Thursday, July 31, 2014



FIXING 9-1-1
On Tuesday, December 30, 2008 the-then Stark County commissioners (Democrats Todd Bosley and Tom Harmon and Republican Jane Vignos) voted 3 - 0 to "impose" as 0.5% sales tax on Stark Countians.

The trumpeted reason given by the commissioners was that the tax increase was needed to fix what was termed to be a broken Stark County 9-1-1 call receiving and dispatch system.

However, the fact of the matter is that of the approximate $22 million that the increased tax would raise, $16.5 million was for Stark County general fund operations whereas $5.5 million was earmarked for the 9-1-1 rebuild project.

As it turns out, the SCPR thinks it was one huge political mistake for Bosley to have pushed for the "imposed" levy.  It appears to the SCPR that Bosley was the impetus behind "imposing" the tax.

A centerpiece of Democrat Bosley's 2006 surprisingly victorious campaign against incumbent Stark County commissioner and Republican Richard Regula was fixing 9-1-1.

But the way to go about fulfilling his promise to voters was to convince them to pass the sales tax as a ballot initiative.

The Report thinks that bypassing the voters who in the November, 2009 general election "repealed" the tax made it impossible for him to win reelection in 2010 and was persuasive in his deciding to run against the-then 50th Ohio House District state representative Todd Snitchler (R, Lake).

Although the wide disparity in numbers (in Snitchler's favor) in the state representative election make it obvious that Bosley was not going to win even if he had not tarnished his standing with Stark voters in his push to "impose" the sales tax; his having been a participant in the imposition likely sealed the deal for Snitchler.

The SCPR goes through the "since Bosley" phase of the 9-1-1 project because at Monday night's Canton City Council meeting Ward 5 councilman Kevin Fisher (Bosley 2006 "for commissioner" campaign manager) spoke in recognition of Bosley's commitment to fixing Stark's broken 9-1-1 after council had passed an ordinance authorizing the expenditure of funds in support of merged (Canton, the Sheriff and Regional Emergency Dispatch; see below) dispatching service for much of Stark County.

9-1-1 Project Manager Joe Concatto was present at Canton City Council on Monday night along with Stark County Commissioner Thomas Bernabei in support of a resolution by council to include the Canton Communications Center (CCC, now being led by former police chief Dean McKimm) in a plan whereby the CCC joins with the Stark County Sheriff's Dispatch Center (SDC) and the Regional Emergency Dispatch (RED) Center as a first step in bringing all of Stark County together into a complete countywide system.

There is no doubt about it, Fisher is correct, Todd Bosley was focused on fixing Stark's 9-1-1.

The Report thinks he deserves credit (at great political cost to himself) for the funds being available for the current set of county commissioners
  • Janet Creighton, a Republican; 
  • Thomas Bernabei, a Democrat; and, ironically, 
  • Richard Regula, a Republican (who made a political comeback from his 2006 defeat by Bosley in November, 2012 by defeating long time city of Canton political figure Bill Smuckler)
to vote yesterday to authorize the expenditure of monies held since 2009/2010 (collection of the sales tax ended on March 31,2010) for a Computer-Aided-Dispatch system.

  • SCPR Note: "the specific expenditures"
    • $1,407,416 for licensing and implementation,
    • $499,320 for a 6 year pre-pay maintenance agreement
    • $1,000.00 (5% per year cap increase) for annual source code escrow fees
Project Manager Concatto spoke with the SCPR after the commissioners acted today about the importance of the "imposed" sales tax revenue being held in reserve so that the commissioners had the financial ability to act.

The SCPR thinks the commissioners deserve credit for protecting the money in reserve inasmuch as there was pressure brought to bear to apply the money for general fund purposes over the years it has been held.

There are many other "key" Stark County political and government figures who deserve recognition for their effort in keeping the 9-1-1 rehab project alive.

Chief among them is Randy Gonzalez.

Joe Concatto spoke with the SCPR about Gonzalez's contribution.

Gonzalez recently retired as the chief deputy for the Canton Municipal Court.  Moreover, he stepped aside as the chairman of the Stark County Council of Governments' (SCOG) Governance Committee which is the entity that has nursed the 9-1-1 project along.  He does, however, continue as the fiscal officer for Jackson Township.

Gonzalez has worked longer (for over 20 years) and harder than any other Stark Countian in furtherance of Stark County having a countywide 9-1-1 operation.

Joe Concatto, a former Canton fire chief and member of Janet Creighton's administration during her term (January 1, 2008 through December 31, 2011) as mayor of Canton has done superlative work as project manager.

Commissioner Thomas Bernabei has pushed the project along.  The SCPR sees Bernabei's major contribution as being willing to ask the hard questions and getting answers that make sense in getting Stark County the very best 9-1-1 setup at the best pricing available.

Concatto at yesterday's commissioners' meeting laid out well Bernabei's important role in getting the project to its current stage

And, of course, there are others.

These folks were recognized at the commissioners' meeting yesterday which recognition is presented in the following video.

The commissioners weighed-in yesterday with their individual comments.

Commissioner Creighton ("it is a poster project of collaboration in this county.  And it should be held up to show others that when you put your minds together ... some good things come to pass."):

Commissioner Regula:

Commissioner Bernabei:

There are those who have been an impediment to the realization of united Stark County 9-1-1 call receiving and dispatching operation.

As far as the SCPR is concerned one such person is Mayor William J. Healy the city of Canton.

In the video of Concatto's presentation to Canton Council (see above) and Mayor Healy on Monday night, Councilman Bill Smuckler (a long time Healy political nemesis and adversary) needled the mayor in saying "does this mean we are finally going to get together a countywide 9-1-1 system?"

