Over the weekend Massillon Councilman Shaddrick Stinson contacted the SCPR relative to Friday's blog.
As regular readers of the SCPR know, The Report always allows space to subjects this blog to respond.
Stinson's complaint to The Report was "Why not ask me?" about whether or not he is the captive of Mayor Kathy Catazaro-Perry administration (de facto, Johnnie A. Maier, Jr).
Stinson's point is appropriate to make.
The Report does frequently ask subjects of this blog for their responses to SCPR takes on their public persona. But not always.
The SCPR is not very much interested in publishing, in the context of "on camera" video questions/interviews that this blog is known for, is self-serving spin.
It idea is that subjects of the SCPR's "on cameras" do not have advanced notice of what the questions might be and, on occasion, viewers actually get candid answers.
However, it is difficult to keep political spin out completely.
One of Stark County's most accomplished politicians at getting his spin in despite the SCPR reluctance to provide a forum for wiggling it in is Canton's Mayor William J. Healy, II.
He is in the judgment of the SCPR Stark County's most skilled politician.
At first thought on The Report being contacted by Councilman Stinson was why doesn't the SCPR do an on camera interview of Stinson at Massillon council's next meeting on December 29th.
The idea was presented to Stinson but his response was such that it was "DOA."
SCPR Note: Even after Stinson's disclaimer of being the captive of the Catazaro-Perry administration, The Report is not buy.
As far as the SCPR is concerned his response is "a mere assertion." Where is the evidence that he has and thereby is capable of taking a stance at odds with the mayor?
Mr. Olson I'm willing sit down and talk with you. But I have conditions as well. First, you are on camera as well. Second, you agree to answer my questions as well. What do you think? Lastly, I view the video before you post it to your blog for accuracy. Let me know.Obviously, Councilman Stinson is not very well acquainted with the SCPR.
Conditions? You have to be kidding.
As for his "I have conditions as well;" (implying that yours truly had conditions); the SCPR has no idea where that came from because The Report never conditions "on cameras" with anybody on anything.
Quite to the contrary.
The SCRP likes to use "on cameras" to be all encompassing and far ranging.
One never knows what might come out in the spotlight of the camera, no?
So absolutely NOT! The SCPR accepts "no conditions" from any interviewee and is quite content to pass up opportunities to ask questions or do interviews if a subject is insisting on conditions.
Stinson did make some written input and here it is, that is to say "the back and forth."
Re: Why don't you ask me?
Dec 21 at 7:51 PM
I behold to no one but the citizens of Massillon and my Ward. I am not in the Johnny /Kathy camp other than by party affiliation. This was my first year on council. I know some of my mistakes or errors were basically not knowing so if he can base my alliance on that then that's totally up to him and that's fine. Hell he didn't even vote for me and I was appointed by the party. The same one he is "aligned " with. Anyways. Good luck with your blog and I'm sorry we couldn't have a sit down. You can learn a lot from people when all your cards are on the table and open conversation.
On Dec 21, 2014 6:51 PM, "Martin Olson" <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
Thank you for the partial "on point" response.
Any additional response to his telling me that he had made a mistake in thinking - based on your presentation to him back in the 2013 election cycle that you would be an "independent" thinking/acting councilperson vis-a-vis the Catazaro-Perry administration, if elected?
From: Shad Stinson <email@example.com>
To: Martin Olson <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Sent: Sunday, December 21, 2014 4:57 PM
Subject: Re: Why don't you ask me?
Just for the record I did seek Frank out to get his vote and endorsement for coucil [sic] just like I did others in the Legends. And he told me that he did not feel comfortable putting my sign in his yard due to Trinor [sic] being his neighbor. I said thank you and reminded him to vote. But yes I did have a sit down with Frank at his request.
As 2014 winds down after having gotten through the election of November 4th, it may seem that politics is on the back burner.
Believe me, political maneuvering is "alive and kicking" even as Christmas is less than a week away.
