Saturday, August 30, 2014

VIDEO - "NEW" SCPR FEATURE "POLITICO-TOONS;" FIRST UP: PEREZ V. HEALY, VOL 1



The coming of Labor Day on Monday marks the coming of "the politico season."

From here on out, Stark Countians will be subjected to political ads galore.

Most of ads are pretty boring.

So The Stark County Political Report adds a new feature today to "spice things up a bit."

Between now and election day for sure, and, perhaps, beyond, the SCPR will be putting together what The Report is calling "politico-toons" which, hopefully, will be laced with parody, satire and sarcasm that makes readers smile or nod in agreement that a telling point on/about the subjects of a given "politico-toon" has been made.

As the SCPR has been predicting he would do in blogs for some time now, former Stark County auditor Kim Perez has taken out petitions to run for mayor of Canton.
Enjoy!

Thursday, August 28, 2014

THREATENED LEGAL ACTION JEOPARDIZES CANTON PARKS & CANTON JOINT RECREATION DISTRICT MERGER?


UPDATED:  1:54 PM

It is flattering to The Stark County Political Report that someone who wants to get her case in front of the Canton/Stark County public contacts The Report, to wit:

Issue 1 Parks Levy from November 2013 Ballot

        Sharon Fladen
        Aug 1

To:  tramols@att.net
...
I was referred to your blog by a professional acquaintence (sic) and wished to discuss, via this e-mail, an issue that is of great importance to me and hopefully other taxpayers from the City of Canton.


Ms. Fladen has been an "admitted to the bar" as an Ohio attorney since November 20, 1978 (according to the Ohio Supreme Court).


Moreover, she has an indirect connection to the Canton Joint Recreation District (CJRD) in that she does work for Attorney Sally Henning (serving as legal counsel for the district since December 9, 2013, [officially hired] retroactively on January 7, 2014) on assigned (by Henning) CJRD matters.

Henning bills the CJRD and in turn pays Fladen for the work she does for and at the direction of Henning on CJRD matters.


CJRD, in making the two payments shown above, has paid Henning a total of $31,387.50.
  • SCPR Note:  The Report has learned since this blog was published early this morning that Henning has billed the CJRD for June ($3,737.50) and July ($4,200) bring the total figure on the Henning billings for legal services figure through the end of July to $39,325.00
Ward 5 councilman Kevin Fisher says he has been told that there may be another $20,000 billing that Henning is believed to be prepared to submit to the CRJD.

Henning was officially hired in January, 2014; as the SCPR understands the arrangement, to provide legal counsel to the CRJD board with respect to the board's employer/employee relationship with then-director Nadine Sawaya.


Board member Rinaldi had this to say in response to a SCPR inquiry about the controversy:

Re: Recreation Board flap

        J.R. Rinaldi
        Aug 12

To:  Martin Olson

Dear Mr. Olson,

Thank you for your email.  ...


What I am concerned about, and have been concerned about since being seated on the Rec Board are the thousands of dollars being spent on the legal services of Sharon Fladen and Sally Henning.  Prior to my being seated on the Rec Board, Sharon Fladen and Sally Henning were brought in on a no bid contract to serve as legal council for a pending discrimination lawsuit by the former director.  At some point, without the Rec Board’s approval, they began working on the Stearn Center agreement as well as other duties that could have been handled by the Interim Director.  This was especially concerning to me as the Rec Department was being charged $300 per hour for their services.

There is no agreement between the Rec Board and attorneys Fladen and Henning.  Upon being seated I inquired about an agreement and asked for a copy.  The only record that exist are the January meeting minutes when they were officially hired.  I am of this opinion that there should have been a bid process used so obtain legal council and that there should have been a very clear contract addressing the scope of their work.

Sincerely,

John Rinaldi


On August 8th, Matt Rink of The Repository wrote (Rec board will use attorney on “case by case” basis):
Henning was retained in December and officially hired in January to handle personnel issues regarding then-director Nadine Sawaya. Sawaya was placed on unpaid leave after she asked Henning for additional time to answer a series of questions on how she would improve her performance. Sawaya later retired and filed an age discrimination complaint with the Cleveland office of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. The board voted in April to retroactively terminate Sawaya for insubordination and misconduct.

...

In addition to the Sawaya matter, Henning and a second attorney researched how the Canton City School District board made appointments to the Joint Recreation Board, reviewed policies and procedures and assisted in the negotiations between the recreation district and park commission to deliver some $300,000 of funding to the J. Babe Stearn Community Center.
(emphasis added by the SCPR)
The Report emphasized the latter part of the Rink reported material because that is the heart of the matter as to why Fladen contacted the SCPR so that she can get her point of view before the Canton/Stark County public.

Interesting, no?

Fladen has tried to get the editors at The Repository to publish a "letter to the editor" spelling out in 300 words or less her dissatisfaction with the agreement between Canton and the private non-profit Babe Stearn Center (BSC, formerly the Canton Police Boys Club and part of Canton government) for the Center to get $300,000 in Canton taxpayer money in 2014, 2015 and 2016.




Fladen has had a number of exchanges with editor Gayle Beck regarding Beck's effort to locate Fladen cited material to Canton City Council minutes.

The Report is suspicious that Ms. Beck has decided she is not going to publish Fladen's letter and that her apparent confusion in tracking down the cited material is a convenient way out.

The SCPR's take on Editor Beck going back ten years is that such is "standard operating procedure" for her when she is trying to avoid publishing certain letters from certain people.

The Babe Stearn Center is located in Canton's Ward 5 which is represented by Kevin Fisher.  Councilman Fisher as a lifelong resident of Ward 5 has frequented the Center all the while.

He tells the SCPR that the BSC is in the process of converting into being owned by Canton city government.

Fladen also includes in her objection the agreement to fund the Southeast Community Center (SECC, aka Edward "Peel" Community Center) located in Councilwoman Chris Smith's Ward 4 on the same basis as the BSC.

Picking with another excerpt from the August 1st Fladen e-mail to the SCPR: (Note:  the entire e-mail is published in the appendix to this blog)

I contacted my councilman, Edmond Mack, on Monday, July 14, 2014, prior to the Canton City Council Meeting where the final reading on the ordinance approving a service agreement between the J Babe Stearn Community Center and the Canton Parks Commission was going to be considered and posed the question as to why Issue 1 funds were being allocated to J. Babe Stearn Community Center when it was not within the purview of the levy language.  Mr. Mack asked if he could forward my question to all other members of City Council and I gave him permission to do so.  


My question was met with much skepticism and Mr. Mack did not get back to me.  After more than one week transpired, I contacted Mr. Mack and asked him as to the status of my question. He indicated that he could no longer talk to me about this issue and I was to talk to Joe Martuccio.  

