Dougherty will be able to retain his post as leader and that Morris is a possible successor.

He will have to deal with longstanding nemesis Bill Smuckler's return.  And the Healy-obstinate Greg Hawk likely will be replacing Joe Cole as finance committee chair. And to cap things off, he likely will have to deal with being on the losing side of a 7 to 5 vote on issues which the "new" majority on council deem to be important enough for them to stand united against the mayor.

The overall significance of import of "the tide turning against Healy" is whether or not the changed picture of Canton City Council (all Democrats) vis-a-vis the mayor will ultimately prove to be the undoing of the political future of Healy.

As the SCPR has written numerous times, the mayor seems to wear teflon and to be a virtuoso magician-esque performer a la the famous Houdini in escaping from one scrape after another.

But out of the new mix of council, the SCPR believes, could come a rising political star that might prove to accomplish what nothing else could achieve in terms of the political demise of William J. Healy, II.

The 2014/2015 version of Canton City Council could prove to be the most political spellbinding happening that Canton has seen in "many of a moon," no?

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