A hotbed of political activity is the city of Massillon.
Just take a look at the Stark County Board of Elections candidates list for city council as of December 17th:
One of the things that impresses the SCPR is how many "independent" thinking council persons hold office on Massillon City Council.
For many government legislative bodies, it has been the experience of The Report that members line up with this or that interest group or political/government figure and not with the interests of their respective constituents.
North Canton City Council is a glaring example in Stark County of having too many robot council members who have taken on a siege mentality in lining up with the administration and each other resulting in their emanating a hostility to citizens who disagree with "the official position."
In North Canton, it seems as if the whole of government is run by one person; namely, Law Director Tim Fox. "Whatever Tim thinks" appears to be "the order of the day" on the part of North Canton mayor David Held and at least a majority of North Canton City Council.
Massillon City Council as presently constituted is pretty much as a legislative body ought to be: independent minded and highly constituent oriented.
And this has to be driving Mayor Catazaro-Perry and her chief benefactor and "power behind the throne - right up the wall" in his apparent quest to control all things Massillon.
Only Tony Townsend (council president) and Ward 4 Democrat Shaddrick Stinson seem to be council persons who - in the words of Tennessee Ernie Ford - "have sold their 'political' souls to the company store" with the company store being in the opinion of the SCPR the Catazaro-Perry administration and her prop-ups constituted by and large by the Johnnie A. Maier, Jr. Loyalty Club.
Townsend, who was Massillon's former Ward 4 councilman, may get the surprise of his short political life as council president with possibly being challenged by current Republican Ward 2 Councilwoman Nancy Halter.
It makes sense to the SCPR that Halter might want to challenge Townsend.
She was hopping mad when in 2013 Republican Al Hennon pulled out of running against Townsend after it was too late for Republicans to replace him. The SCPR thinks this was all part and parcel of a diabolical "political" scheme by Johnnie A. Maier, Jr and his Stark County Dems' political director hanger-on and Chief Deputy Clerk of Courts R. Shane Jackson to keep Townsend on council.
Townsend, had he remained Ward 4 councilman, was likely to lose in 2013 because of a number of publicized troubles he has had in recent years.
The Report thinks Townsend is the epitome example of what Johnnie A. Maier, Jr. will do for anybody that he - Maier - is convinced is willing to be the ultimate loyalist for Maier's political interests.
But for the political shenanigans at play, former Republcan Massillon Ward 6 councilman Donnie Peters, Jr. was set to run for council president which likely would have made Townsend a part of Massillon's political and government history book.
And it is becoming apparent that Tony's Ward 4 successor - Shaddrick Stinson - "is cut from the same cloth - as Townsend.
There is an effort being made to unseat Stinson.
One of the persons that Stinson politically courted in 2013 was former Massillon mayor Frank Cicchinelli.
It was a amazing sight for the SCPR to behold.
The politically hardened, tested and astute Cicchinelli bought Stinson's line that he was not a Maier Loyalty Club member.
With Cicchinelli being politically neutered, Stinson still had to struggle to defeat a less than ideal Republican candidate.
Recently The Report brought this up with Cicchinelli and he admitted, more or less, that he had been hoodwinked by Stinson.
The SCPR is somewhat empathetic with Cicchinelli in that Stark County is "blessed" with some pretty slick political operators and it can be quite an undertaking to smoke them out.
Of course, "the really big question" hovering over Massillon politics is whether or not Catazaro-Perry will have meaningful opposition in the Democratic primary or from a Republican in the general election.
Today, the SCPR thinks probably not.
Which, of course, means that Maier, Jr. and Jackson can go all out to convert perhaps Stark County's very best council to something that resembles North Canton.
Del Rio-Keller tells the SCPR that she has no problems whatsoever with any of the warring political factions in Massillon. She wants to work for the betterment of Massillon and will work with the mayor, the Republicans on council, Johnnie A. Maier, Jr, influential Massillon Democrat John Ferrero or anybody else for the benefit of Massillonians.
