Monday, April 14, 2014


SCPR UPDATE:  (10:30 p.m.)

SCPR Note:  It could be that a person other than the person named in the 11:00 a.m. published e-mail (which The Report  for purposes of differentiation calls as being "the purported sender") actually sent that e-mail.

The SCPR is unsure because the name used is a common name and it just may be co-incidental that the actual sender has the same name as a person who works at the sheriff's department who has the same name.

To err on the side of caution, the SCPR shares with readers the essence of an e-mail received earlier today.

The purported sender's actual words to the SCPR:  I wanted to get in touch with you and let you know that someone is apparently purporting to bee me and writing to you using my name.

The purported sender has this to say about the manner in which George T. Maier has managed the sheriff's department:

I am a Corrections Officer with the Stark County Sheriff’s Office and very proud to be affiliated with this fine organization. I have come to know and respect Sheriff George Maier and am very pleased with the many professional improvements he is making at the Sheriff’s Office. 

The SCPR thanks "the purported sender" for notifying The Report of what could be a misuse of his name and accordingly has published this update to inform SCPR readers of this development and provide the purported e-mail sender space in the SCPR to express his support for Sheriff Maier so that nobody thinks he (the corrections officer) is being critical of Sheriff Maier.

As noted in the 12:40 PM update, which was before the SCPR became aware that of the name misuse (which came in an e-mailed denial at 5:48 and which The Report did not see until returning from a Massillon City Council meeting sometime after 10:00 p.m. tonight), The Report did confirm with another source that allegations in the 11:00 a.m. published e-mail of work done at the sheriff's office are well founded.

UPDATE:  12:40 PM  (corrected 3:14 p.m.)

A second source has confirmed the details set forth in the e-mail below.  The second source tells the SCPR that about $50,000 (corrected upwards from $15,000 [The Report having heard the message as being 15 rather the 50 [the actual number cited]) was spent on the "new duty belts" (aka "gun belts) alone.

New material:  The Report is told that there was absolutely nothing wrong with the "old?" belts.  But that the sheriff wanted the "splash and dash" (i.e. "the basket weave effect" [of the Ohio State Patrol]) for cosmetic purposes.


Fantastic reporting on the Sheriff getting a free pass. Where has the money gone?


- New flooring in the old Sheriff's Residence, ( west side of original building )
- New flooring in employee entrance, complete with huge Sheriff star floor mats
- New flooring in supervisor's office
- New paint job for supervisor's office, complete with 'team colors' black and gold stripes around the ceiling
- New large star decals for just about any flat surface you can think of, proudly displaying the 'George T Maier' part. Doors, walls, windows, you name it.
- New duty belts for all of the deputies, for the sole purpose of having his preferred basket weave, versus the plain black they were wearing.
- Personal assistants like Derrick Loy. What exactly does he do anyways, we sure don't know.
- Signage signage signage. If he can put his name on it, it's there.

As far as the inmate capacity promise, I don't see it going to the full 501 any time soon. Today we are at 417, roughly the same as year ago.

We thought we were getting a new, good Sheriff. We got another politician instead.




The Stark County budget is not "entertaining" and therefore it is difficult for the media to get the everyday citizen into examining, understanding and questioning the make up of the budget.

What's more is that to get citizens to challenge the county appropriators (i.e. the Stark County commissioners) to account for appropriations that appear to be having very little or any effect on the quality of  various Stark County departmental operations.

 Here are LINKS to the week long series that the SCRP did several weeks ago on the county budget.
  1. Volume 1
  2. Volume 2 
  3. Volume 3 
  4. Volume 4
  5. Volume 5 
  6. Volume 6 
  7. Q&A, Commissioners Comments
The Report is happy to see that one Stark Countian took the trouble as a responsible citizen to go through the series and get a grip on numbers.

Rather than publish the citizen's entire e-mail "en bloc," the SCPR chooses to take it point-by-point.

The core of the citizen analysis of the budget numbers is what has Stark County Democratic Party appointed sheriff George T. Maier doing with the millions more in taxpayer dollars that the commissioners have appropriated to Maier over and above what Sheriff Tim Swanson had to work with back in 2010, 2011 and 2012.

EMAIL POINT ONE (in bold italic)

Thank you for your coverage of the County Budget.

Thank you SCPR reader for paying attention and studying the nunbers.

