Wednesday, November 26, 2014


The Stark County Political Report is known for its critical analysis of public officials in the performance of their duties throughout the past  year.

At Thanksgiving, The Report publishes a "special" blog that highlights the positives that various elected Stark County public officials have brought to bear on local government from Thanksgiving to Thanksgiving

This year's recipients of the SCPR Annual Thanksgiving Day "thank you" for a job well done:


A career policeman in the non-political sense of being a Stark County-based law enforcement official, Alliance resident Larry Dordea has been not only in the past year but for an entire career but has been exemplary model for all of Stark County's policewomen and policemen.

Dordea had an outstanding career as police chief in Alliance.  He is credited for making Alliance a very bad place for criminal drug dealers to try to ply their trade.

After he retired from the Alliance Police Department, he was called upon by Hartville to bring policing stability to the village on the heels of law enforcement leadership problems in this Lake Township community.

In 2008, he decided that Stark County as a whole needed an upgrade in law enforcement and decided as a Republican to take on law time Stark county sheriff and Democrat Tim Swanson.

Unsuccessful in 2012, he took up the cause once again in running against Democrat Mike McDonald.  

Unfortunately, McDonald came down with what proved to be a terminal illness and though elected over Dordea in a relatively close election he was unable to take office on January 7, 2013 and the fight was on to see who Stark Countians would ultimately elect as sheriff.

In the evaluation of the SCPR, there couldn't be a starker contrast in character between Dordea and his Democratic opponent George T. Maier as the two vied with one another in the election just concluded to fill out McDonald's term which ends in two years.

Anyone who has run in a political campaign knows what a difficult and tortured process doing so can be.

Because he is of such high moral character and therefore not nearly political as many who run for political office, it is the SCPR assessment that Dordea was thereby disadvantaged in the hurly-burly, rough and tumble and in some instances "downright dirty" world of elective politics.

The SCPR thinks that Dordea faced "all-of-the-above" in the 2014 campaign.  Being the classy person he is,  Dordea kept his dignity and honor in tact and in doing so set an example of electioneering that is a model for anyone seeking political office.

Dordea conducted himself as he should of.

His failure to get elected was not his doing, but is laid at the feet of a few powerful Stark County Republicans "who sat on their hands" and thereby missed an opportunity for Stark Countians countywide to experience highly competent policing administered by a man of the highest character.

The SCPR thanks Larry Dordea for all the sacrifices he made in running for Stark County sheriff.


Judge-elect Chryssa Hartnett's contribution to the Stark County public good is that she is a symbol of "merit" over "politics as usual" reigning supreme in Stark County government and politics.

When Republican judges Charles Brown and V. Lee Sinclair (both exemplary judges) retired, it was up to Republican governor John Kasich to appoint a successor until the next election to fill out the unexpired term.

While the SCPR thinks well of both Brown and Sinclair, The Report did not appreciate them leaving early in their terms and thereby making who was going to be their respective replacement a matter who has the larger political clout with the governor.

To the degree that government is "unduly" and "unnecessarily" politicized, it sets up a cynicism among the electorate as to the second place "merit" too often takes in who is selected for appointment to a vacant office and over time erodes the quality of our democratic-republican.

Accordingly, the SCPR is the only Stark County media who names names (even those The Report thinks well of "in general) of those who participate in the damaging in our system of government.

Chryssa Hartnett is a name that should long be remember by Stark Countians as a high quality applicant for both the Brown and Sinclair vacancy appointment.

Her sin?

She's a Democrat!

Never mind that she is likely the very best prosecutor that Stark County prosecutor John Ferrero has had on his staff and has a track record extolled by attorneys and judges irrespective of political alignment.

Her peers in the Stark County Bar Association ranked her as "highly" recommended whereas her Republican opponent Curt Werren (Kasich appointee on the Sinclair vacancy) in the election concluded on November 4th was ranked as "recommended."

One really doesn't want to hear John Kasich rallying Ohioans to any particular "above politics" cause he may have going forward in his second term as governor inasmuch as he can't even do the rather obvious and simple act of appointing a person of merit over a politically connected to a "fair and impartial" judgeship.

What a hypocrite the governor is!

But Chryssa Hartnett was not intimidated.

She tried twice for the appointment.

Having failed, she took her case to the people and won by a razor thin margin on November 4th.

Kasich won over his absolutely pathetic Democratic opponent by over 37,000 votes in Stark County.

And Curt Werren (as contrasted with Dordea) had the vigorous and undiminished support of key Stark County Republican elected officials and stalwart party supporters despite his not having practiced law in several years.

Moreover, Hartnett had a couple of herculean problems:
  • How to raise enough campaign dollars to get her message of "merit" over "politics" to Stark Countians,
  • How to get political foot soldiers to go door-to-door spreading the message,
in light of the political reality that the focus of the Stark County Democratic Party was primarily committed to electing its sheriff candidate.