Of course, the mayor gave him "a smart aleck" answer.

Smuckler back in 2011 was saying that the mayor's reluctance to getting Canton on board with a countywide 9-1-1 was costing the city $400,000.

Another sore point in the progress towards making Stark's 9-1-1 countywide is that a number of Stark County's political subdivisions either do their own dispatching (e.g. Alliance, Minerva and North Canton) or have Nimishillen Township's CenCom do dispatching for them.

9-1-1 Project Manager Concatto leaves up to Nimishillen Fire Chief Peterson to answer the question of what the future holds for Nimishillen's CenCom.

The SCPR believes that Todd Bosley, when he was a Nimishillen Township trustee, formed an alliance with long time fire chief Rich Peterson in the order of making a then-new facility (located on Columbus Road) the focal point of an countywide 9-1-1 system as part of Bosley's 2006 commissioner campaign.

The SCPR has written quite a few blogs about the Nimishillen factor and here is a partial listing for those readers are interested in getting into the fine details of the evolvement of CenCom.
The short of it is that Nimishillen lost out on being "the" hub of Stark County countywide 9-1-1 operations.

Moreover, Nimishillen has a very large mortgage to pay on the building which houses its dispatching services and, accordingly, it appears that the township is just trying to "stay above water" and therefore officials may feel that the township has no alternative but to compete with the county for political subdivision dispatching business.

Area media reports indicate that Nimishillen's CenCom serves a total of 25 agencies (not all of them in Stark County) and takes in about $800,000 a year in revenue

Some of the Stark County agencies include:
  •  Fire Departments
    • Canton Township,
    • East Sparta,
    • Greentown,
    • Hartville,
    • Magnolia,
    • Marlboro Township,
    • North Lawrence,
    • Osnaburg Township,
    • Perry Township,
    • Sandy Township,
    • Uniontown,
    • Washington Township
    • Waynesburg,
  • Police Departments
    • Uniontown
The Stark County commissioners have sent a letter out to all Stark County political subdivisions trying to interest them in joining a centralized Stark County system.

Here is a sample of the letter sent out:

July 3, 2014

Hon. Mayor Alan Andreani
Alliance City Hall
504 East Main Street
Alliance, Ohio 44601

Dear Mayor Andreani,

The Stark County Commissioners are in the process of purchasing a countywide Computer Aided Dispatch (CAD) system that can be used by all dispatch centers in the County.

The contract price for the purchase is approximately $1.4 million and will be paid from funds previously set aside by the Commissioners for 911 Dispatch and related purposes. The purchase of a CAD has been recommended by the Stark Council of Government’s (SCOG) Governance Board. An integral part of the CAD purchase is the purchase of a maintenance contract for an initial 6 year period at an additional cost of $598,950 (or discounted to $479,160 if prepaid.)

The Commissioners wish to make this CAD available to all political subdivisions within Stark County. 

There are currently eight (8) dispatch centers that dispatch for all police and fire and EMS services in Stark County and the CAD software would be connected to those dispatch centers via the existing 9-1-1 Optiman connection. There would be no cost to each political subdivision for the acquisition of the CAD (which includes training and data conversion), however,the future maintenance costs described above (and any other operational costs, of which none are specifically identified at this time) would be shared by any users. 

Stark County is contemplating prepaying the maintenance costs and then receiving contractual reimbursements from any CAD user over the 6 year period of the maintenance agreement. 

A CAD System provides the capability through displays and other tools for a dispatcher to handle calls as efficiently as possible and to more easily and readily view and understand the status of all units being dispatched.  The system includes modules for call input, call dispatching, call status maintenance, event notes, field unit status and tracking, and call resolution and disposition.  The CAD system also includes interfaces that will be used with the 9-1-1 system, the radio systems, CJIS, NCIC, and Leads.  

The CAD system we will be purchasing is designed to work with local mobile data terminals presently in police cruisers, fire trucks and medic units.  

The proposed CAD is a very robust system that can work as an individual CAD for each dispatch center but also the dispatch center can be connected to a countywide system. 

The CAD is designed to service any dispatch center or political subdivision in Stark County which may choose to participate. 

As presently contracted, it  will be used by Stark County (through the Sheriff’s Dispatch), the City of Canton and the Regional Emergency Dispatch (RED)  Center in Western Stark County operated by LOGIC (Local Organized Government in Cooperation), which is a Council of Governments of Western Stark County political subdivisions. 

As initially proposed, the Stark County Sheriff, Canton and the Red Center will pay one-third each of all maintenance and other operational costs; any other participating political subdivisions (through their dispatch center) would pay a prorated share of those costs based on population serviced or some other agreed upon formula, which share would then reduce the share of the initial 3 participants. 

The CAD as proposed is a state of the art system and will remain state of the art via updates as long as the maintenance contracts are kept in place. Again, the cost of acquisition of the CAD is being paid by Stark County; and it is anticipated that the costs of this maintenance agreement, when shared by all, should significantly reduce existing CAD maintenance costs for most all entities.

Participation in the new CAD is not in any manner conditioned upon mandated consolidation or elimination of any existing dispatch centers.  We simply want every dispatch center that wants to, to have access to this great resource.

If your political subdivision or the dispatch center that dispatches for you has any interest in participating in the CAD and/or arranging a more detailed meeting on the subject, please contact Commissioner Tom Bernabei (330-451-7368) or Project Manager Joe Concatto (330-806-9770.) 

Thank you.


Thomas M. Bernabei
President, Stark County Board of Commissioners

The combined Canton Communications Center, Sherff's Dispatch Center and Regional Dispatch Center should be up and running in about nine (9) months.