EMAIL POINT TWO (in bold italic)

While everyone has been fixated on Maier's Qualifications, no one has paid any attention to his record as Sheriff.  

In Nov. 2011, County officials passed a sales tax with the promise of reopening the jail beds.  

It is April 2015, [sic - correction "April 2014"] 18 mos later and we still don't have the jail at full capacity, the road patrol restored, or the Sheriff's detective bureau reopened.

For the record, the SCPR has gone back to The Report's video archives to retrieve exactly what the commissioners have had to say ("in their own word") about what voters could expect of them if Stark Countians would be gracious enough to pass a new sales tax of 0.5% which they nominated and which appears on the Stark County budget as being the Justice System Sales Tax (JSST).


As SCPR readers just saw, Commissioner Creighton in her on words says that she dodges no questions.

While the SCPR is pleased to pass the citizen's questions on to the commissioners, The Report's experience is that they (the commissioners) do face up to questions asked.

However, The Report does recall that on March 6, 2013 Stark County citizen Bruce Nordman appeared at a regular Wednesday (1:30 p.m.) commissioners meeting and during "Public Speaks" took the commissioners to task for not keeping county's promise (if the JSST passed, which it did see this LINK).  His specifically target promised had to do with the number of jail beds in use.

As The Report recalls, about 400 beds of the total of 501 were in use on the 6th.

The Report's take is that the commissioners tried to dodge responsibility by blaming various factors under the control of the sheriff (Swanson until February 10, 2013; Maier from Feburary 11, 2013 on) and emphasizing that they the commissioners are only appropriators of JSST revenues.

To his credit, Nordman was not buying.

He certainly understood as Commissioner Creighton (see the video below) said that the commissioners are not the sheriff's boss.

However, he recognized rightly that the commissioners have the "bully pulpit" available to lean on the sheriff to step things up.

Within a very short time after Nordman complained, with what the SCPR attributes to George T. Maier gimmericky, the usage shot up to 450.

Maier explained that he was able to increase the number by 12.5% by doing some manipulating of "trustee" type prissoners.

Apparently, the gimmerickery didn't last.

Interestingly enough, nine (9) months (i.e. late December, 2013) after Nordman queried the commissioners guess what the number of jail bed were in use?

How about 416?

So now you are 18 months out from when money first started coming in from the JSST (July, 2012) and Stark County was at 416 beds?


By the way, it could be higher than 416 now as the exact number is prone to change daily.

But the point - remember - is that the promise was and remains that "all" 501 beds, more or less, are to be in use.

Preferably, the citizen who wrote the SCPR will make an appearance like Nordman has (repetitively) at commissioners' meeting and ask the questions and keep the pressure one.

It does get a little bit dicey when a citizen confronts a public official.

 EMAIL POINT THREE  (in bold italic)

Maier claims he has been unable to open the jail beds due to an inability to hire enough qualified corrections officers and peace officers.  Did he return any of his 17.9 million dollar appropriation from 2013?  If not what did he spend it on?  Swanson was able to fully staff the jail, detective bureau, and road patrol in 2010 with 16.5 million.  Maier assuming he did not return any of his appropriation to the General Fund from last year, managed to spend 1.4 million (8.5%) more than Swanson did in 2010 and still not fully staff the jail, DB, or Road Patrol. 

We have been in a recession since 2010, the cost of living index has not increased more that 8.5% since 2010.  Maier should have easily been able to restore services to the level they were under Swanson in 2010 with 17.9 million.  Now, the commissioners are giving him another 2 million dollar increase to 19.8 million a 50% increase since 2012 and 20% increase since Swanson's all time high spending mark in 2010, a quarter of the year is gone and we still don't have the jail fully open, the road patrol restored, or the detective bureau back.


Where is the money going?  (Raises? Promotions? Overtime? New positions to reduce employee workload?)  


Give me a budget of nearly 20 million dollars, and 4 million in increases in two years and I can improve office increase morale too.   

 EMAIL POINT FOUR  (in bold italic)

I know Maier won't answer questions from you but where are the Commissioners? 

Yes!  Let the SCPR at Maier.

Of course Maier will not talk with the SCPR.  The Report has repeatedly tried to get him to answer the most basic of questions.  But he knows that there will be no softballs from the Stark County Political Report.

All of which goes to show that "the big, bad sheriff" doesn't have the gumption of Commission Creighton.