She found a way; she pulled it off!

And on this November 27, 2014, The Stark County Political Report commends and thanks Chryssa Hartnett for setting an democratic-republican enhancing example in advancing "merit" over "politics."


Massillonians should be especially thankful this Thanksgiving to Republican Ed Lewis on Massillon City Council.

Lewis is young man with the energy and intelligence "to fight the good fight" in the name of and for the benefit of government achieving for the general welfare of the people as contrasted to those in Massillon government who seem intent on feathering their own nest(s).

He came into office in November, 2011 while the Johinnie A. Maier, Jr "Massillon Political Machine" was focusing on Democratic Party infighting in deposing 24 year mayor Francis H. Cicchinelli, Jr in the Democratic primary of 2011.

A strange thing happened on the way to the coronation of Maier beholder Kathy Catazaro-Perry as mayor:  Massillon Republicans captured control of Massillon City Council.

While the Dems won control back in 2013, only two of them are dependable Maier Democrats (Townsend and Stinson), and though in a minority, the Republicans have worked with Maier-dissenting Democrats to protect Massillonians as best they can from the "screw-the-taxpayers" political cronyism of the Maier crowd.

A key in the effort has been Ed Lewis.

He is chairman of the powerful Finance Committee of the Massillon legislature and as such has lead the way in alerting the Massillon public to one scheme after another after another by Catazaro-Perry advance partisan and political faction interests over the interests of Massillon taxpayers.

Lewis, a minister, has the ability to turn mayoral insults (e.g. he and other councilpersons are racists because they oppose what appears to be a political boondoggle) into what they are:  "an attempt to intimidate.

Intimidation, the SCPR thinks, is the calling card of the Johnnie A. Maier, Jr. crowd.

Lewis keeps his composure, stays focused and, in the end, frustrates the Maier loyalists.

Had they known what a force Ed Lewis would one day become, the Maier political operatives would have undoubtedly focused and intensified efforts to keep him off Massillon City Council.

That he is on council and may be a viable Republican candidate to deny Catazaro-Perry a second term, should be comforting to everyday Massillonians who do not care about the Democratic/Republican thing, but just want "the trains to run on time."

For bringing some semblance of fiscal integrity, executive branch accountability and compelling a measure of executive branch transparency, the SCPR is and Massillonians should be thankful this November 27, 2014 that Ed Lewis is a leader on Massillon City Council.


If Canton is going to rebuild itself into any semblance of a viable Ohio city that it once was, it will be at the hand of the likes of Edmond Mack (Democrat, Ward 8).

Like Ed Lewis, Mack is a member of the "Class of 2011."  It could be that though of different party identity these two have the political maturity and the interests of the people at heart to trump politics with "the interests of the taxpaying public."

Mack is making quite an impact on Canton City Council.

And he is doing it on measures that takes leadership to bring the citizenry along to agree with him.

One example is his work to bring the question of whether or not Canton should elect a charter commission to the ballot.  That issue will be on the ballot sometime in 2015 alongside Mack himself being up for reelection.

Potentially putting his own political fate on the line is something that Mack does not avoid.

Recently, he proposed the development of a Canton Park on land owned by St; Marks Episcopal Church in Ward 8.

A firestorm (at Canton City Council "Public Speaks" and at an October community meeting at St. Mark's itself) of opposition developed with some of the opponents promising to shepherd a drive to "unelect" Mack as councilman.

That will not happen because Mack, though young and a political neophyte, had the good sense to listen to Ward 8 residents and abandon the idea.

The SCPR has written a separate blog praising Mack for his unparalleled work (e.g. the St. Mark's October community meeting) in providing substance to the notion that our democratic-republican system of government is one in which elected officials hear citizens.

Mack is a vigorous proponent of the Healy administration Canton Citywide Comprehensive Plan.  

But Mack will not be a cheerleader for the plan. 

Though not as acerbic a critic and fellow councilman Frank Morris, III (who opposes the unfolding of the plan as it now stands); Mack has a first rate mind who has no problem whatsoever critiquing the specifics of that which he supports in-general.

Times have been bleak for Canton during most of the Healy Democratic administration years and even leaking back into the Creighton and Watkins Republican administrations.

On this Thanksgiving Day in 2014, Cantonians in Councilman Edmond Mack have a representative who has:
  • demonstrated a high level of capability for leadership, and
  • thereby offers hope that Canton has a promise of "a better day" in its future.
And for that, Cantonians should be thankful.


Notice that the title of this group political activist group is highlighted in purple, the color of the "non-partisan."