It could be that once those outside the county centralized dispatch system see how well it is working and the minimal costs (very minimal if all Stark County agencies of government participate)

An excellent example of:  "Build it and they will come," perhaps?

For only when all of Stark County is united under the umbrella of the newly purchased CAD system, will the work of the likes of Bosley, Gonzalez, Concatto, Bernabei be vindicated!

And if it is, Stark Countians and anyone traveling through the county will benefit with first rate emergency services.

Here is RED Center director Mark Busto speaking to that particular matter.


Complete video of Concatto presentation to the Stark County commissioners.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014




“Our country is falling apart and that is why I keep harping on this loss of federal and state money.”

Monday night's Canton City Council meeting was chocked full of happenings.

One that was somewhat surprising to The Stark County Political Report was that Republican Congressman Bob Gibbs (who hails from "very rural" Holmes County [Lakeville]) sent his Canton-based constituent services representative Jennifer Kiko to Canton City Council with a simple point:

"We are here to help; How can we help?"

That the congressman himself did not appear, puts the sincerity of the Kiko's entreaty in question, no?

Even if Gibbs himself had shown up, the problem is:  Who would believe he has much interest helping Canton?

As Canton City Council president Allen Schulman says in a post-meeting SCPR video interview that appears later in this blog, "the proof [will be] in the pudding" of Gibbs representation.

The SCPR daresays that very few in the room (mostly moderate to liberal Democrats) really believed that the congressman who is:
    • who is outranked in conservativeness on "social issues" by only 14% of Congress meaning only 60 or so other out of 435 congresspersons are more conservative than Gibbs
is interested in helping out "down-and-out, struggling" Canton, Ohio.

It could be that Canton is facing its trying times of staying afloat since The Great Depression of the 1930s.

Kiko's appearance made for good political window dressing.

Not that Gibbs needs it.

A place that Canton mayor William J. Healy, II and Canton Council president Allen Schulman did not point to on Monday as perhaps why Canton has an "unsympathetic to 'urban' area problems congressman" was to former Stark County Democratic Party chairman Randy Gonzalez who, as the then-chairman of the largest area (population wise) of the 7th District (i.e. Canton and surrounds), allowed Gibbs "a free ride back into Congress come this November.

Moreover, Gonzalez stood by and watched as Republican J. Kirk Schuring (a Republican member of the Stark County delegation to the Ohio General Assembly; the 48th Ohio House District) also got "a free ride" back to Columbus.

About a month ago or so Canton city treasurer Kim Perez (a former Stark County auditor and Canton city councilman) was blowing off about how Schuring et al  (i.e. Oelslager and Christina Hagan) were hurting Canton with their support of the the loss of some $5 million in local government funding at the hands of the Republicans in Columbus.

However, when questioned by the SCPR about what "action" he was going to provide to hold Schuring, Oelslager and Hagan accountable, he demurred.


He back off his criticisms?


Canton had made a miscalculation of the cost (city officials blamed the Ohio Department of Transportation) of the 12th Street NW Corridor roadway project and had a multi-million-dollar shortfall.

Canton officials went to Kirk Schuring and he was instrumental in finding $2 million to help with the shortfall.

So get it?

End of Schuring criticism from Canton officials?

Never mind that Canton and many local governments have ongoing, severe financial problems that are in dire need of a restoration of state funding to fix; after all, Schuring solved the Canton/ODOT? miscalculation problem, didn't he?

As The Report thought, Perez's posturing and pontificating was just that!

Moreover, it appears to the SCPR that the only thing that Gonzalez and his fellow leadership Dems care about these days is electing George T. Maier sheriff.

In the face of the coming statewide Republican landslide in Stark County and across Ohio (so the SCPR thinks), it will take a political miracle for Maier to have been anything other than the Stark County Democratic Party Central Committee "appointed" sheriff.

Even if Maier is elected, how does that help Canton with its severe financial and economic development problems?

An elected Connie Rubin (Republican Scott Oelslager's [Ohio 29th Senate District] Democratic opponent in November), a return of Democrat Stephen Slesnick to the Ohio General Assembly (the 49th House District) and the election of Democrat Debbie Cain in the 50th House District might actually be a help to Canton in fending off a new round of local government cuts expected with the all but certain reelection of Republican John Kasich as governor.

So as far as the SCPR is concerned, the Jennifer Kiko thing was "a dog and pony show" for a congressman of a gerrymandered congressional district
  • which is designed to more or less guarantee that a Democrat cannot win (especially when they do not even try as is the case with Gonzalez and Stark's "organized" Democrats)
to feign interest in urbanized Canton.

Here is how the show went:

Kiko introduces herself during the Canton City Council Committee of the Whole work session which precedes each and every council meeting.

Of interest to readers will be the questions and requests of various Canton council members.

As seen, Council Bill Smuckler (Democrat, At Large) had an incisive question about a federal "unfunded" mandate (EPA) that will cost Canton "sorely needed for other purposes" dollars.

As seen, Councilman Thomas West (Ward 2) had a question about the possibility that Canton will have to return $1 million to the federal government should its attempt to be a landlord to public housing fail.

Next, President Schulman provided Gibbs Constituent Service Representative Kiko with time (which Schulman used as an opportunity to provide her with "take 'this' message back to Congressman Gibbs) to speak at the "formal" meeting of council which, again, of interest to readers will be the question, requests, points of various Canton council members (Councilman Mariol, Ward 7, in this excerpt) and Mayor Healy.