The SCPR talked with Councilman Mack (Ward 8) and he tells The Report he dropped the matter with Fladen at the request of Canton law director Joseph Martuccio because of attorney/client factors.  Martuccio represents Canton government including council should litigation surface in this matter.

And, it appears, litigation may be in the offing at the hand of Fladen.

Here is what she says about that in other e-mail exchanges with the SCPR:

I am picking up documents from city of canton tomorrow or Friday. Sally is not a party or litigator. I haven't decided whether to file pro se, have a different person be plaintiff, or engage an attorney. ... I haven't specifically told anyone that I will be filing the lawsuit.

Fladen has caught Canton government's attention.



So much so that Director Derek Gordon wrote this e-mail (provided by Fladden to the SCPR) suggesting that if a lawsuit if filed it could stop the planned merger, to wit:

Derek Gordon

        Sharon Fladen
        Aug 27 at 9:50 PM

To:  Martin Olson

I have this recent e-mail that you might be interested in:
- On Tue, 8/26/14, Derek Gordon <derek.gordon@cantonohio.gov> wrote:

> From: Derek Gordon <derek.gordon@cantonohio.gov>
> Subject: Re: Fwd: Attorney Client privilege
> To: "Eric Resnick" <resnickeric@yahoo.com>
> Date: Tuesday, August 26, 2014, 1:28 PM
> If she is not doing this
> at the CJRD's direction or cost, then there
> should not be a problem.  However, if she
> files a lawsuit in conjunction
> with Sharon
> it likely will be a problem.  I am getting into legal
> territory that I am not qualified to discuss,
> so I guess we will just
> wait and see what
> happens.  I just know our Law Department is watching
> this very carefully and is concerned about how
> it could impact our
> merger if either of
> them proceed.
 

For the record, the SCPR favors a merger between the Canton Park System and the CJRD.

However, The Report demonstrates time and again that, even in the face of disagreement on any given issue, the SCPR can be counted on to provide a forum in which opposing viewpoints get space.

It is no wonder that the likes of Sharon Fladen turn to The Stark County Political Report to get her point of view out into the public arena.


APPENDIX

COMPLETE TEXT OF FIRST EMAIL
FROM FLADEN TO SCPR

Issue 1 Parks Levy from November 2013 Ballot

        Sharon Fladen
        Aug 1

To:  tramols@att.net

...

I was referred to your blog by a professional acquaintence
[sic] and wished to discuss, via this e-mail, an issue that is of great importance to me and hopefully other taxpayers from the City of Canton.

In 2012, the Parks Commission began a drive to have a levy placed on the 2013 ballot.  The original levy language was passed by Canton City Council in February 2013 and included language for capital improvements to community centers. Council people Cirelli and Mack voted against the ordinance which  was to be placed on the ballot as Issue 1. Evidently, the  language  passed by Canton City Council did not pass muster with the Ohio Secretary of State and was rejected. 

At the July 30, 2013 Canton City Council meeting, after lengthy debate and dissertations by various people, including Law Director Martuccio, new language for Issue 1 was approved.  That language made it to the November 5, 2013 ballot and the levy narrowly passed.

For your information, the levy language as it appeared on the ballot is attached. The funds that were being raised from the levy were to be used for park and recreational purposes within the Canton Park System.

The Canton Park Commissioners have agreed to allocate $300,000.00 of levy funds to the J. Babe Stearn Community Center in 2014, with additional funding in 2015 and 2016.  Similar allocations are anticipated to be provided to the Peel Coleman Community Center. These allocations are, in my opinion, not within the purview of the levy.  Neither of those community centers are within the Canton Parks System.  J. Babe Stearn Community Center is a 501 (c) (3) non profit corporation.   There is no way it should be a recipient of taxpayer dollars from the Issue 1 Levy.

I contacted my councilman, Edmond Mack, on Monday, July 14, 2014, prior to the Canton City Council Meeting where the final reading on the ordinance approving a service agreement between the J Babe Stearn Community Center and the Canton Parks Commission was going to be considered and posed the question as to why Issue 1 funds were being allocated to J. Babe Stearn Community Center when it was not within the purview of the levy language.  Mr. Mack asked if he could forward my question to all other members of City Council and I gave him permission to do so. 

My question was met with much skepticism and Mr. Mack did not get back to me.  After more than one week transpired, I contacted Mr. Mack and asked him as to the status of my question. He indicated that he could no longer talk to me about this issue and I was to talk to Joe Martuccio. 

I reviewed  the Canton City Council Minutes from 2012 and 2013.  The July 2013 minutes, especially from pages 502 to 510 were of major interest as there was discussion as to whether under the new language of the levy, money could be given to the community centers.  I urge you to review those minutes.  I sent all this information to Matt Rink at the Repository who has been very one sided when it comes to the Canton Joint Recreation District Board.  I, along with Sally Henning, have provided legal services to the Canton Joint Recreation District Board.  The Canton Joint Recreation District had been requested to partner with the J Babe Stearn Community Center and the Canton Parks Commission in disbursing the levy funds to J Babe Stearn Commnity Center.  When amendments to the service agreement  (indemnification and representations and warranties that this was a valid use of levy funds) were sought, the Law Department rejected them. 

I wrote a letter to the editor of the Repository over two weeks ago and to date it has not been published.  I was contacted by Gayle Beck who indicated that she was conducting a fact check and my facts did not line up with what I had said about Joe Martuccio.  She evidently did not read my letter carefully as I had cited the July 30, 2013 Canton City Council meeting and she was looking at the June 30, 2014 Canton City Council meeting minutes.  I will forward to you that correspondence along with my letter to the editor.

I sincerely hope that you will see the merit in my positon and blog about it!


Thank you for your consideration.
Sharon V. Fladen


Park Levy Resolution - Ordinance #132-2013-1 4.pdf
   

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

(VIDEOS) WOULD "BOSS" HOOVER APPROVE OF WHAT HE IS SEEING OF NORTH CANTON GOV'T?


Note:  Graphic consists of a remix of
SCPR photos taken of depicted items

UPDATE
03:48 PM

OSBORNE REBUTTAL
 TO
HELD'S ASSESSMENT
(In Appendix)

VIDEOS

MAYOR HELD ON "BOSS" HOOVER
============================== 
OSBORNE ON NC GOV'T CRITIQUES
==============================
CITIZEN COVEY
ON
MAPLE STREET
TREE REMOVAL
==============================
COMPLETE HELD VIDEO
(Response to Osborne Criticisms)
===================================

  BONUS FOOTAGE
IN THE APPENDIX SECTION
============================== 
McCLEASTER & NC JCC PRESENTATION
==============================
  
One of the most used sayings in largely Christian America in terms of accountability is:  "WWJD" What would Jesus do?