She has never dodged a SCPR questions.

Maier has a person pique with the SCPR (i.e. The Report has the audacity to critique him and his brother for their "power politics" way of getting their way") and he takes it out on Stark Countians who have no one but the SCPR in Stark County media to ask the really tough questions.

But he doesn't mind taking taxpayer money every payday!

In response to the citizen's questions, the commissioners need to call the sheriff in to a work session and ask "in your face" questions that they have and demonstrated that the can of certain Stark County officeholders and appointed officials (e.g. the Stark County recorder, the Veterans Service Commission, the Family Court judges, the county coroner and others).

For some reason, Maier, by and large, seems to get a pass.

Commissioner Bernabei seems to be enamored with George T. Maier.  However, it appears to the SCPR he is not willing to take him to task as he certainly did with Canton mayor William J. Healy, II when he was Canton service director.

It happens rarely, but every once-in-awhile Bernabei abandons his usual critical nature and gets totally out-of-character in dealing with county officeholders and appointed officials that he has apparently designated as being on his "one of my 'above criticism'" list.


If it were any other officeholder, you can bet Commissioner Bernabei would be asking why last year's 8.5% increase from 2010 was not sufficient to restore essential services to 2010 levels.  Commissioner Bernabei (who appears to be Maier's chief spokes person these days) can point to the difficutly finding people, Maier's legal issues, the Supreme Court removing Maier (for a month) etc. but this is all missing the point


The excuses may explain the delay in restoring services, (I find it hard to believe that in this economy the Sheriff can't find enough qualified people in over two years) but any delay should also come with a corresponding delay in expenses.  Given that he had not restored the DB, Road Patrol and only restored 1/4 of the promised jail beds in 2013 one would think that he should have returned 1.75 million of the 2 million increase he received in 2013, especially since the Sheriff received a 2 million dollar increase in 2012 to start restoring those services  while virtually every other county department was still being cut.  

With all Maier's other press releases I'm certain if he returned a significant amount of money to the General Fund at the end of the year we would have read in the Repository Sheriff Maier returns $$$$$ to County General Fund.


Commissioners Creighton ran two years ago on a platform promising voters that they would restore Sheriff's Department Services.  Two years later she is again on the Ballot and that promise remains unfulfilled.  She and the Commissioners did their part, they not only restored funding to 2010 levels, they increased well beyond any reasonable inflationary index.  Despite the increases the Sheriff hasn't restored services to 2010 levels.  I know she is unopposed, but doesn't she owe it to voters to ask for an explanation if Commissioner Bernabei won't?          

The SCPR has made it clear of the past three and one half (3-1/2) years that The Report is well taken with Commissioner Janet Creighton.

However, it is never good for citizens for a public official to run for reelection unopposed.

It is interesting that former Democratic commissioner Gayle Jackson is reportedly itching to get back as a commissioner but she doesn't have the moxy to run against Creighton.

Jackson is part of the Maier Loyalty Club.  Most of the members of that politically incestuous group want no part of a real political fight.

And Jackson is no exception.


Here it is appropriate for the SCPR to once again insert the historical budget numbers.

When Maier took office his office was at 97% of its 2010 funding level.  

Within a month it was increased to 108.5% of the office's 2010 level a 11.5% increase from the prior year. 

He now stands at 120.5% of the office's 20110 level and we still don't have 2010 level services.  2012 is on Swanson and if he were in office one should rightly question why he didn't do more to restore services to 2010 levels, but minus two months 2013 and the first quarter of 2014 are on Maier.  

The Commissioners have given him $4 million in taxpayer money (in addition to the $2 million they gave Swanson) to restore the Sheriff Department's service to 2010 levels and all we have gotten in excuses.  We have spent four million dollars since 2011 (under Swanson and Maier) to increase jail by beds 100.  After the commissioners agreed to another 2 million this year Maier has restored it to 450.  Will it take another 2 million next year to finally get back to the 500 Commissioners promised us in 2011?    

And we have made no progress on restoring road patrol or the detective bureau.

The numbers just don't add up.

The SCPR agrees with this citizen.

Maier and the commissioners need to start providing answers that are the equivalent of keeping promises made in the YES! for SAFETY Issue 29.

The SCPR and the people are watching!

2019 will be here before sooner than county officials think, no?

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