  • SCRP Note:  
    • In his comments Schulman pointed out:
      • Her coming to council might be an opportunity for a dialogue between local government officials, state officials and federal officials on how to meet the needs of the country's urban areas,
      • Canton is short $7 million in presumably combined federal/state funding of Canton government,
      • Canton has 100 year old water pipes and roads and bridges in urgent need of repair and that Gibbs and Congress needs to get behind a federal infrastructure funding program of local communities across America,
    • In his comments, Mayor Healy opined:
      • That Gibbs is part of the State of Ohio problem in that he was a part of the Ohio House Republican caucus that started Ohio's cutback on local government funding, and
      • That over the past 10 years, there has been a 50% cut in federal Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) monies and asked Kiko to carry a message of the importance of CDBG monies for urban areas,
    • In his comments, Councilman Mariol:
      • focused on the federal minimum wages standard (currently $7.25 per hour) and the need that it get raised so that working Cantonians/Ohioans/Americans can earn "a living wage,"
If Kiko video #2 is not of enough of the polished, urbane and highly articulate Schulman; here he is in a post-meeting interview:

During the meeting, Mayor Healy interrupted (reference:  second Kiko video above) to say that he had information from Senator Oelslager that he wanted to meet with council.

In a post-meeting follow up with Healy, it is apparent to the SCPR that an Oelslager coming to Canton council will not be like Jennifer Kiko showing up and actually taking questions/request "in full public view."

No, Oelslager will do like Mike DeWine and Kirk Schuring did some months ago (which The Report thinks it is an outrage for democratically elected officials to allow).

And what did DeWine and Schuring do?

Met in private!  That's what!!

Some accountable democratic-republic officialdom we have in the City of Canton, Ohio?

But we should not be surprised if the Oelslager meeting is private.

Remember this is a council who voted to go into executive session to discuss who was going to be Democratic majority leader (also vice president of council) in December, 2013?

Gibbs, Oelslager and Canton City Council?

Just terrific models of a thriving democratic-republic, no?

What's more, does anyone really think that Congressman Bob Gibbs who represents a largely rural district and who is very, very socially conservative is going to weigh in on infrastructure money, more CDBG money and a higher minimum wage to benefit urban voters?

    Tuesday, July 29, 2014









    In 1937 Canton city government completed a water works facility which had begun the year before.

    James Seccombe was the mayor.

    He was in his personal political heyday in that this Republican mayor was elected to the United States Congress in 1939.

    And perhaps so was Canton as Stark County's center of government, manufacturing, commerce,culture and population.

    Although Canton would add some 8,000 to its population by the census of 1960, the trendline as shown in the population data in the graphic below was clearly on a downward path from the 1940 census onward.

    Today, Canton is the center of a massive project to clear away about 5,000 or so blighted properties so as to restructure the city from being a city of about 120,000 to one of about 60,000 to 75,000 depending on the success of efforts to revive Ohio's eighth largest city.

    Along with the government demolishing properties, so is the private sector.

    It was in the course of the demolishing of the now privately held former Canton Water Works facility that "a bit of Canton history" was unearthed (in the form of a time capsule) by Marshall Land Company, LLC which is located the heart of downtown Canton at 138 - 12th Street NW.

    The owner (James Marshall) of Marshall Land was at Canton City Council's regularly (bi-weekly during the summer) last night with the time capsule and made this presentation.

    One of the major pieces of the content of the time capsule box which was placed in the cornerstone of the Water Works building by then-mayor James Seccombe was an edition of the The CANTON Repository.

    Today of course the newspaper is known simply as The Repository as it has been Stark County's only newspaper since 1926 or so when it bought out its fledgling competitor the Canton Daily News.

    James Marshall agreed to share with The Stark County Political Report a look at the contents of the time capsule.

    Councilman at Large Richard Hart (Non-Partisan) took time out to thank the Marshall family for preserving and gifting the material found in the time capsule.

    In the next ensuing days the SCPR will be blogging extensive video taken at last night's meeting regarding the interaction between council members and a representative of Congressman Bob Gibbs.

    Jennifer Kiko of Gibb's Canton office (located in the Stark County Office Building) engaged a give and take between herself and various council members on the issue of Canton getting its fair share of federal government assistance in its struggle to once again to become a viable if not thriving city.

    Mayor Healy at last night's meeting passed on word that perhaps 29th District state senator and Republican Scott Oelslager will be making a appearance before council in the near future.

    The SCPR has and will be publishing video of Healy's announcement and well as a profusion of comments/reaction to Gibbs and the possibility of an Oelslager Canton City Council appearance.

    In the past, Oelslager has said he was "too busy" with his legislative duties to respond to Council president Alan Schulman's continuing request that he come to Canton and meet with council in an endeavor to get the State of Ohio to quit cutting local government funding and, in fact, to go the other direction.

    Although Democrat Connie Rubin is contesting Oelslager's right to remain in the Legislature beyond this year, the SCPR does not see her as much of a threat to his reelection.

    Though they complain about him, Oelslager will continue to get local government leaders' political support in his quest to remain in the Senate.

    Some political observers believe that Republican governor John Kasich will - in concert with the Ohio General Assembly - resume local government funding cuts and/or in adding "unfunded" state mandates whereby local governments foot the bill for implementing new state programs and standards once he is reelected governor of Ohio.

    And the SCPR thinks he will "win in a walk" and perhaps sweep local Republicans (e.g. Republican sheriff candidate Larry Dordea) into office with him.

    Oelslager has represented (since 1985) the Canton/Stark County area either as state representative or state senator going back to the 1980s as he and state Representative Kirk Schuring (since 1993) have "played musical chairs" (but in a version in which each ends up with a seat) in switching seats every eight years in order to defeat the intent of term limits that became the law of Ohio in the 1990s.

    The imposition of term limits was a Republican idea designed to wrestle control of the Ohio General Assembly from the Democrats of the era of one time Democratic strongman Vern Riffe (1975 through 1994).