And North Canton, being a bastion of Christianity would be no exception.

But there might be a modification.

Because he likely made North Canton a hugely successful community of yesteryear, his name remains to this very day a revered name in The Dogwood City.

View this video clip of current North Canton mayor David Held as he talks with the SCPR post August 25th North Canton City Council meeting about "Boss" Hoover.



The context of Held's "in awe" words of The Hoover Company founder was an attempt by North Canton civic activist (also a former councilman) Chuck Osborne's gambit at last night's regular city council meeting to draw a contrast between "Boss" Hoover and the successor owner (Maple Street Commerce) of what was once the building complete.

In Osborne's "public speaks" presentation, the SCPR largely focused the camera on city council members to try to get a sense of whether or not Osborne's theme was striking a cord.



Osborne cast "Boss" Hoover as a community builder whereas he was clearing trying to make Maple Street Commerce and by obvious implication North Canton City Council (past and present) and by further extension, the Held administration as community destroyers.

As he apt to do, Osborne "left no stone unturned" in his quest to make his overriding point.

At the end of this blog (Appendix) the SCPR has included a written version of Osborne's remarks so that readers can check it out to measure The Report's take on Osborne's assessment of North Canton - August, 2014 - against the words he actually used.

It seems to the SCPR that in building evidence to support his overall theme of community building versus community destruction, Osborne focused on:
The consequences, Osborne says or implies, include:
  • $6,753,000 spent for economic development with inadequate return,
  • a loss of community-ness,
  • a wrecking of community assets, that is to say,
    • the unnecessary destruction of trees,
    • the projected cutting down of some 180 additional trees,
    • the disruption of Stark Parks hiking trails, and
    • the continued viability of the North Canton YMCA
 SCPR Note:  Here is a photo of Maple Street and vicinity trees either cut down or projected to be cut down.



To end his speech and to make North Canton government officials conscious of their accountability, Osborne invokes "Boss" Hoover with an emotive:

W. "Boss" Hoover is watching!

Earlier today (10:00 a.m.), Osborne was at Maple and North Main protesting what he calls the destruction of North Canton.  Rod Covey tells the SCPR he joined in the protest for about 40 minutes.


The question for the SCPR and ultimately North Cantonians is whether or not they as citizens of a community with a long, deep and rich history need to be the "eyes and ears" of "Boss" Hoover in 2014?

The obvious answer is that North Cantonians can honor the magnanimity of "Boss" Hoover and preserve the remaining fruits thereof by heeding the prompt of Citizen Osborne to scrutinize each and every North Canton City Council and Held administration move.

Here is the complete video of Mayor Held's response to Osborne's criticisms.



It could be that council and the mayor have done the best that anyone could under the circumstances of the unfolding of a different economic, cultural, social and political mix than when "Boss" Hoover lived.

However, it does seem to the SCPR that North Canton is far short of the mark of what the Lichter artist's rendition of projecting what the Hoover complex might one day become.


Such is for North Cantonians to decide at the ballot box.

But they owe it to Hoover, to themselves and to future generations of North Cantonians "to be on the watch."

As Osborne pointed out, the "Boss" is watching and they should be too!

APPENDIX LIST:
  • OSBORNE'S REBUTTAL REMARKS
  • OSBORNE WRITTEN COMMENTS
  •  
  • McCLEASTER ON NORTH CANTON JUNIOR CHAMBER OF COMMERCE
APPENDIX 1:  OSBORNE REBUTTAL 
    Rebuttal Remarks to Today's Blog - August 26, 2014

            Chuck Osborne
            Today at 2:15 PM

    To:  Martin Olson

    Hello Martin,

    In regards to the statements made by Mayor Held, in your video interview, I would disagree on the following points:

    First, Mayor Held’s statement that the majestic Pin Oak trees that lined East Maple had to come down to allow for the expansion of the street is untrue. The street was only widened five feet. The trees that lined East Maple sat a considerable distance back from the street. I measured the distance myself and if memory serves me right, the trees were close to twenty feet from the street. The distance the trees sat back from the street would easily have accommodated the widening plus the addition of the sidewalk and still have been about five feet further back. In short, the trees could have been incorporated in the redesign of the street and saved.

    Second, I disagree that the North Canton YMCA is not being threatened. McKinley Street is literally in the shadows of the YMCA and if the City vacates McKinley Street to Maple Street Commerce, the YMCA will be hindered in the performance of their mission. Development plans of Maple Street Commerce will be literally at the doorstep of the YMCA.

    Third, Mayor Held says that Stark Parks has no objections to the relocation of their trail. This statement is ludicrous. Stark Parks is not in the habit of expending public tax dollars constructing trails only to abandon the trails after they are constructed. Unfortunately, in the agreement between Stark Parks and Maple Street Commerce, Stark Parks agreed to terms with Maple Street that left them no choice but to relocate their trail. The agreement required of Stark Parks a one-time relocation of the trail at the expense of Stark Parks should Maple Street Commerce make that request. I would have to say here that Maple Street Commerce did not deal in good faith with Stark Parks at the time the agreement was signed.



    Contrary to what Mayor Held has stated the relocation of the trail to a sidewalk on East Maple is not how Stark Parks wants to spend public money. So, in short, I think it is safe to say that Stark Parks is not happy with how this has turned out for them.

    Lastly, Mayor Held touts the development of Waterside as a success. The City partnered with the developer in 2007 with the construction of a road that costs nearly $1.0 million. That was seven years ago. A state grant in the amount of $350,000 was extended to assist with the road construction. In 2017, that $350,000 must be repaid to the state. Here we are, seven years later and there is no development. I do not see any success in this situation.

    Thanks,

    Chuck Osborne  


    APPENDIX 2.   OSBORNE COMMENTS

    [Osborne] Prepared Comments Made to
    NORTH CANTON CITY COUNCIL
    August 25, 2014


    CORPORATE GREED IS OVERTAKING NORTH CANTON
     AND THE INSTITUTIONS THAT SERVE AND ENRICH OUR
    COMMUNITY

     “The North Canton Community Building was founded in 1923 by W. ‘Boss’ Hoover who gave the original ‘Community Building’ to North Canton for the enjoyment of its citizens. The current building was completed in 1970, with a major addition in 1983 and a new Wellness Center addition in 2002.”

    This information is from the Website of the North Canton YMCA.

    Unfortunately, “Boss” Hoover is no longer with us today nor is the company that he founded. The charity and paternalism championed by W. “Boss” Hoover and the Hoover Company for our community are gone. That benevolence is not something Maple Street Commerce, now the owners of the former Hoover property, feel compelled to show our community.

    What has Maple Street Commerce done for our community since becoming owners of what is now called the Hoover District?

