Tuesday, July 8, 2014


UPDATE: 03:00 PM


Chuck Osborne
        Today at 2:14 PM

To:  Martin Olson

July 8, 2014

 Hello Martin,

Your comprehensive video coverage of North Canton’s July 7, 2014, Special Council Meeting is superb.

I would like to comment briefly on some of the topics that Mr. Snyder spoke to in his video interview with you and in his public remarks to City Council.

The “waterline to no where,” Mr. Snyder’s words, was a $1.6 million water line project that was laid in the right-of-way of the Cuyahoga Scenic Railway (CVSR) that was to connect North Canton’s water system to the City of Canton’s water system. I was opposed to the expenditure because the City agreed to very unfavorable terms in the lease of the right-of-way. Canton, in an earlier project, had agreed to a lease with the CVSR for a one-time payment of approximately $100,000 to lay pipe in the CVSR right-of-way. North Canton’s lease with the CVSR called for escalating annual payments to lease the right-of-way, which over the lifetime use of the pipe line would have resulted in lease payments to the CVSR of over a million dollars. A few years after the pipe line was put in place, the City abandoned the plan to connect with the City of Canton and instead developed the Oster Well Field, which I stopped the City from selling when I was on City Council.

Mr. Snyder is critical of my picketing against the water line and in the same breath says I was correct in my opposition. It is amusing that Mr. Snyder states that it was Mayor Rice who put in the water line, knowing full well that the water line could not have been put in without City Council’s voting for the funding. And Mr. Snyder voted to authorize the expenditure. This was a waste of $1.6 million dollars and it was amusing to me that Mr. Snyder now concurs.

Mr. Snyder says that the Aqua Ohio water contract was one of his greatest achievements. I beg to differ.

The first five years of the contract, the City sold water to Aqua Ohio for less than the City’s cost to treat the water. This is documented in a study done by the City’s own consultant. I have calculated that the City lost $5.0 million dollars over this time period. The agreement was renegotiated for better terms for the City as the losses were pointed out by the City’s consultant.

The whole reason there is an agreement with Aqua Ohio is that in the Community Economic Development Agreement (CEDA) between Plain Township, McKinley Development and North Canton, the City failed to insure that the City had the water distribution rights when it annexed the property. That is why, to this day, the Sanctuary is served by Aqua Ohio and not the City of North Canton.

And to rub salt in the wound on this issue is the fact that North Canton provides the water to Aqua Ohio that they in turn sell to residents in the Sanctuary. You can thank Mr. Jon Snyder for this and his close relationship with the owner of McKinley Development. I voted against the CEDA. Ask Mr. Snyder if I was correct on this issue as well he now says, eleven years after the fact that I was correct on my opposition to the water line to no where.

I do not want to make my remarks too lengthy but I am compelled to question Mr. Snyder’s statement that the purchase of Arrowhead has not resulted in the loss of a dime to the City. The very first Lessee walked away from the lease of the Golf Course owing the City $110,000. Why did the City pay $4.2 million dollars for a property that was really only worth between $2.5 and $2.8 million? McKinley Development paid $1.5 million for nearly identical acreage when it purchased Bob-o-Link Golf course.

The last appraisal on Arrowhead Golf Course was for $1.9 million. This decline in value is NOT due entirely to the downturn in the economy. So Mr. Snyder, I vehemently disagree with your statement that the City has not lost a dime on Arrowhead Golf Course. The City has lost millions of dollars.

I can only say that if there were more investigative journalism, details on many issues would be ferreted out.

Last night’s City Council meeting was choreographed as they all are in the Dogwood City. I am glad that everyone reveled in a round of “Kumbaya” for their former leader.

I hope Mr. Snyder enjoyed the recognition from peers who just a couple of months ago forced him out of the position as President of North Canton City Council and who we all know question the circumstances in which he abruptly resigned from his seat on North Canton City Council.

Thank you,

Chuck Osborne


UPDATE :09:17 AM









Jon Snyder will be on the ballot again in the November, 2015 general election.

But for what office?

How about for mayor of North Canton?

See more about that interesting announcement (running for office; not that he running for mayor) made exclusively to The Stark County Political Report at the very end of the July 7, 2014 post-North Canton City Council "special" meeting which included recognition of Snyder's service on council at the end of this blog.

Last night had to be a "bittersweet" time for former North Canton Ward 4 councilman Jon Snyder as his former fellow councilpersons recognized him for his nearly 17 years of service on North Canton City Council.

A noticeable absence at the meeting was the contingent of Concerned Citizens of North Canton who - in addition to perennial Snyder critic Chuck Osborne - made a pre-meeting announcement that the group was boycotting the meeting.

One of the more poignant moments of last evening was when he spoke of long time council clerk Gail Kalpac whom, he said, moved her resignation/retirement date from August 1st of this year to June 1st to coincide with his own as of midnight May 31, 2014.

As - ironically - Law Director Tim Fox sat in the council clerk's chair (council is without a clerk until July 14th and Fox was substituting) in city council's chamber; he had to be bracing for where Snyder was going to go with his praise of Kalpac in terms of the reasons why she decided to step down.

Snyder full well knew that the primary reason Kalpac left council after many years as clerk was due to her abrasive relationship with Fox.

But being the diplomat he is, Snyder did not go there and do that in terms of embarrassing Fox in front of the council assembly.

However, in his interview with the SCPR, Snyder was much more frank as seen in the following segment from the interview video. 

Councilwoman Marcia Kiesling said at a North Canton council meeting in June that she was trying to get Kalpac to come to last night's meeting so council could recognize her years of service to the city.

Obviously, she failed to convince Kalpac who was not present last evening.