    Riffe is a political hero of former Stark County Democratic Party chairman Johnnie A. Maier, Jr.

    As Ohio Senate Finance Committee chairman, Oelslager has at long last achieved political power in Columbus.  However, he has yet - in the opinion of the SCPR - to use it to the advantage of Stark County.

    Undoubtedly, he and Schuring (also a Republican) have brought some Columbus-based benefit to Stark County.  But not nearly what one would expect from a duo who are approaching a combined 50 years in the Ohio Statehouse.

    The State of Ohio holds about $2.5 billion in its "rainy day fund" of which about .5 billion plus has been taken by the Kasich administration and the Republican dominated Ohio General Assembly from Ohio's local governments.

    Monday, July 28, 2014


     UPDATE:  12:22 PM 08/04/2014

            Aug 3 at 11:27 AM


    Hi Martin.  

    Saw my name listed as indetermined....I am in Lawrence
    Twp, and yep, I voted.  I've missed before but it's been a while.  I even hit the August/February issues.  Have a good one.  Loved that you
    printed that.


    Mark H. Adams, MPH, RS
    Director of Environmental Health and
    Superintendent of Sanitation
    Canton City Health Department
    420 Market Avenue North
    Canton, Ohio 44702

    UPDATE:  2:45 PM


    MAY 06, 2014

    A reader of the SCPR tried to convince the writer of this blog to analyze and publish voting data for an election other than an off-year primary election.

    Such a database, he said, would be more indicative of the voting patterns/habits of Stark Countians.

    Well, the SCPR is more interested about who votes when  there is nothing "glitzy" about the election.  And certainly the May, 6 2014 primary election was a clear case of it taking "dedication to our 'democratic-republican' system of government and politics" to know who the "hard core" of supporters of our system really are.

    The SCPR says that voting in an election like the May 6th primary is a true honoring of those founding fathers who put our system together and to those millions of Americans who have "given their final measure" to protect our way of collective life.

    Accordingly, The Report continues this blog series on the pathetic participation of the voting hoi polloi of Stark County in the May 6, 2014 in what the SCPR says belongs in the Hall of Shame of the annals of Stark County voting history.

    Some of the most ardent participants in our system of government are public officials.

    As well, it should be.

    For if those elected will not vote, then one would have to conclude that perhaps our system of government "is on the ropes" and someone will come along sooner of later to convince us that maintaining our freedoms is not all that important after all.

    Especially so in this 21st century when security of the nation seems to be at the forefront of our concerns in the context of a world increasingly occupied by terrorists and the like, we Americans could be increasingly vulnerable to having fast-talking politicians sacrifice our vigilance.

    The problem in Stark County on commitment to voting is with Stark's everydays; not with public officials.

    In the SCPR's series on voting percentages across Stark County in the May 6, 2014 primary election, only 13.7% of Stark Countians voting with one precinct in Canton Councilwoman Chris Ward's Ward 4 voting at 2.03%.

    Truly Stark County's voting numbers in May, 2014 is deserving of being tabbed as a "Hall of Shame" performance.

    A preliminary examination (Alliance, Canton, Massillon and North Canton) of the Stark County public official voting on May 6th indicates that a supermajority of them voted.

    However, indication is that there was a significant number who did not.

    Canton, so far, in the SCPR analysis leads the way among Stark's political subdivision officialdom (elected and unelected) in "non-voting:"

    However, Massillon and North Canton also sport some "notables" that Ohio secretary of state database information indicates did not vote in May, 2014.

    Surprising in Massillon is a database indication that Safety Director Al Hennon did not vote in May's primary.

    In North Canton, a couple of councilmen did not vote.  Councilman at Large Mark Cerreta and "new" councilman Dominic Fonte.

    One has to wonder whether or not Fonte's fellow councilpersons checked his "publicly available" voting in elections record to check his commitment to vote track record before selecting him last month to replace recently resigned Ward 4 councilman Jon Snyder.

    Probably not.

    Really, why not?

    Did you notice that two of North Canton's councilpersons (Cerreta and Kiesling) before Fonte councilpersons failed to vote in the primary?

    Nearly 30%!

    If Fonte is included, then upwards of 43% of the North Canton council DID NOT VOTE in this primary.

    Astounding, no?

    The SCPR will be updating the database of Stark County public officials (elected and unelected) on whether or not they voted in the May 6, 2014 primary.

    It appears that perhaps 100% of Alliance officialdom voted in the off-year primary election.

    A couple of officials are not shown in Stark County voter registration records.  It could be that they are non Stark Countians.

    The Report thinks that if any group should have a 100% participation rate it should be those who are in taxpayer support positions of public trust.

    Friday, July 25, 2014


    UPDATE:  SATURDAY:  08:20 AM





    Phil Davison is back!

    Remember this Stark County Political Report video:

    SCPR NOTE:  The SCPR within the last hour or so received a telephone call from Phil Davison who tells The Report that he has been in touch with ABC News20/20 and has been informed that his segment is to be shown tonight.  

    Davison was originally scheduled to be on 20/20 on Friday, April 25th.


    Barring an interruption (see SCPR Note above) for a breaking news story or the like, ABC News will airing former Minerva councilman Phil Davison on a segment of its famed 20/20 news show tonight.

    20/20 will be using a grand total of 21 seconds of the SCPR's 6:11 video taken by The Report on Davison on September 8, 2010 as he competed with a number of Stark County Republicans for appointment as the Stark Republican Party's candidate for Stark County treasurer in the November, 2010 general election.

    The video went viral as The Report teamed up with The Huffington Post to give the the clip national exposure.


    From a SCPR blog of September 9, 2010:

    On Wednesday evening the Stark County Republican Party nominated former Alliance auditor and current North Canton Finance Director Alex Zumbar to be its nominee to run for Stark County Treasurer in November against Democrat Ken Koher.