    The roles have been reversed as it is the community that is now the benefactor. Corporate millionaires now expect to be served by the community upon which they have descended to suck from them as much as City leaders will hand out.

    How much has North Canton provided to the millionaire owners of the Hoover District since their arrival in 2008?

    First was $440,000 to purchase cranes for their first tenant, Meyers Controlled Power. Then it was $3,000,000 to renovate factory space for The Shroer Group. Then another $1.0 million for further office space on the second floor for additional tenants. Most recently and most noticed by the public is the expenditure of $2,253,000 for what has been described as a widening of East Maple Street. The so-called widening of East Maple in actuality simply creates on-street parking in front of the office building.

    It is through this recent construction that the majestic Pin Oaks which lined East Maple Street were destroyed in spite of the fact that the majestic Oaks were located far enough away from the finished widening of East Maple Street to have remained.

    In total, our small community has provided close to $6,753, 000 and this does not include the many tax abatements that the City and the North Canton City School District have had to accept to help make lease terms with Maple Street Commerce acceptable to new tenants.

    I suspect “Boss” Hoover is rolling over in his grave at this point, but that is not all that Maple Street Commerce has inflicted on our little community.

    Plans to expand the south parking lot could lead to the destruction of hundreds more trees that serve as a buffer to the surrounding neighborhoods. If that happens, home values and neighborhood harmony will be impacted very negatively.

    Community institutions are also feeling the greed of Maple Street Commerce.

    Stark Parks will be forced to relocate a trail if the south parking lot is expanded. The forced relocation of the trail will result in the squandering of thousands of dollars of public money that were expended to build the trail.

    Lastly, I am concerned about the future viability of the North Canton YMCA. That concern is for two reasons.

    First, the new entrance to the YMCA parking lot, presently under construction, is wholly inadequate. At 22 feet in width, it is much too narrow and will not serve the needs of the motoring public. Many of you on this Council have looked at this poor design and concur.

    The new entrance to the Hoover District parking lot is 33 feet wide. Why wasn’t the entrance to the YMCA parking lot afforded an equally inviting navigable entrance?  Further, bus traffic and emergency vehicles will have great difficulty maneuvering in the poorly designed network of curbs.

    Second, the vacation of McKinley Street will soon be decided before the Planning Commission. The vacation of McKinley Street should go entirely to the YMCA. The YMCA has parking and growth needs of its own that need to be filled. And that need is now.

    Maple Street Commerce, through its plans that may or may not be realistic and that may or may not come to fruition, is making a demand for parking that is unfair to the North Canton YMCA.

    McKinley Street is located in the very shadows of the YMCA building. To not vacate the entire length of McKinley Street to the YMCA will simply put a chokehold on their future.

    Please do not undermine the seeds that W. “Boss” Hoover planted over ninety-one years ago.

    Economic development should not come at any and all costs to the community.

    I ask this council to protect our community and the institutions that serve us. Save the Stark Parks trail. Support the North Canton YMCA in every way possible. And protect the City and its residents from the rampant “Corporate Greed” that we see consuming our community.

    W. “Boss” Hoover is watching!

    Thank you,

    Chuck Osborne, Resident
    City of North Canton


    APPENDIX 2:  McCLEASTER NC JCC

    Monday, August 25, 2014

    VOLUME 11 - SCPR "EQUAL PAY/OPPORTUNITY" SERIES


    39%*
    OF 
    STARK'S "100 TOP JOBS"
    ARE HELD BY WOMEN
    (not included elected officials)
    ======================= 
    7.6%
    OF
    STARK'S TOP 13 JOBS
    ARE HELD BY WOMEN 
    (not including elected officials)
    ==================== 
    40%
    OF
    STARK'S TOP 20 JOBS
    ARE HELD BY WOMEN
    (not including elected officials)

    But Stark County is populated at the rate of 51.5% by women.

    Note:  US Census figures

    While the SCPR is not advocating that there be a one-to-one match in terms of Stark County taxpayer supported employment (i.e. 50% or better of county employees being female), The Report does think Stark can do better than only 39 of the top paid 100 Stark County officials (elected and unelected) being women.

    In 2014, does anyone "really" think men are inherently more talented than women?

    Stark County auditor Alan Harold (post-the SCPR blog on the auditor's office) once shouted at the SCPR, "Martin, you are making us look like a bunch of sexists!"

    Apparently, the SCPR series pointing out that Stark County has a discernible "gender equity" problem has had very little effect on Harold's hiring practices.

    On August 4th, Harold hired (very quietly, it appears; something akin - it seems - to the "Chip" Conde hire) a new "top gun" in the Information Technology of the county auditor's operation.


    Peterson appears to have impressive credentials.


    But insofar as the SCPR is concerned, not any better than, and perhaps not as good as, Anita Henderson.

    In fact, it seems that Henderson has deeper and more varied experience in IT than does Peterson.

    Though the date of hire for Henderson in the auditor's database shows 2005 (some 10 years more than Peterson), the fact of the matter is that Henderson goes back to being an IT person in the Kim Perez years as Canton city auditor (1994 through 2004).

    And, as pointed out by Perez in an interview with the SCPR last Wednesday, it is hard to believe that she was not promoted to the county auditor's IT job, presuming, of course, that someone superior to Peterson in qualifications and therefore most likely to Henderson had applied.

    According to Harold, Peterson is so much more skilled (in his judgment) than Henderson that he merits making about $32,000 more in annual salary.

    Keeping in mind that Perez and Harold are strident political enemies, the SCPR thinks (no matter Perez's protestations to the contrary), Perez suggests that Harold hired Peterson not primarily on a merit basis but rather on political and/or personal ties.

    Also keep in mind that Perez is a strong supporter of  Republican Harold's opponent in November; namely, Jeff Gruber who is Canton City Schools' treasurer.


    Notwithstanding the Perez caveats listed above, the SCPR thinks Harold has some Sarah Palin-esque "explainin'" to do.

    Wouldn't it have been a coup for Stark County women to have had a highly qualified "technically" skilled woman get a non-elected leadership position that ranks with the highest paid positions in the county?

    Had Harold promoted Henderson, it would be of some consolation to Stark's women that she could have joined Deborah Forkas (CEO, Jobs and Family Services) as being number two and three, respectively, as Stark's top officials when "elected" officials are not included in the list.

    Consolation?

    Indeed!

    Not including elected officials in the list, of the resulting top 13 Stark unelected officials, only one (Deborah Forkas) woman makes the list.

    That folks! is 7.6% in a county that is 51.5% female.


    Doesn't something seem just a little wrong about that?

    Expanding the list to the top 20, only 8 make it.

