Monday, August 18, 2014


Today's blog is Part 3 of an ongoing series wherein The Stark County Political Report continues to raise the question of whether or not Stark County government is overpaying to the tune of $1 million plus for a 9-1-1 Computer Aided Dispatch (CAD) upgrade.

The focus today is an apparently "lost" communication sent by the mayor of Hartville (Richard Currie) and the Stark County commissioners office, to wit:

From: Richard Currie
Sent: Friday, July 25, 2014 2:04 PM
To: ''
Cc: ''; ''; ''
Subject: Stark County CAD


In response to your email of July 22, 2014, the software development costs for Hartville’s TAC RMS system to interface with your proposed CAD system would be $10K.

If, however, the agenda is to save money and increase safety for first responders and the citizens of Stark County, I would ask that you give thoughtful consideration to the proposal that Tom Craven outlined in his letter to Joe Concatto (attached).

The package outlined would cost $12K per PSAP per year, or less than $100K for the whole county. This system would provide CAD, MDT, and RMS for everyone and thus everyone would be on ‘the same page,’ as far as communicating and sharing data. All participating agencies would require MDTs and cellular service, noting that several police agencies in Stark County already utilize some aspects of TAC. This arrangement would be ideal for police, fire, jail, courts, and CJIS.

I endorse Tom’s proposal, as does Hartville Police Chief Larry Dordea.

Thank you,


Richard A. Currie, Ed.D.
Mayor, Village of Hartville
202 W. Maple St., P.O. Box 760
Hartville, OH 44632

... .

It could be yet another "failure in communications," but the SCPR has inquired of the county commissioners about imput/discussions they may have had with Stark's (non-participating in a countywide 9-1-1 centralized system) political subdivisions.

On Friday immediately passed, The Report received this communication from county Chief Administrator Brant Luther, to wit:

Public Records Request (PRR) re: responses on letter to political subdivisions on 9-1-1 CAD upgrade

        Brant Luther
        Aug 15 at 9:01 AM

To:  Martin Olson

Hello Martin,

After checking, it appears that Commissioners have received phone calls in response to that letter, however it doesn't appear that they have received letters or emails responding to the letter.

Have a good weekend,

>>> Martin Olson <> 8/13/2014 7:23 AM >>>

This is a SCPR PRR for electronic versions  (i.e. pdf or equivalent) of responses to the Stark County commissioners in re:  the purchase by the county from New World Systems of a upgraded 9-1-1 CAD system.

Previously you have provided the SCPR a copy (by way of example) of a letter sent under the signature of Commissioner Tom Bernabei to Alliance encouraging Alliance officials to consider joining with Stark County in providing 9-1-1 dispatching services to its citizens.  You will recall that you told me that the same letter was sent out to all Stark County political subdivisions with the only change being the addressee.

Thank you,


  • SCPR Note - Commissioners Creighton and Regula's responses (none from Bernabei to-date) to an SCPR request for input they may have had:
    • Fw: Public Records Request (PRR) re: responses on letter to political subdivisions on 9-1-1 CAD upgrade

              Janet Creighton
              Aug 15 at 11:17 AM

      To:  Martin Olson


      I have not received any calls or mail in regard to the letter.


      >>> Martin Olson <> 8/15/2014 9:10 AM >>>
      Commissioners Bernabei, Creighton & Regula,

      Regarding Brant Luther's response to the SCPR's inquiry, please provide me with a list of names/officials who responded to the referenced letter and a summary of their respective responses.

      Thank you,

      Martin Olson
      Stark County Political Report
    • Fw: Public Records Request (PRR) re: responses on letter to political subdivisions on 9-1-1 CAD upgrade

              Richard Regula
              Aug 15 at 11:48 AM

      To:  Martin Olson

      Martin, I have received no written, e-mail or phone messages in regards to the referenced letter. Thanks Richard
SCPR readers will recall that on July 30, 2014, the Stark County commissioners approved the recommendation of 9-1-1 Project Manager Joseph Concatto and his CAD Project Team that the commissioners use about $1.9 million in Stark County taxpayer money to purchase an upgraded CAD system in the hope that one day Stark County's political subdivisions (villages, cities, townships and boards of education) will come together to form one "highly efficient/effective" Stark County 9-1-1 call receiving/dispatch system with which to process the emergency (i.e. fire, police, ambulance) needs of Stark Countians.

In the July 30th move, the best that Concatto, the CAD Project Team and the commissioners (after five years of mulling it over) achieved was to bring three of Stark's eight (3 of 8) dispatch centers together into one "we hope one day" countywide system.