    There is a vacancy because on August 23rd, the Stark County commissioners vacated the county treasurer title held by Democrat Gary D. Zeigler.

    Commissioners forced Zeigler out of office under the authority of Ohio Revised Code Section 321.38 because of the loss some $2.96 million of county money under his watch as county treasurer.  Former Chief Deputy Vince Frustaci has admitted to stealing of $2.46 million of the missing money. The remaining money has not been accounted for.  Zeigler has had a civil suit filed against him by the county commissioners to recover the missing money from him on a legal theory of personal liability.   Zeigler is contesting the suit.
    • SCPR Note [April 25, 2014]:  Zeigler was returned to office on an Ohio Supreme ruling of June 23, 2011 and Zumbar was compelled to vacate the office he won over Koher in November, 2010.  However, on October 19, 2011 Zeigler worked out an agreement with the Stark County commissioners to retire/resign and thereby settled all the civil claims the county had against him.  On October 31st, the Stark County Democratic Central Committee under pressure from the Stark County commissioners (which at the time had two Democrats [Bernabei and Ferguson] and one Republican [Creighton] on the board of commissioners) coupled with palpable public sentiment appointed Republican Zumbar as treasurer which he won outright in the November 12, 2012 general election.

    Phil Davison, Stark County's very own "firestorm" political orator, when told by yours truly that a member of the Stark County Republican Party Executive Committee asked The Report to take down the blog of his speech, he was incredulous.

    The speech video appeared on The Huffington Post "Eyes and Ears" Citizen Journalist forum (for which yours truly is a citizen journalist reporting on the Boccieri side of the Boccieri/Renacci 16th district congressional campaign) initially at 12:04 PM on September 9th and by 2:47 PM that same day the Stark GOP executive committee member was on the phone to the SCPR asking that the blog be taken down.

    Why? - Davison asked The Report.

    The Report's answer?

    The high level Stark Republican said the request was based on a desire to protect Davison from himself. He wasn't being who he really is. 

    But the SCRP wasn't buying.  Moreover, The Report is not buying the executive committee member's protestation that he was acting on his own.

    The Report believes Jeff Matthews (chairman of the Stark County Republican Party) et al were trying to protect their concept of what a Stark Republican should look like.  And Davison's rhetorical flourish style did not fit.

    Organized Republican and Democrat political parties are desperate these days to get the attention and respect of the American voters in national, state and local elections.  Only about 20% of the electorate has any regard whatsoever for America's two political parties.  However, they are  not about to embrace Davison types.

    Any maverick-esque politicians like Davison can be sure that the organized parties will do everything they can to marginalize them.

    As far as Phil Davison is concerned (as can be seen in his own words on the included video), his speech was an old style Lincoln-Douglas Debate type speech.

    Only trouble is that only a Lincoln proxy (Davison) was present at the Stark GOP event last Tuesday.  None of the other candidates simulated Douglas.  Nor in the year 2010,  will there be any.  Davison is definitely one of a kind.

    Davison himself recognizes that he is "special" in terms of having a flair about himself as he manifested in his presentation to the Stark GOP.  But he offers no apologies and thinks that local political parties need to excise themselves of their blandness, staleness and mediocrity. 

    On Saturday, The Report sat down with Phil Davison for an extended interview regarding:
    • his life since the video went viral on YouTube, 
    • his explanation for the ferocity and intensity of the speech, and 
    • what he thinks his political future might be. 
    The included video has all his answers to those questions.  Moreover, the interview shows Davison to be a thoughtful, articulate person notwithstanding his - as thought by many viewers - "over the top" speech of September 9th. [sic - SCPR Note of April 25, 2014 the event actually took place on September 8th].


    The past Saturday Davison telephoned the SCPR to inform The Report that ABC News 20/20 was going to include him in a segment and that ABC personnel had been in town earlier that same week and filmed him at the Stark County Office Building (the treasurer's office is located on the second floor of the building).

    Davison credits the SCPR with making him famous with the video and called to make sure The Report knew how appreciative he is.

    In the upwards of three years that the video went viral, Davison has appeared on quite of number of national media shows including Comedy Central, a Volkswagen advertisement for SuperBowl XLVII, National Public Radio and The Huffington Post among others.

    He made CNN's list of greatest all time rants.

    Davison has a Wikepedia piece that is dedicated to him.

    After serving on Minerva City Council for about 16 years, Davison did not seek reelection in November, 2013.


    LINK to update of E-File blog of 07/24/2014


    MAY 06, 2014 PRIMARY

    UPDATED SATURDAY: 07/26/2014 09:00 AM

    Today, The Stark County Political Report continues (began on July 7th) its series on naming names on who did and who did not vote on May 06, 2014.

    The data for this series comes from a database of registered voter information maintained by and downloadable from the Ohio secretary of state website. 

    Hopefully, your name is not included in the listing as a non-voter.  If it is, please resolve to "turn over a new leaf" and become a voter each and every election.  As this is a minimal way that we Americans honor our founding fathers and those who have given "their last full measure" to preserve our free society.

    This series picks up today with Alliance, Canton City, Massillon and North Canton precincts; namely, precincts 1C in each of the aforesaid communities:

    The following is a list of LINKS that readers can click on to go back a check on previous Alliance, Canton, Massillon and North Canton precincts reported on.
    Where the SCPR differs markedly from other Stark media is that The Report identifies offenders by name when a blog castigates one activity or another as a subject matter of a particular blog.

    With this series of blogs, The Report takes on the 86.3% of Stark County's 249,614 registered voters.