It doesn't get any better in our democratic-republican form of government than day-in, day-out citizens working for community betterment:
  • irrespective of political party identification they may or may not have, and
  • irrespective of political party identification of those government officials they hold accountable,
And thereby,  strengthen America's, Ohio's and Stark County's and North Canton's political infrastructure.

And that is the forte of this group of North Canton everydays.

While there is a group which goes by the name:  Concerned Citizens of North Canton Political Action Committee, to wit: (at last count)
  • Jamie McCleaster, president
  • Miriam Baughman,
  • Jeff Davies (former Ward 3 councilman), and
  • Rod Covey, and
  • possibly others
and SCPR includes this group in this "being thankful" segment of today,s blog;  it is the intent of the SCPR to honor with "thankfulness" all of Stark County's untitled citizenry who participate in government processes from the local through the national level.

However, it has been the effort of the Concerned Citizens of North Canton to try to rein in what the SCPR deems to be the anti-democratic conduct of North Canton law director Tim Fox in his seeming arbitrary and capricious interpretation of law that impacts negatively on citizens and their attempts to invoke our institutionalized sacred American tradition of dialogue between the governed and the governors.

Whether or not North Canton council members will admit it publicly or not, you can bet that the heat being applied to Fox is putting pressure on them to rein him in.

Thank you Concerned Citizens of North Canton on this 27th day of November, 2014 for going beyond what most citizens are willing to do in terms of being a "check and balance" on North Canton Council and Law Director Tim Fox.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014



As regular readers of The Stark County Political Report know, The Report has been more critical than not of Canton mayor William J. Healy, II in his "executive" administration of the city of Canton over his nearly seven years in office.

But in this pre-Thanksgiving holiday period, it is time to be thankful to Mayor Healy for his vision and stick-to-it-tive-ness in working towards merging Canton's parks and recreation function into one "more efficient" unit.

Are there those who have resisted Healy's vision?

Indeed, there have been.  

First, an encore of a videotaped interview with Mayor Healy done post-Canton City Council meeting of August 13, 2013

Second, a list of blog links in which the SCPR has dealt with the park/recreation merger issue:

To his credit, His Honor has persisted and it appears that by the end of 2015 or thereabouts there will be no Canton Park Commission and the recreation function of the city under the Canton Joint Recreation District as separate entities.

Most of the resistance has melted away with the passage by Canton voters in November, 2013 of a four mill levy to fund Canton park operations and capital structure.

What resistance remains, the SCPR thinks is coming from entrenched interests (i.e. some of the board members and, perhaps, some of the staff members) from within the Canton Joint Recreation District (CJRD).

The district is described thusly on the CJRD website:


Our Purpose is to develop year-round programs of recreational activities with the City of Canton and Canton City School District.

To maintain and supervise all public recreation programs
and facilities that may be placed at the disposal of the Recreation Board as authorized by the Laws of the State of Ohio, subject to all local rules and regulations of the Board of Education of the City of Canton, and the City Council and Executive branch of the City of Canton.  

Cooperate with all bodies, organizations, groups and individuals in developing, supervising, and maintaining a well-rounded public recreation   program for the citizens of Canton including children, youth and adults.

And here is a listing of the staff:

And here is its funding source:

As noted in the SCPR blog of August 28, 2014, Sharon Fladen, a lawyer who says she is subcontracted with CJRD attorney Sally Henning initiated contact with The Report complaining that she and other opponents/objectors to the proposed merger and aspects of expenditures (i.e. annual payments to the J. Babe Stern Center and the Southeast Community Center) were not being allowed a voice in The Canton Repository.

Unlike The Repository, the SCPR provides space to those who have differences with how units of Stark County government are doing the public's business.

And The Report published Ms. Fladen's (presumably speaking for all those at the CJRD opposing/objecting) point of view.

However, in the August 28th blog, The Report made it clear that The Stark County Political Report applauds the Healy effort to merge the CJRD functions within one department of Canton government dealing with parks and recreation.

What Ms. Fladen apparently did not bank on was that the SCPR does a thoroughgoing analysis of the overall situation when a controversy flares up which The Report takes on.

It turned out that there was a public flap about:
  • the procedures the CJRD used in retaining Ms. Henning to do legal and personnel work for the public agency
  • the scope of her employment,
  • as well as the overall amount of taxpayer provided money that she has been paid for those services.
The SCPR did a public records request to try to get information as to what activities that Ms. Henning was paid for and in what amount.

Here is a sample of what The Report received:

(Reconfigured for Blog viewability)

The Report's take on interacting with:
  • CJRD staff, 
  • Ms. Henning, and
  • an attorney (from Akron) who says he was hired by a third person, not the CJRD board itself, which person the SCPR suspects to be Ms. Henning, 
is that there was a combined effort to throw obstacles in the way of Canton and Plain Township taxpayers (those living in the Canton City School District) - in the form of the CJRD's "like pulling teeth" response to the SCPR's public records request,  for the public via The Report's request to have some sort of narrative understanding of the basis for  Ms. Henning's compensation.