    Interesting enough, 8 of 20 "in the top 20" pretty much matches the overall 39% figure cited above.

    * SCPR Note:  The number may actually be 40%, if J. Gray is a female (reference: the top 100 list below)

    The SCPR has spent some time on the Peterson/Henderson situation in order to introduce how poorly Stark County's women are doing in terms of top leadership/pay positions in Stark County government.

    Here the list of the top 100.  The SCPR has included elected officials to make it look better for women at the top of the pay scale.


     Here are links to prior SCPR blogs on gender equity in Stark County.

    Friday, August 22, 2014

    (VIDEOS) FIRST INSTALLMENT: SCPR "POLITICAL/GOV'T BIOGRAPHY SERIES" CANTON CITY TREASURER KIM PEREZ INCLUDING COMMENTARY & ANALYSIS




    A LIFE OF PREPARATION
    TO 
    ONE DAY
    BECOME
    MAYOR OF CANTON?

    VIDEOS

    THE EARLY YEARS
    (Councilman & Republic Steel Employee)
    =======================
    AS CANTON AUDITOR
    =======================
    AS COUNTY AUDITOR
    =======================
    AS CANTON TREASURER
    =======================
     "NEW" POLICY ISSUE
    (Tying Paying Taxes to Getting Canton Business) 
     
    Today, The Stark County Political Report launches its Stark County public official/political figure "video blog" series with Canton treasurer Kim Perez.

    In interviewing Perez (some of the discussion referred to did not take place on camera), the SCPR's overall take is that he is still smarting from the cascade of events that took place during what local civic activist and attorney Craig T. Conley has termed as being Zeiglergate (April 1, 2009 through October 19 2011), part of which period Perez served as Stark County auditor, and which (i.e. the cascade of events) most Stark County political observers think resulted in Perez being defeated in his 2010 reelection try.

    Perez thinks he was unfairly criticized by local media (including the Stark County Political Report) for his not having done enough to alert local and Ohio officials that something was amiss in the county treasurer's office.

    He is particularly hard on The Canton Repository.

    The Report reminded Perez that it has always been a policy of the SCPR to place "unedited" e-mails, letters or on camera interviews at the top of any blog which critiques a Stark County government/political figure.

    His response?

    "That's not how I operate."

    Okay, but with that continuing offer always being on the table by the SCPR, how can any subject of the SCPR complain about unfairness?

    And to his credit, Perez did not dispute with The Report that he knew that he had ample opportunity on this blog to respond.

    Subjects of Repository stories certainly do not get that opportunity.

    Accordingly, The Report has seen many instances where the "powers that be" or "powers that 'have been'" at The Rep. have been unfair and The Report thinks the folks of 500 Market Avenue, South consequently have served Stark Countians very poorly.

    Perez is a good starting point for this series inasmuch as he has been active in Canton/Stark County politics and government since the mid-1980s.

    At the end of each and every biography blog, the SCPR will post the entire video - unedited - for readers of The Report to measure Martin Olson's running commentary on segments of the video.

    KIM PEREZ

    THE EARLY YEARS 

    "A Young Turk?"

    With the election of Kevin Fisher (D, Ward 5), John Mariol (D, Ward 7), Edmond Mack (D, Ward 8) and Frank Morris, III (D, Ward 9) in 2011, it was obvious from the get-go that Canton City Council had been - with their election - infused with a stout shot of civic/political energy.

    Over time, the SCPR picked up on the significance of the election of the four young (except, maybe, for Morris) and tabbed them as being the "four young Turks" of Canton City Council.

    Probably more than any other characterization that the SCPR has done of Stark County officials/public figures, the "four young Turks" has been the one which readers of The Report have latched onto as being their favorite.


    The characterization resonated with Kim Perez as evidenced by this first video snippet from yesterday's interview.

    Perez goes back to 1985, perhaps 1983 as the date he first got involved in Canton/Stark County politics as a Democrat.

    It was 1988 before he was elected as Ward 1 councilman (then encompassing "downtown Canton") in which position he served for 6-1/2 years.

    As a part time councilman (working full time, contemporaneously, at Republic Steel as a transportation supervisor) he says:
    • He was part of the founding group of Canton Tomorrow as one of several responses to the beginnings (from his perspective) of the deterioration of downtown Canton,
    • He identifies himself, current Councilman at Large Bill Smuckler and former Councilwoman at Large Mary Cirelli among others was being the 1980s/early 1990s equivalent of the SCPR's "four young Turks,"
      • SCPR note:  It is a political irony that Cirelli decided to take on Perez when he ran for Canton treasurer in 2013,

        1994 - PEREZ AS CANTON'S AUDITOR 

        Highly respected Canton City auditor R.A. Mallon (the father of the current Canton auditor) died in 1994.

        As Kim Perez tells it, nobody thought 20 years ago that he could best Don Casar (retired from council in December, 2009) to become the senior Mallonn's successor.  Roy Gutierrez was party chairman.

        The vote was 22 to 22 in a meeting of Canton Dems precinct committeepersons at Canton Council Chambers.  However, there was one vote on the way.  That precinct committeeperson was in ill health had was delayed in getting to the meeting.  But when he did arrive, the vote was for Kim Perez, and as the saying goes, the rest is history.

        By his account, being selected as city auditor was the beginning of Perez's romance as a government administrator with computer technology.

        2004 - PEREZ  AS COUNTY AUDITOR

        On January 1, 2004 current Stark County commissioner Janet Weir Crieghton (a
        Republican) was elected mayor of Canton over the-then former Canton city councilman Bill Smuckler.

        Her election as mayor left the county auditor's position empty inasmuch as Creighton had been auditor before her defeating Smuckler in November, 2013.

        Stark's Republicans appointed Brant Luther (then her chief deputy) as her replacement.

        The Republicans had held the auditor's office for years and years and at that time the office had quite a few political patronage jobs to hand out.

        The Report remembers (harkening back to the pre-SCPR days) that the Democrats were hot-to-trot to capture the county auditor's office.

        The then-chairman Johnnie A. Maier, Jr was salivating over the possibility of the Democrats ousting Luther.

        There was talk of the-then county commissioner Gayle Jackson (who Maier calls the best Stark County commissioner of all time) running for auditor.

        But Gayle was way too protective of her position in county government to chance a loss to Luther.

        Undoubtedly, Maier (then party chairman), would have pulled out all the stops for Jackson had she wanted to take the political risk.

        Perez had been Canton auditor upward of 10 years by 2014 and therefore it was natural that the Democrats should turn to him to run against Luther.

        The Report recalls (again, reminiscing about the pre-SCPR days) how Maier, Jr complained about how lazy Perez was in the conduct of his campaign.

        What Maier, Jr was missing in criticizing Perez was that in 2004 the Perez name in Stark County was one of most powerful political name in the county.