    In other words, this, prior and ensuing blogs in this series will be naming many of the SCPR's own readers, their relatives, their business associates, their colleagues, their fellow workers, their friends and, yes!, their neighbors in this series which will run to completion between today and November 04, 2014 - the date if this year's general election.

    Many readers will want to dismiss the significance of the extremely low vote total in the May 06, 2014 primary election as not involving "important to the viability of our democracy" issues and candidates.

    One of the "important to the viability to our democracy" primary election day matters was the election of precinct committee persons.



    Our current sitting Stark County sheriff (George T. Maier) is in office as a consequence of the vote of the precinct committee persons of the Stark County Democratic Party on December 11, 2014 after having been removed from office on November 6, 2013 by the Ohio Supreme Court as having been "illegally" (in violation of Ohio Revised Code Section 311.01) appointed by those same precinct committee persons on February 05, 2013.

    Steve Okey sits as the president of Alliance City Council as a consequence of having been appointed by a simple majority (8 for Okey, 5 for Ryan and 1 for a third candidate) of a mere 14 Alliance area voters who happened to be city of Alliance Stark County Democratic Party precinct committee members.

    The SCPR can recite numerous examples of the "significance" of political party precinct committee members on governance in Stark County and its political subdivisions on both side of the political aisle.

    In October, 2013, The Huffington Post Blog published an article on a precinct committee person election in the Detroit area.

    In the article, O'Connor makes a number of worth quoting observations about the importance and significance of the election of precinct committee persons and the like (i.e board of education, et cetera), to wit:
    Since these local campaigns are kind of low key, voters somehow get the impression these elections aren't all that important -- but nothing could be further from the truth. Positions on the school board, zoning commission and library board shape the quality of life and future direction of our towns -- the places where we live our lives -- in ways that are vastly more direct than the federal government. Obamacare certainly touches everyone's life, but the impact of putting a cocktail lounge next to the high school is more direct, and maybe even more important.

    Somehow, voters don't see it that way, which is why over 50 percent of registered voters will turn out for a presidential election, but the turnout in a local election is usually less than 10 percent. In many cases, it can be as low as three percent.
    "As low as three percent?"

    In Stark County, Ohio?

    How about lower?

    On May 13th, the SCPR did a blog on Canton City Ward 4, to wit:


    2.03% in Canton city councilwoman (Democrat) Chris Smith's Ward 4.

    Former Stark County Democratic Party chairman Randy Gonzalez gets reverential when talking about the "importance and significance" of precinct committee persons to our democracy in meetings he has chaired when precinct committee persons are called upon to choose whom "to put in office" among the candidates for the Party's selection.

    And well he should.

    For the selected person - even if a Party hack - as a government official will be making decisions that affecting all of us.

    In 1999, the Stark County Democratic Party precinct committee persons (countywide) chose Gary D. Zeigler to be Stark County treasurer when his predecessor (Mark Roach) was removed from office.

    Who can forget April 1, 2009 when it was revealed that Zeigler's chief deputy Vince Frustaci had stolen upwards of $3 million from the Stark County treasurer.

    While Zeigler has never been implicated in the theft, many Stark Countians and the State of Ohio auditor's office think he did not have adequate safeguards in place (after some 10 years in office, and, having run [2008] uncontested) to have prevented the theft.

    The point is that whom constituted the Stark County Democratic Party precinct committee make-up in 1999 was extremely important in terms of the "elected" committee persons serving having the inclination and ability to vet the candidates for appointment to ensure that a person was up to doing the job of protecting Stark County taxpayer assets.

    The SCPR offers the foregoing examples as substantiation "right here in Stark County" - not some far off place - that the election of 2014 just on the matter of precinct committee persons of both the Democratic and Republican parties are not only "important" and "significant;" they are vital - as are all issue and candidate elections - to the viability of our democracy.

    Last Friday we celebrated the 4th of July; the founding of our great nation.

    Late in May, we remembered those who gave "the ultimate sacrifice" in preserving our freedoms.

    As the SCPR sees it, that 86.3% of Stark County registered voters did not vote on May 06, 2014 is to disrespect the work of our founders and to disrespect those who gave "their full measure" so that you and I can continue to live free.

    Shame on those (with the very, very few exceptions of those who had reasons why it was impossible to vote) of us who did not vote on May 06, 2014.

    The SCPR thinks "it is fitting and proper" that those Stark Countians who did their duty in honoring:
    • the deliberations and results our forefathers achieved with the "freedom-loving" Constitution of 1789, and 
    • those who laid down their lives or suffered untold injury in body and mind in fighting those who would enslave us
    be recognized for doing so in the lists of voters/non-voters that follow.

    For those who did not vote (with no acceptable excuse), it is fitting and proper that we all know who they are "by name."

    Shame on them!

    Accordingly, the SCPR will over ensuing weeks being publishing precinct by precinct the list of  of those eligible to participate who did or did not participate.

    Readers from these precincts should be scanning the lists to know who honor the great American democratic-republic and those who are too busy to be bothered.

    Thursday, July 24, 2014


    UPDATE:  07/25/2014 AT NOON

    E-mail from Jodi German of Clerk of Courts office re:  costs/recovery of costs of e-filing system

     Mont. Co. notes

            Jodi German
            Today at 9:33 AM

            Nancy Reinbold

    Mr Olson,

    In my notes from an OCCA session that a representative from Montgomery County spoke about their e-filing, I have the following "With costs savings in reducing staff (through attrition) and savings in salary and benefits, they recouped their initial costs in 2 years, saving $780,000 per year." 

    ... .