The three (the Sheriff department's operation, the Canton Communications Center and The Regional Emergency Dispatch (RED) Center) do compose the bulk of Stark's population. They represent (by The Report's calculation) about 80% (population wise) of the county's some 375,000 residents.

But about 75,000 of Stark's residents plus another several thousands who are transient in or traveling through Stark County are not going to be served by the upgraded 80% countywide CAD system when it gets up and running some 9 to 12 months from July 30th.

Some Stark Countians including the SCPR think that, perhaps, the commissioners did not in approving the Concatto/CAD Project Team recommendation.

Moreover, the SCPR's underlying theme in this series of blogs is that there was a failure in communications from Concatto/the CAD Project Team to the commissioners which is the basis of a seeming continuing "failure of communications" which, perhaps, gave birth to and is perpetuating Stark County taxpayers not getting "the best bang for the buck" in upgrading the county's CAD system.

The basis of the suggestion that Stark Countians will be getting "short-shrifted" is a "late" (in fact, last minute - in a formal definition of the word "late") proposal by TAC Computers that apparently would save Stark Countians $1 million plus while providing for all of Stark's needs in terms of CAD system efficiencies, effectiveness, completeness and integration.

What's more, if the TAC proposal would indeed achieve all of the foregoing, then the $1 million plus in savings could go to satisfying the priority of some Stark County emergency responders that rather than purchase a CAD upgrade the county should upgrade its emergency communication infrastructure (i.e. the latest and greatest 800 mhz radio system) so that each and every Stark County based emergency services unit could be in communication with each other in the event of a large (geography-wise) or catastrophic emergency.

Mayor Curie's e-mail response directed to Commissioner Tom Bernabei (the commissioner most intimately involved and most knowledgeable on the county's 9-1-1 system), the SCPR thinks, deserves a response, to wit:

I would ask that you give thoughtful consideration to the proposal that Tom Craven outlined in his letter to Joe Concatto (attached).

The Hartville communication should have reached the recipients (Concatto and the recipients) well before the July 30th decision date and accordingly in making the decision of the 30th Concatto should have volunteered a detailed "substantive" explanation as to why the TAC Computer should not be considered.

Failing Concatto, addressing in public, Mayor Currie's request; the commissioners having been privy to the mayor's communication, should have drawn Concatto out on "the substance" of the TAC proposal as compared to those of the three other proposals under consideration before the commissioners decided to go with New World Systems.

In addition to the e-mail exchanges, the SCPR is told that there was a face-to-face meeting between Bernabei, Concatto and Mayor Curie and that Commissioner Bernabei seemed surprised at the relations made about some the points in regards to the quality, scope and integration of the TAC Computer System all for a much lesser price.

The SCPR thinks that in light of the Hartville communication and the failure of it to be addressed in the Concatto July 30th presentation, the commissioners should have a work session which includes all the primary players to delve into the processes whereby the TAC Computer proposal was not considered.

The suggested probe is not about TAC Computer.

Rather it needs to focus on whether or not in making the award for a 9-1-1 CAD system the commissioners (under the advice and counsel of Concatto and the CAD Project Team) made a choice in the overall best interests of Stark Countians.

Commissioners Thomas Bernabei and Janet Creighton made a name for themselves in vastly improving the democratic processes of Stark County government when they were elected commissioners in November, 2010.

As a consequence of their democratizing actions (one of which was the institution of "work sessions" on Monday and Tuesday of each week) in response to what local civic activist and attorney Craig T. Conley termed as being "Zeiglergate," (April 2009, through October, 2011) and other inadequately dealt with county government problems (e.g. a prior board of commissioners having "imposed" a 0.5% sales tax in December, 2008); Bernabei and Creighton,beginning in January, 2011, were able to recover Stark Countians' confidence in county government so that in November, 2011 Stark County voters gave a solid approval to an increase from 0% to 0.5% in the form of a county sales tax.

Such was quite an achievement.

The SCPR sees a work session review on the substance of the excluded TAC proposal as being in line with what Bernabei and Creighton have stood for in terms of trying to do what is best for Stark Countians.

It seems to The Report that Concatto and his CAD Project Team "stood on ceremony" (i.e. opted "form over substance") in casting aside the TAC Computer proposal.

And there may indeed be reasons why the New World System is worth a $1 million plus more to the safety, well-being and emergency services response capability to Stark Countians.

But so far, The Stark County Political Report and others believe that the case has not been made by Concatto et al.

The Report appeals to the commissioners to convene a work session(s) to get to the bottom of this matter and thereby reassure Stark Countians that they - the commissioners - have, in fact, provided for the safety of Stark Countians in a adequately frugal way.

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