        Kim, with his political base in highly Democratic Canton, and with brother Rick being one of the high profile leaders in the Stark County sheriff's department under then sheriff Tim Swanson; it should have surprised nobody that Kim pulled what the SCPR terms as being at least - a mild, if not greater - upset of the auditor's office entrenched Republicans.

        In hindsight, the SCPR thinks - had she run - Jackson would have lost to Luther.

        The Report's interview was focused on the Perez county auditor years (2004 through 2011) not on that part of his term coined by Conley to have been the years of Zeiglergate.

        As indicated in the video below on the county auditor years, the SCPR will sit down with Perez again to spend another hour going over the details of those years.  And that interview will be made part of the his Kim R. Perez biography blog.

        On a positive note, for his 2004 through 2011 years, Perez again focuses on his having fixed on incorporating computer and digital technology in to the operation of the county auditor's office, to wit:
        • The reduction of scattered and fragmented computer/technology in what existed in county computer infrastructure into a more centralized and therefore more efficient and money savings to the taxpayers system, and
        • The sophistication of and refinement of GIS (Graphical Information System).
        A poignant moment in the interview occurred when Perez took a moment to reflect on his 2010 loss of the county auditor's office to Republican Alan Harold.

        Perez claims to harbor no ill feeling towards Harold and cites situations wherein he has - since the losing campaign - worked collaboratively with the county auditor's office.
        However, to the SCPR it is unmistakable that he still carries memories of the campaign.

        Especially a billboard ad which shows Perez to be a member of a golfing group which included then-Stark County treasurer Gary Zeigler in a "for charity" golfing event.

        There is no doubt about it, the 2010 Perez/Harold face off was an "in your face" political hardball effort by Harold.

        Perez termed the loss as being "a perfect storm" (or "the stars aligning") having in mind, undoubtedly, Zeiglergate and 2010 being a Republican year across Ohio (e.g. Richard Cordray losing his office of attorney general to former U.S. Senator Mike DeWine).

        And, of course, but for the godsend of a independent (to the political right) candidate running for commissioner,  Democrat Tom Bernabei would never had won a commissioner's seat.

        On another note, off camera, Perez talked about how The Rep. has worked him over on political patronage over the years he was county auditor.

        He thinks he has been singled out on this score and that a different standard is being applied to his successor Alan Harold.

        Perez cites the recent hire (August 4, 2014) of a chief information officer and administrator in the information technology office of the county auditor's office as, perhaps, being unnecessary.


        Perez praises Anita Henderson (who worked for Perez when he was Canton auditor) as being the county's top notch government employed information technology person.

        He suggests that the August 4th hire has close political or personal ties to Harold. 

        It is interesting to note that the hire (Seth Peterson) is being paid nearly $32,000 more annually than Henderson and she has been employed in Stark Canton/Canton computer technology for 27 years.


        The SCPR asks:  Why couldn't Henderson be promoted to the newly created job?

        It will be interesting to hear Harold's response to the Perez's intimation, no?

        Moreover, Perez alluded to, in Wednesday's interview, Harold's addition of two information technology employees at a total - just annual salary cost - a little over $96,000 annually.

        Hardly sounds like Perez has gotten over his loss to Harold, no?

        However, he does ask some pretty pointed questions.

        The Report believes that Perez has been no worse than Harold (see Conde blog) and many other Stark County based elected officials on the patronage thing.

        But to the SCPR for any elected official to hand out taxpayer supported jobs without first inviting the public to apply is unacceptable, be it Perez or any other elected official.

        Again, off camera, The Report ticked off the names Fisher (Kevin Fisher, now Ward 5 Canton city councilman), Jimmy Babcock (now Canton councilman-at-large) as persons he seems hired to hired on the basis of them having political connections.

        Another person who now comes to mind is David Maley (now with Massillon's Catazaro-Perry administration).

        Perez seemed to want to assign political patronage justification to the "everybody does it" category or by diverting attention to the Republicans or to The Repository's imbalanced attacks on him.

        That does not work with the SCPR and The Report has no sympathy with him that The Rep may have singled him out.

        Of course, the SCPR excoriates every Stark County officeholder (Republicans and Democrats with equal zeal) on this issue. The Report thinks that "political connectedness hirings" short-circuit everyday Stark Countians of the opportunity to get public employment.

        Depriving taxpaying Stark County employment opportunities needs to stop for every Stark County official, including Kim Perez.

        By not advertising and thereby getting a field of candidates to consider, a public official misses out on some exceptionally well qualified candidates that would serve the public and the officeholder quite well - if - given a chance.

        In this video, Perez talks about his county auditor years.



        2013 -  ELECTED CANTON TREASURER

        Having been Canton auditor and Stark County auditor in the wake of the political sunami of 2010, Perez, on his own judgment and on the advice of family and friends, does the obvious and runs for Canton treasurer in light of the announcement by long time treasurer Robert Schriak that he would not seek reelection in 2013.

        Lo and behold!  Who should be one of his opponents but former "young-Turk-esque" council ally of yesteryear (1980s/1990s) Mary Cirelli.

        As it turns out Cirelli came in third in a field of three which surprised the political pundits.

        Of course, as the victor, Perez predictably in the interview took the high road and said that he did not take it personal that Cirelli challenged him.

        Though he denies it, the SCPR believes that he is not so magnanimous with the likes of Republicans Alan Harold, Janet Creighton and others.  Moreover, the SCPR suspects he harbors dislike for Democrat Johnnie A. Maier, Jr whom he opposed for the party chairmanship in 2003 when Chairman John Ferrero resigned on becoming Stark County prosecutor.

        In discussing his running for and being elected Canton treasurer the conversation seemed to migrate to his becoming a rather active treasurer (not simply the city's income tax collector) as a prelude - the SCPR thinks - to running in the May, 2015 Democratic primary against sitting Democratic mayor William J. Healy, II.

        As this part of the video shows, in his less than a year as Canton treasurer, Perez (uncharacteristic of what the SCPR thinks one would expect of a city treasurer) has:
        • raised the issue of Stark County's Ohio General Assembly standing idly by as the State of Ohio devastates local government in taking away various state level funding of local government,
        • raised the issue of Canton having reduced (at the initiative of the Healy administration) the credit that Cantonians who work out-of-town on their Canton income tax obligation from a full 2% to 1.7%,
          • SCPR Note:  Canton council passed legislation to restore the full 2% credit but the measure was vetoed by Mayor Healy
        • raised the issue of Canton devoting more resources and leverage (i.e. if you want get city business, you companies better have paid or be up-to-date with your city income taxes [a criticism of Healy for not using this leverage?]) to collect sorely needed delinquent income taxes,
        • raised the issue of Canton capital funds (a criticism of Healy, maybe?) being used to fund city operations
        The Report thinks Perez is being coy in how he handles questions as whether or not his uncharacteristic activity as treasurer is clear indication that will take on Mayor Healy.  Bill Smuckler has already told the SCPR that he will not run, if there is more than one opposing candidate in the field.