The SCPR hears that Kalpac is smarting from council's failure to support her in what is believed to have been a long running tiff (probably beginning shortly after he was appointed law director by council in September, 2012) Kalpac and Fox over how she was discharge her duties as council clerk.

There was a discussion in the media row last evening about how Kalpac would provide an electronic (via email) agenda and packet of documents to media the Thursday/Friday before a regular council meeting which practice has abruptly stopped with Kalpac's departure and Fox's assumption of council clerk duties.

It was somewhat amusing to the SCPR to see Fox sitting in the council clerk's chair last night.

In the "post-recognition-event" interview with The Stark County Political Report, Snyder did not dodge the questions put to him by The Report on the Kalpac/Fox saga.

Snyder did have some parting words of advice for Fox which, of course, Fox and SCPR readers can see in the video posted at the beginning of this blog's discussion of the Kalpac/Fox relationship.

Fox is undoubtedly an "intelligent" person, but the question is whether or not he has wisdom.

If he does, then he will take Snyder's advice to heart and "turn over a new leaf." If he doesn't then he will not and the SCPR thinks his own departure is merely a matter of time.

Jon Snyder's time on North City Council is a compellingly interesting story.

In the mid-1970s Sndyer left Canton for North Canton where he opened a mens clothing store.

From the get-go, Snyder says he got involved in North Canton's civic life involving what?

Economic development, of course, in the form of working for a referendum on the annexation to North Canton of the former Hoover property.

In his own words, Snyder talks about his coming to North Canton, opening his business, civil involvement (served on planning commission) and his first try for political office and his life on council.

In 1995, as he tells it in the above-video, Snyder took some very bad advice from the-then North Canton councilman at large Greg Wernet to take on Ward 4 incumbent councilman Daryl Revoldt.

It wasn't long after word spread about Snyder's challenge to Revoldt that Snyder catching flak, thought it prudent to call the-then Stark County Republican Party chairman Charles Brown.

Brown's message to the challenger?

"You should not be running against Revoldt, you should asking to be his campaign finance chairman!" Snyder says Brown told him. (see video immediately above)

In hindsight and the expense of being soundly defeated by Revoldt, Snyder understood that Wernet had given him "a bum steer" and went about mending relationships with Revoldt.

When Revoldt became mayor in 1999, Snyder was appointed to Revoldt's Ward 4 seat.

Apparently, Wernet is not the greatest reader of the political "tea leaves," no?

As Snyder was recognized by North Canton's current line up of council persons and administrators (Mayor David Held was absent because he needed to attend a wake), it is apparent when he took to the "public speaks" lectern that last night's recognition was a highly emotional time for him.

In addressing council, Snyder reminisced about his years as a North Canton legislator and his take on his own achievements as one of North Canton's lawmakers.

His most notable accomplishments as councilman?

His biggest failure?

How about his relationship with former North Canton mayor Tom Rice.

The Stark County Political Report has always found Snyder to be completely accessible and forthcoming in his perspective on North Canton government.

More importantly, unlike "a few in number" other Stark County elected officials, though The Report has written critically of Snyder's actions as a legislator from time-to-time; he has had the maturity to understand that such is role of an effective media and never refused to answer the SCPR's questions.

Moreover, The Report thinks that Snyder is a man of vision.

He fully understands that North Canton is no longer a city with $23 million in excess revenue (circa 1997) and now with a mere $2 million carryover, the city must find a way to cope with ever increasing demands that public services place on city revenues.

He tried to get North Canton to get into a economic development collaborative mode with Jackson Township, Plain Township and Canton but was undermined by Mayor David Held and his long time nemesis and and civic activist Chuck Osborne.

The Report in the interview delved into the MEDA controversy with former council president Snyder. 

In November, 2012, Osborne, a long time nemesis of Snyder (also of the entire council) decided to cobble together an ordinance to present to North Canton voters prohibiting council members from getting health care insurance coverage at North Canton government's expense.

In this excerpt from the SCPR Snyder interview, Snyder talks about his historical relationship with Osborne.

The Report asked Snyder whether or not he would like to have a "do-over" on North Canton's controversial health care issue.

Think maybe?

Here is Jon's response:

Additionally, he has presented ideas for North Canton to raise revenues (see MEDA discussion video above).  However, his fellow council persons have rejected those initiatives.

With Snyder saying that he will be on the ballot in November, 2015, the question becomes:  does he plan a political comeback in North Canton?

The SCPR thinks so.

And thinking it over, it seems logical to The Report that he plans to run against Mayor David Held.

In 2013, Held said that the November, 2013 election would be his last run for mayor.

But now the SCPR is hearing that he has changed his mind and is planning on running for another term.

While The Report's assessment is that Snyder and Held have a civil relationship, it is obvious that Snyder did not take it kindly when Held undermined his leadership role as council president in the MEDA battle.

Held did persuade enough council persons to support his threatened veto of legislation whereby North Canton would sign on with Jackson, Plain and Canton to force Snyder and Councilwoman Kiesling to retreat from their staunch support of MEDA.

But in doing so, he likely created conditions in the light of Snyder's resignation/retirement from council because he had to shore up his health care coverage that may result in an ironic twist of politics that Snyder takes Held head-on come November, 2015.

The Stark County Political Report is bullish about the idea of a Snyder challenge to Held.

Snyder has much to recommend him to the citizens of North Canton as an alternative to Held.

North Canton needs new executive leadership and Jon Snyder is a guy who can provide it "in spades."

Held is considerably younger than Snyder, but Snyder is much more visionary.

Is running for mayor, Jon Snyder's "secret" plan for providing North Cantonians with hope that better days are ahead for The Dogwood City?



(individual council members reflect)
(various administrators comment)





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