Wednesday, March 5, 2014



Marcia Kiesling
Steps Down as Council Vice President


Mayor David Held 
Presides Over Selection of New President


New President Dan "Jeff" Peters
Presides Over Selection of
New Vice President


Peters as Chair of 
Personnel and Safety Committee
Calls Council into Executive Session


Peters Takes Questions
from the 

Four North Canton City council members decided to keep their health care insurance at the expense of North Canton taxpayers beyond December 1, 2013 (the beginning new term of council 2013/2015) notwithstanding that the voters of North Canton voted overwhelming on November 6, 2012 to end those benefits except for individual members who did not have insurance available through an employer.

Over the last couple months or so, all Hell has broken loose as information has leaked out to the North Canton public about the four.

Council members now openly talk about having lost the trust of  North Cantonians.

Last night the current members tried, but the question remains:  Can North Canton City Council be fixed so that North Canton's voters are willing to trust them once again?

Will Jon Snyder's throwing himself "under the bus" with his resigning as council president on Friday be enough to save himself and his fellows on council from eventually becoming ex-council members?

A clue will likely come as early as this summer, if reports prove well founded that some concerned citizens of the Dogwood city plan to attempt a recall of former council president Jon Snyder (Republican - Ward 4).

And it could be that Councilwoman Marcia Kiesling (Republican - at large) will also face a recall effort.

Stephanie Werren
  • (Republican - Ward 3 and wife of Stark County Court of Common Pleas judge Curtis Werren [who himself is up for election this Fall]

Daniel "Jeff" Peters
  • (No Party registration with Stark BOE - Ward 1) selected last night to replace Jon Snyder (who resigned as council president this past Friday)
    may also face recall efforts, but both are seen as less likely targets than Snyder and Kiesling.

    Since Peters is a favorite of North Canton civic activist Chuck Osborne, it appears to the SCPR that he is unlikely to be challenged.  Osborne in discussion with The Report clearly regrets that Peters was one of the four offending council members on the health care insurance matter.

    One other note about Osborne.  He confirmed last night in an exchange with assembled media that he will soon be filing litigation over North Canton government's failure to implement the voter passed Issue 5.

    The clue on fixability will not be so much whether or not whom among the four get challenged, but for those who do get challenged is whether the vote goes for recall or against recall.

    Any one of them getting recalled might bode ill for all incumbent council members come the next regular council election in November, 2015.

    It wouldn't seem fair, but could it be that even non-offending council members might be vulnerable in 2015?

    The Report thinks it will be fair to surmise should any of the four actually get recalled that last night's effort to fix the broken North Canton City Council will be deemed to have been a failure and additional moves may be in order surely as the members will be casting about for that elusive cure.

    Last night's "reorganization meeting" got off to an unexpected start despite being convened by Vice President Marcia Kiesling.  For it seemed that no sooner had she called the meeting to order,she was resigning as vice president of council and turning the meeting over to Mayor David Held for him to take nominations for Snyder's replacement.

    But Snyder was not the only person being replaced.

    With her resignation as vice president, Kiesling also needed replacing.

    It appears that Kiesling's action was a last minute decision inasmuch she had included a letter in the packet handed out before the meeting asking her fellow council members to consider reelecting her as vice president.

    The sequence of events after Kiesling called the meeting to order included:
    • Her resigning as council president (to which she was elevated on Snyder's resignation effective Friday), which meant that her successor needed to be elected
      • (SCPR Note:  Kiesling's resignation as president of council was expected.
    • To the seeming surprise of everybody, her withdrawal of a request to be reelected as vice president (the post she held before her elevation to the presidency) giving as a reason her failure to ask the right questions in determining whether or not she should have remained on North Canton health care insurance after December 1, 2013
    Here is a videotaped presentation of her full statement.

    Mayor David Held then took over and took nominations for president and vice president of North Canton City Council.

    Peters was elected president (on council going back to 2003) and Doug Foltz (Democrat - Ward 1; on council going back to 1995) was elected vice president.

    Here is the video of the segment wherein Peters was elected president (Mayor David Held presiding).

    And with Peters in the presidency chair, the election for vice president was held:

    After the election, the meeting was adjourned and Peters in his capacity as chairman of council's Personnel and Safety Committee called the committee into session which immediately went into executive session, to wit:

    The Report did not keep the exact time, but the committee was in session upwards of two hours.

    Lastly, in a press conference after the meeting, here is what Peters had to say what he had in mind as leader for the future of council as well as answering questions about events (including access to public records) leading up to last night's meeting:

    The SCPR is skeptical that North Canton City Council - in the estimation of the North Canton public - was fixed last night.

    We should have an indication this summer should recall election(s) materialize.

    In the meantime the pot will be kept boiling over the next month or so as Jamie McCleaster (Marcia Kiesling) and Hilliary Mueller (Jon Snyder) appeal (to the Franklin County Court of Common Pleas) findings by the Ohio Elections Commission last November that they had violated ethical standards in campaign materials they published in their respective "at-large" and Ward 4 races.

    As the SCPR sees it, even if they win the appeals, Kiesling and Snyder lose in remaining in the glare of publicity while the wheels are turning towards them being challenged with recall elections.

    Try as he may, newly elected president Peters likely has an impossible task in front of him as the Elections Commission appeals proceed and the promised Osborne health care insurance lawsuit unfolds.

    Who knows how long North Canton City Council is going to be afflicted with an undertow of turmoil.

    Could it last through November, 2105 when the entire council has to stand for election?

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