        Apparently, all Perez has to do is to let it be known that he is running for mayor.  And, it could be that such is exactly what he is telling Canton politicos privately.

        Feedback that the SCPR gets from "in the know" Canton politicians point in that direction.

        In the following video, Perez - in mostly a forward look - addresses being city of Canton auditor.



        THE PEREZ DELINQUENT TAXPAYER PLAN

        It was difficult to get Treasurer Perez on topic with respect to the "let's tie doing business with Canton with having paid taxes."

        He wanted to talk ad nauseam about the income tax credit issue.

        Finally, the SCPR was able to get him on topic.

        While the SCPR fully supports Perez's tie-in, it would be incredibly naive to think that his being an evangelistic Canton treasurer does not have its roots of his setting himself up to run for mayor.



        Kim Perez does like to present himself as a kind of political innocent that things (bad, but mostly good) just happen to.

        Far be it from that.

        Kim Perez is one of Stark County's most sophisticated politicians who nearly survived the disaster election of 2010.

        If he decides to take on Mayor William J. Healy, II in the May, 2015 Democratic primary, the SCPR thinks that he will come out the winner.

        Moreover, if the mayor's political calculus tells him he would lose such a match up, look for him to move on to something else rather than absorb political humiliation at the hand of a fellow Democrat.

        SCPR APPENDIX

        FULL "UNEDITED" KIM PEREZ VIDEO


        Wednesday, August 20, 2014

        VOLUME 10: GENDER DISCRIMINATION IN STARK CO GOV'T. IS THE CITY OF CANTON THE VERY WORST?



        The Stark County Political Report has published some pretty startling number in this ongoing series examining whether or not there is evidence of "gender discrimination" in Stark County government.

        Volumes 1 through 9 of this series focused on county government.

        Here are links to those blogs:
        Today, the SCPR begins this blog's focus on the city of Canton.

        And it is not a very pretty picture.


        But before getting into the specifics of the Canton male/female equity picture, The Report diverts a bit to add a personal note.

        As the father of three daughters The Report (one of five boys in a family of eight, growing up) has gotten a "up close and personal" look of how in the 1970s, 1980s, the 1990s, the 2000s and, yes, even in 2014 gender discrimination flourishes in America, Ohio and indeed our own Stark County.


        I can spin quite of number of tales about the gender discrimination the Olson girls have experienced during their lives.

        As their father, I have stood toe-to-toe along side them "fighting the good fight" on behalf of fairness to more than half the American population.


        Of course, I am far from finished with this fight.

        And it is important for the well being of our great nation, state and county that men join in the fight to fully embrace and include 51.5% (Stark County) of our population.

        Everyone who reads this blog needs also to read Gail Collins' epic work on how America has "historically" mal-treated women.


        In coming volumes, the SCPR will delve into the specifics of the city of Canton (a bastion of supposedly "liberal" Democratic Party politics) treatment of women.

        The SCPR's initial take on Canton government's performance on gender equity is that Canton makes Stark County departments of government look like gender equity progressives.

        To whet your interest in what is to come with ensuing SCPR reports on Canton, take a look at this graphic:

        Tuesday, August 19, 2014

        MAIER CAMPAIGN CROSSES "THE BLUE LINE?"



        UPDATE:  12:12 P.M.

                lougiavasis1
                Today at 12:08 PM

        To:  THE REPORT Martin Olson

        Martin,

        When I read your blog today I was amazed, no shocked at what you reported as to my reaction to your questioning about the picture and topic of your blog. At no time did I react in a manner or state that I thought it was funny. I did in fact state to that I saw it was posted on Facebook by someone else and mearly shared the photo onto my own Facebook page because I thought it was kind of a cool picture.

        That was the exact word I used when asked by you was I thought it was kind of a cool picture, I never used the words I thought it was funny. When you asked me if I thought it appropriate for the officers holding the shirt on duty I stated clearly that I thought it was just a couple of officers having fun with the crowd and being over zealous in showing their own personal support for the Sheriff.  I also told you I was not present at the Hall of Fame Parade and did not and do not know who took the picture.

        The only thing you got correct in your blog was the fact yes I did have the photo on my page and Yes, I am 110% support Sheriff Maier and his election.

        Lou Giavasis

        ORIGINAL BLOG

        George T. Maier (the Stark County Democratic Party appointee as sheriff) probably - personally - had nothing to do with an incident during Pro Football Hall of Fame parade festivities whereby two auxiliary Canton Police officers appear to have been enticed by Maier campaign workers into displaying a Maier for Sheriff campaign t-shirt outside the window of the driver's side window of Canton Police Department cruiser.


        However, the SCPR believes that he and his super-politically attuned brother - Johnnie A. Maier, Jr - a former Stark County Democratic Party chairman, have created a political culture within the campaign whereby the prime operating structure is understood by one and all:  "ya gotta do, what you gotta do! - no matter who might get hurt in "doing what ya gotta do" in order to get George T. Maier elected.

        The photograph was published almost immediately on Democrat and Plain Township trustee Louis Giavasis' Facebook (FB) page.

        Okay!  Okay! The Report knows.

        All the clicking on the link above only gets a reader this:


        That's because likely on the insistence of Canton safety forces personnel Louis Giavasis felt he had no alternative.

        The SCPR talked with Louie as soon as The Report was emailed by a source with the link and had checked it out.

        Louie (the brother of current Stark County Democratic Party chairman and Canton clerk of courts Phil Giavasis) initially conveyed an impression the SCPR that he didn't know who took the photo, who posted the photo but that he thought it was funny

        (SCPR Note: [See Giavasis response at the beginning of this blog] "funny" may not have been the exact word Giavasis used, but, if not, the take away impression for The Report was that at the very least he was humored by the photo).

        Well, Canton's safety director (Andrea Perry) and Lieutenant Greg Boudreaux were not laughing.

        The Report spoke with Director Perry within a day or so of the incident occurring and she assured the SCPR that she was aware of the incident and had dealt with it.

        However, as readers of the SCPR know, your truly wanted much more in detail that the brief conversation with Perry entailed.