    Jodi German
    Legal Division Administrator
    Stark County Clerk of Court's Office
    115 Market Ave N. Suite 101
    Canton, OH 44702

    UPDATE AT 09:00 AM









    Commissioner Janet Weir Creighton said at yesterday's regular meeting of the Stark County Board of Commissioners that "it took a woman" to get the job done.

    And right Creighton is.

    For nearly ten years Stark County officialdom (dominated by male leadership) has sat idly by quite content to live in the comfort of the 20th if not the 19th century in terms of implementing technology so as to save Stark County taxpayers millions of dollars over the past ten years, more or less.

    In 2006, Montgomery County (the Dayton area) got a system of electronic court filings up and running (the first in all of Ohio) and officials could not be more pleased with the results.

    As gratified as the court officials are, taxpayers have to be "jumping for joy!"

    It will be at least nine (9) months until Stark County's taxpayers begin to see the benefits of the Stark County's implementation of e-filing that would not be that close to realization had it not been for Judge Taryn Heath seizing the initiative with Clerk of Courts Nancy Reinbold (in 2011) to get behind a Stark County effort to bring the county into the 21st technological century.

    Below is a video of a presentation by Clerk of Courts Reinbold, her top level deputy Jodi German and Court of Common Pleas chief administrator Marc Warner made to commissioners yesterday.

    Not to focus unduly on the fact that it has been Stark County female leadership that is bringing Stark County officialdom "kicking and screaming" into the 21st century, The Stark County Political Report notes that Warner has also been "a key person" in bringing e-filing to Stark County and the many, many dollars it will ultimately be keeping in the wallets and purses of everyday Stark Countians.

    As seen in the video immediately below, Warner, the SCPR thinks, makes a mistake that many government officials make.  He says that the cost of the putting the e-filing system place is not paid for by taxpayers in that "the users" pay for it.

    To the SCPR, at one level or another "users" are taxpayers and while Warner acknowledges that it is "public money" which is paying for the system, he seems to be making "a distinction that is not a difference."

    The most that can be said for Warner's point is that as far as users being the payers for the system is that they are a narrower band of taxpayers than the general taxpaying public.

    Another Warner point that needs to be picked up on by Stark County's municipal court judges; namely,

    The point?

    "Potentially" Stark County's municipal courts could be participating.


    You have be to kidding!

    For instance, the SCPR has heard Massillon City Council member Paul Manson complain about the huge increase over the last ten years or so that the Massillon courts are costing Massillon taxpayers.

    One would think that Massillon court officials would be eager to use the e-filing system to lessen the court's expense to Massillon taxpayers, no?

    And the same, no doubt, applies to the Canton and Alliance courts.

    Why are Alliance, Canton and Massillon court officials dragging their feet on this opportunity to save their respective taxpaying base money?

    One more thing, while the SCPR is at it in criticizing the administration of Stark's municipal courts, is to point out that the "muny" courts are not fully utilizing the database that has been set up under the Stark CJIS (Criminal Justice Information System).

    The Court of Common Pleas (CCP) is far advanced over the "munys" in that, for those who are CJIS CCP authorized users, access is available to download copies of docketed pleadings.

    The Report "once upon a time" asked former Canton Municipal Court chief deputy (now retired) Randy Gonzalez (another former Stark County Democratic Party chairman) about this lagging phenomenon on the part of the "munys."

    All the SCPR got was a "shrug of the shoulders."

    As seen in the press conference video below, not one Stark County municipal court figure (according to Clerk Reinbold) has "stepped up to the plate" on this issue in following the lead of Judge Heath.

    Reinbold's old boss at the Stark County clerk of courts office; namely, Phil Giavasis is being out done on the e-filing thing by her.

    Maybe he is preoccupied with being the newly elected chairman of the Stark County Democratic Party?

    And, perhaps, Johnnie A. Maier, Jr (Massillon's clerk of courts, a former Stark Dems' chairman who is still heavily involved in Massillon and Stark County politics) has the same problem?

    Nonetheless and nevertheless, it is good to see Stark County getting "on-board" finally due to the work of Heath, Reinbold, German and Warner.
    After the presentation, the SCPR and Nancy Molnar of the Akron Beacon Journal engaged Reinbold, German and Warner in a Q&A as a follow up to their presentation the commissioners.

    An investigation by the SCPR of sources available on a simple Internet search reveals that as early as the middle 1980s progressive and efficiency-oriented public officials (the first actual implementation taking place in 1985) looking for ways to save taxpayer dollars figured out that e-filing was a way to do just that.

    One of the best summaries of the pluses of e-filing is contained in an Ohio Supreme Court memorandum on the topic, to wit: (an extract)

    The SCPR has experience in trying to get local government agencies to adopt the efficiencies of electronic ways of serving the tax paying public.

    It was "like pulling teeth" to get the Neanderthals who run the Stark County Board of Elections to scan in campaign finance reports as they are filed so that they can be e-mailed to requesters of public records.

    Recently, North Cantonians have had "a devil of a time" getting Law Director Tim Fox to honor requests that public record responses be sent to them by e-mail.

    Much, much more can be done at the State of Ohio and county level of government to make information and processes of government available electronically to Stark County's citizens.

    The Stark County Political Report proposes that the Board of Stark County Commissioners form a Stark County Government Task Force on Ways of Means to Implement Electronic Efficiencies.

    It was all well and good for Commissioner Creighton to laud Judge Heath as a woman to bring Stark County into the 21st century.

    Though The Report understands that her comment on "it taking a woman" was done in jest, her humor does bring to mind the following "serious" question:

    Is Commissioner Creighton willing "to lead the way" in pushing for the creation of the aforementioned task force so as to assess all Stark County government operations in all departments of county government in terms of implementing technology and thereby make county government "all that it can be" in providing maximum access to citizens and in the process, lessen the cost of government?