Tuesday, November 5, 2013



In alphabetical order.


On October 10th, the SCPR traveled to Alliance to speak with Alliance mayor Alan Andreani, Alliance councilman Larry Dordea and Alliance auditor Kevin Knowles.

Alliance has a critical need to approve today's 0.5% income tax increase ballot initiative.

While such an increase will put Alliance in the unenviable position of being Stark's top city in terms of income tax rate (2.5%), The Report's analysis is that since Alliance last had a increase in 2006, the city administration and council have been responsible stewards of city revenues.

Draconian state of Ohio local government funding cuts in various forms have undermined local officials across the state of Ohio, including, of course Alliance, is trying to match citizen demand for local services with revenues.

The SCPR thinks that Alliance local government merits having voters approve the requested tax increase.


There appears to be no organized opposition to the 4 mill levy to be voted upon by Canton voters next Tuesday.  It is designed to raise about $2.9 million per year and, if passed, would free up about $1.2 million for other general fund applications.

Vassar Park centered Group 175 is "silently" raising an issue of trust in the Healy administration in not actively supporting this issue.

The SCPR believes that Vassar Park residents Bruce Nordman, Bruce Brewer et al suspect that if the issue passes, the Mayor William J. Healy, II administration cannot be trusted to heed an informal resolution passed by Canton City Council earlier in 2013 that the $1.2 millon in general fund monies now spent by the city on Canton's parks be redirected (if the parks issue passes today) to the hiring of new fire and police personnel to get each force up from the present levels (about 140 fire, 150 police ) to 175; hence, the name Group 175.

And, the SCPR believes that there is good reason for them to believe that Healy will find a way to divert the $1.2 million (if it becomes available) to other general fund uses.

Nevertheless, the SCPR believes that Cantonians should support the issue.

The Report believes that the new council taking office in 2014 (likely 7 to 5 against Healy on "key" issues) will badger and dog the mayor and that even the "its my way or highway mayor" will give in and apply the money to the Group 175 objective.



To the Stark County Political Report, this a case of "the lesser of two "political" evils.

While it appears to The Report that former school board member Eric Resnick (2010 - 2011) has a better grasp of the issues and has made a stronger "policy" contribution to the well-being of the Canton City Schools (CCS) and demonstrated leadership (i.e. promoted passage of a CCS levy increase) than "also" former member John Rinaldi (2003 - 2007); the low level of his campaign style leaves a lot to be desired.

As far as the SCPR is concerned, Canton voters have an "unhappy" choice to make today.

Disappointing about Rinaldi has been his response to the Resnick attacks on his character (see this SCPR blog of November 1st).

While it is understandable that one would jump to one's defense when attacked, the response should not be to "dig out dirt" to counteract "dirt dug out."

Either Rinaldi or his political surrogates went and dug out information about Resnick's employment history with the CCS that is some 25 years old.

Although the SCPR was provided the material for the above-linked November 1 blog, The Report refused to use the material.

Also, there appears to be side issues smacking of racism (from both sides of the Resnick/Rinaldi campaign) which absolutely have no place in any American political system campaign.

So while Rinaldi told the SCPR that he thought Resnick was engaging in "a low road" campaign and The Report's assessment is in agreement, Rinaldi should have insisted that his campaign contrast Resnick's by keeping it at a higher level.

The SCPR's criticism of Resnick is that his campaign strategy and tactics are indicative of one who is a political "true believer" who appears to believe that "the end justifies the means."

I have known Resnick for quite some time.

I see him as a well left-of-center political zealot on state and federal issues and candidates (i.e. who he supports [e.g. Dennis Kucinich]) that should not translate all that much, if at all, on local - especially school board - issues.

Resnick's leftist-centered political zeal (not all the unlike political rightists - e.g. The Tea Party crowd) is what the SCPR attributes to his having initiated "a low road" campaign which unfortunately Rinaldi appears to be returning in kind.

The Canton City Schools does not need a "slash and burn" politician on its board of education.  Nor do they need someone who is not all that big on substance.

As written before, only Republican Richard Milligan (uncontested in his reelection bid this year) meets the standard that the SCPR has for board of education membership.

If Resnick can ever get a handle on his "over-the-top" political fire, he could make an effective board member.

He did show shades of it during his prior tenure.

But one always has to be concerned that should a citizen or a journalist confront him on this or that matter, he will resort to firebrand, "smear them" political zealotry.

The CCS are in such a fragile condition these days that to have a campaign like the Resnick/Rinaldi match-up does nothing to offer hope that mature and wise leadership is to break out on the CCS board.

All Canton voters can do is to make the best assessment that they can as to whom among Resnick and Rinaldi will prove - notwithstanding the low-level campaign - will as a board member show better than either one of them campaigned.

This campaign should be a reminder that in future CCS board races, the quality of the candidates needs in infusion of folks who are Grade "A" both in terms of substance and style.



With the election of four Republicans to Massillon City Council in 2011, the quality of the Massillon legislature picked up considerably.

All - certainly - to the dismay of the Johnnie A. Maier, Jr. and Shane Jackson wing of the Massillon Democratic Party.

Maier and Jackson had led the Kathy Catzaro-Perry successful political assault on longtime (24 years) mayor Frank Cicchinelli in the 2011 Massillon Democratic Primary which resulted in their taking over of Massillon City Hall.

But, in hindsight, they kicked themselves in seeing the Republicans take over council as they had to know that it was going to be tough sledding for Catazaro-Perry to govern given the make up of council.

Not only were the Republicans in charge but they got along well with Democrats Andrea Scassa (Democrat - Ward 3), Quenessa Hampton (Democrat, Ward 4 - who took over for Tony Townsend who moved on to council president in early 2013), Paul Manson (Democrat, at-large) and Larry Slagle (Democrat, at -large).

With loyalist Tony Townsend being in a non-voting position (except in the case of a tie), the Catazaro-Perry/Maier/Jackson triumvirate has virtually "no"  - dependable - political support on council as presently constituted.

So being the power politicians they are, Maier and Jackson went out and recruited opponents to the strongest (in the analysis of the SCPR) Republican members of council; namely, Ward 6 councilman Ed Lewis, IV and Ward 6 councilwoman Nancy Halter.

If Massillon's council is to remain one the very best among Stark County's major municipalities, the SCPR believes that it is in the interest of Massillonians that Lewis (versus Democrat Linda Litman) and Halter (versus Democrat Dave Irwin) are successful in their respective match ups.

If they are not, the current fiscal crisis that Massillon is in the midst of is likely to get far worse.

Now council is pretty much united (Republicans and Democrats, alike) on what it will take to put Massillon back on solid financial footing.

Council as presently constituted unanimously supported a new revenue measure that was put on Massillon's May (2013) ballot.

Meanwhile, the Catazaro-Perry administration and its political gurus (Maier and Jackson) sat on the sidelines apparently wanting the revenue initiative to down in political flames so they could reap political benefits in the council elections being held today.

So it will be interesting to see whether or not Massillonians will buy into the political posturing.

Hopefully, they will not.

For if Massillon is to get out of the financial doldrums any time soon, it is going to take the likes of Lewis and Halter continuing to be key members of Massillon City Council.

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