However, she will be her own person.
And even if that means that people she differs with from time-to-time (e.g. Mayor Catazaro-Perry) will not talk to her after a given disagreement.
Her independent-mindedness may pit her against Maier, Jr. Democrat Linda Litman who lost narrowly to Republican Ed Lewis, IV in November, 2013 in upcoming 2015 primary election.
Both have taken out petitions to run at-large and in Ward 6.
If Lewis decides to run against Catazaro-Perry, then look for Del Rio-Keller to run in Ward 6 in and Democratic head-to-head clash.
In a sort of ironical twist, Litman having taken out petitions to run in Ward 6 may force Lewis' hand to run for mayor.
The SCPR figures that he has much more to gain than lose if he were to run against the mayor than trying to hold onto his Ward 6 seat.
Lewis in the 2013 general election won by a mere 23 votes. In a 2015 match up in a scenario in which Catazaro-Perry runs unopposed or with a nominal opponent, the SCPR thinks the Maier, Jr. forces will go "all-out" to put him on the political sidelines.
And, even if he survives; he is only one of ten council persons. A highly influential one with his Republican and Democratic colleagues, no doubt. But still just one of ten.
As mayor, which the SCPR figures he has just as good a chance to win as remaining a councilman in the face of a Litman candidacy; he has an opportunity to be much more effective for the welfare of Massillonians.
Lewis has the disposition to be a "come let us reason together" as mayor. No doubt there will be times he disagrees with a majority of council, but he has the maturity to reach out to them and most of them will have the maturity to reach to him for the good of Massillonians to make Massillon government work for everyday Massillonians.
The SCPR encourages him to run for mayor even if former Democratic mayor of 24 years Francis H. Cicchinelli, Jr. decides to take on Mayor Catazaro-Perry in May, 2015.
It is time for Massillon to move on with a younger generation of executive leadership.
Lewis tells the SCPR that he considering whether or not 2015 is the correct timing to run for mayor.
The Report thinks it is.
Not so much that the political environment is that such that "stars are aligned for a Lewis win."
There is no doubt is that he may well win. But there is a risk that he might not. An equal of greater risk of his not winning exists, the SCPR thinks, in Ward 6 is present.
All he should ask for is a 50/50 chance of winning and then roll up his sleeves and get to work and get going now.
Certainly that 50/50 ratio if not better exists now.
Run, Ed, run!
When the Republicans took control of council in November, 2011; they took office in a spirit of working with the newly elected mayor in a non-partisan way.
But that was not to be.
For little did the Republicans know (or, for that matter, independent minded Democrats) at the time that the Catazaro-Perry/Maier, Jr. alliance would not allow for compromise, give and take or whatever label one wants to put on different functions of government to be a "check and balance" on one another.
As a consequence of the Catazaro-Perry/Maier, Jr. "my way or the highway" attitude, Massillon finds itself a financial mess with no solution in sight other than deep cuts in Massillon's operating budget which undoubtedly mean that everyday Massillonians will be less-safe and getting less services (e.g. street and highway repair).
Massillon can get on a track in which council and the mayor's office can work collaboratively each through "check and balance" of the function of their respective branches of government to bring effective and efficient government to Massillonians.
The only model that the Catazaro-Perry/Maier, Jr. cabal sees is to elect loyalists to council who pledge to work in a collusive fashion with "those who know best" and thereby give short-shrift to the everyday citizens of Massillon.
The elections of 2015 may be the most important in terms of the future well being of Massillon that the city has ever faced in its entire history.
Voters should use as their guidance as whom to support in May and November in the dawning new year this standard:
the commitment of candidates for mayor and for council who promise to work collaboratively together but ever mindful that they do have different roles in government and to function as a check and balance on each other.
Voters should reject those who are "top-down" types who appear to use politics and government for their personal enhancement and, not as it should be: which is to say - for "the general welfare" of Massillonians.