        So here is the entire e-mail exchange between Boudreaux and The Stark County Political Report:

        Greg Boudreaux
                Aug 18 at 3:47 PM

        To   Martin Olson
                Martuccio, Joseph

        Mr. Olson

        I'm sorry, I had assumed you had seen the photos.
        [Editor’s note: The SCPR, of course, had seen the photos; however, The Report wanted to confirm that both officers were involved in the incident] Yes, two Auxiliary officers were involved who were working together in one police cruiser (one incident involving two Aux. officers). Concerning your questions:

        1. No, the Aux. officers did not have the shirts with them prior to duty.

        2. The person(s) who gave them the shirt are unknown.

        3. The t-shirts were given in exchange for the pictures being taken. The details of this are as follows: The officers were assigned to work the pre-parade route and were driving in the 2500blk of Cleveland Ave. N.W. They saw several people with Meier for Sheriff t-shirts. They casually asked how they could get a shirt. Someone in the group (apparently at least three people were handing out shirts) gave them a shirt and asked to take a picture of them with the shirt. The officers complied, had their pictures taken.

        4. Answered above. Yes, whomever gave them the shirt requested to photograph them with the shirt.

        5. No, neither officer had anything to do with the photos being put on FB.

        6. Unknown. I can only assume that a supporter of Sheriff Meier posted the photos.

        7. Unknown who took the photos

        8. Both Aux. Officers expressed remorse over the incident and did not realize that their actions were a violation of the rules of the department. One offered his resignation and both expressed that they would not have done it had they known that it was against the rules. Both denied that this was in anyway an effort on their part to show that that the CPD has officially endorsed Sheriff Meier.

        I hope that this answers your questions.

        Sincerely,

        Lt. Greg Boudreaux
        Canton Police Department
        Training Bureau
        (330) 438-4512


        On 8/18/2014 2:05 PM, Martin Olson wrote:
        > Regarding your description :
        >
        > "I can assure you that this was just a use of bad judgment on their part and a spur of the moment incident."
        >
        > "Their?"
        >
        > Am I to assume that there were two auxiliaries who displayed the Maier campaign sign?
        >
        > If so, the follow questions apply to both of them:
        >
        > Did he have the shirt with him when he reported to duty that day?
        >
        > Whom did he get the shirt from?
        >
        > Did anyone one other than a CPD connected person (again, your use of the word "their" indicates to me a fellow auxiliary officer may have been involved) prompt the the display of the Maier campaign shirt?
        >
        > In your interview with the auxiliary officers, was there any indication that the auxiliaries were put up to doing the displaying by persons outside the CPD?
        >
        > Did either of the auxiliaries have anything to do withe posting of the photo on Louis Giavasis Facebook (FB) page?
        >
        > If so, what/who prompted them to post the photo on the FB page?
        >
        > If not, who took the photo?
        >
        > Please provide me with any other details that convinced you that the displaying was a "spur of the moment incident" and not part of a pre planned prompting on the part of non CPD persons.
        >
        > Thank you,
        >
        > Martin Olson
        > SCPR
        >
        > From: Greg Boudreaux <greg.boudreaux@cantonohio.gov>
        > To: tramols@att.net
        > Cc: "Martuccio, Joseph" <Joe.Martuccio@cantonohio.gov>
        > Sent: Monday, August 18, 2014 1:29 PM
        > Subject: Canton Police Auxiliary Officers
        >
        > Mr. Olsen - Mr. Martuccio asked me to contact you directly regarding the Auxiliary police officers and their being photographed with "Meir
        [sic] for Sheriff" T-Shirts. 

        I have spoken with the officers involved and they have been disciplined. I can assure you that this was just a use of bad judgment on their part and a spur of the moment incident. 

        Auxiliary Officers are all volunteers who provide numerous hours of volunteer service to the City. They provide business checks, home checks, security details, patrols, and work numerous hours during the HOF events. 

        While we do go over policy matters, they are not as familiar with the Rules and Regulations of the department as a regular, full time police officer.
        >
        > It is unfortunate that these officers had this lapse in judgment and I sincerely apologize for their actions in this matter. We are continuing training with all of our Auxiliary officers to ensure that this issue is not repeated.
        >
        > Thank you for your concern and I appreciate the diligence in the work that you do.
        >
        > Sincerely,
        >
        > Lt. Greg Boudreaux
        > Canton Police Department
        > Training Bureau
        > (330) 438-4512


        The SCPR thinks that it ought to be more than a tad disconcerting to everyday, voting Stark Countians that a man who would be sheriff seems to have embraced and promoted a culture that it is understood that "ya gotta do, what ya gotta do" in the way of politiking.

        It would be nice if the Maier campaign would be in a position to adopt and adapt via a press release of Boudreaux's statement:

        It is unfortunate that these campaign workers/supporters had this lapse in judgment and I sincerely apologize for their actions in this matter. We are continuing training with all of our campaign workers and supporters to ensure that this issue is not repeated.

        You can bet your bottom dollar that if the following photo (doctored by the SCPR for blog political commentary illustration purposes) was an actual photo of the work of a rogue Dordea campaign worker, Maier and his brother Johnnie, Jr would be clamoring for an investigation to find the miscreant to be dealt with to the fullest extent of the law.


        Maybe the SCPR has missed an outcry of outrage on the part of the Maier campaign leaders (including, of course, George himself), but The Report is not aware of an effort by the Maier forces to find out the identity of the Maier supporters who are said by a Canton police lieutenant to have prompted the violation of Canton Police Department rules by two of the department's auxiliary officers.

        As can be seen in the Boudreaux response, the "political prank" zeal of Maier supporters has been costly to the auxiliaries involved and was a huge embarrassment to the Canton Police Department.

        Louis Giavasis thought it was funny, but the SCPR did not, does not and nor should any other Stark County who thinks that official law enforcement should stay out of political campaigns think that such a photo is a proper topic for humor.

        Certainly, no elected public official should treat "the crossing of the blue line" as a matter humor.

        In fairness to Giavasis, he did pause for thought after the SCPR continued with him as to the ramifications of a campaign via workers/supporters having "crossed the blue line" and involved law enforcement in partisan political activity.

        Giavasis is a main player in the Maier campaign.

        While he denied knowing anything about the particulars of the incident, the SCPR for one is skeptical that such is the case.

        Monday, August 18, 2014

        PART 3: IS STARK COUNTY OVERPAYING FOR 9-1-1 DISPATCH BECAUSE OF A "FAILURE TO COMMUNICATE?"



        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: 'tmbernabei@starkcountyohio.gov'
        Cc: 'jwcreighton@starkcountyohio.gov'; 'rregula@starkcountyohio.gov'; 'jjconcatto@starkcountyohio.gov'
        Subject: Stark County CAD

        Tom:

        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,

        Rich

        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,
        Brant

        >>> Martin Olson <tramols@att.net> 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,

        MartinOlson/SCPR

        • 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

            Martin:

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

            Janet

            >>> Martin Olson <tramols@att.net> 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.