Citing attorney/client privilege, the "private" attorney:
  • that a non-CJRD authorized person [Henning?] retained (i.e. that the hiring of the private attorney was not authorized by a documented resolution by the CJRD board),
provided what the SCPR deems to be "blank documents" as to the narrative information requested.

The SCPR had no problem whatsoever with the CJRD redacting out (presuming that a majority of the board authorized the redaction) reasonably defined attorney/client information.

However, "a pretty much 'blank' document" on requested descriptive information is what The Report received.

The overreach is unacceptable!

A lawyer friend of the SCPR tells The Report that:
  • "a private attorney" hired by "a non-CJRD (the public agency it is) authorized" third party  (by virtue of including such a person [herein, the private attorney)
    • has - in his opinion - in turning over the documents to the private attorney
      •  waived the CJRD attorney/client privilege which could mean that all the redacted material is discoverable.
So the question is:  Should the SCPR file a public records lawsuit against the CJRD so as to obtain the requested information?

Answer:  The SCPR has not yet decided.

Not decided? The Report has to be kidding, no?

The SCPR thinks it is an outrage that the CJRD board is not being transparent (allowing for a reasonable and appropriate attorney/client redaction) in providing the requested information.

It appears to The Report that a few persons within the CJRD scheme of things is driving the engine of obfuscation.

And it certainly would be democracy enhancing for the public to know generally while not intruding on attorney/client material what CJRD taxpayers are paying for.

However, since it seems that it is pretty near certain that the merger and therefore the elimination of the CJRD will take place within the next year of so, a "practical" case is to be made that with Canton city government taking over in the next year or so and the Canton Law Department thereby becoming the legal entity to deal with:  why not wait and obtain copies of the inherited documents when dealing with a legal entity that is more transparent?

To reiterate, the SCPR still may elect to push forward with litigation on what The Report to believes to be a gross overreach on redaction in the name of attorney/client privilege.

When the records do become available, the SCPR can be depended upon to delve very deep into the matter going all the way back to December, 2013.

The SCPR finds that it is more than a touch ironic that perhaps Stark County's most liberal/leftist (most liberals/leftists say they are big on civil rights and the public's right to know and the like) politico (a former Canton City Schools board member [candidate versus fellow CJRD member John Rinaldi in 2013], and a one-time candidate for Congress); namely, CJRD board president Eric Resnick, appears to the SCPR to be part of the resistance to the public's right to know something more than what The Report views in all its essential elements (i.e. some idea of what the work was for) to be in material essence "a blank piece of paper."

A source in a position to know tells the SCPR that Resnick (as one of two appointees o the Canton City Schools) is not likely to be reappointed when his term expires on December 31st of this year.

The SCPR has always thought that it has been a squandering of taxpayer money to have a Canton Park Commission and the CJRD.

With this blog The Report's revealed experience with the CJRD on the transparency issue in the context of the board's scrutiny of CJRD operations (authorizations for hire and providing the public with some documented idea of what they paid for), there is added reason why Cantonians and Plain Township taxpayer participants in CJRD funding should rejoice at the imminent merger of CJRD functions with the "new" Canton Parks and Recreation Department (CPRD).

The SCPR is confident that most of the management of the CPRD will be at the hand of existing CPRD employees and under the able leadership of CPRD director Derek Gordon.

Thanksgiving is in order!

Monday, November 24, 2014


UPDATE:  11:40 AM


From: ... .
Sent: Monday, November 24, 2014 11:26 AM

Just read your blog and it would be interesting to see Scott appointed to the Canton Municipal Judge position.  He would be able to up his salary for the next five years, assuming he gets reelected and since the PERS system now looks at the past five years for retirement purposes.  Next, Kirk Schuring could then take Scott's senate seat, and then Curt Werren could be appointed as state representative in a safe district.


In appointing president of the Stark County chapter of the American Red Cross (Curtis Werren) to the Stark County Court of Common Pleas bench in June, 2013, Republican governor John Kasich showed how utterly political he is.

Werren had not practiced law for several years.

But that didn't bother Kasich one iota.

He chose the politically connected but "unqualified" (in the opinion of the SCPR) fellow Republican Werren over the eminently qualified but Democrat Stark County chief deputy prosecutor Chryssa Hartnett for the retiring judge V. Lee Sinclair's replacement.

It appears that Stark County's voters have corrected the Werren appointment over Hartnett with the official and certified vote count from November 4th's election showing Hartnett with a 131 vote lead.

The contest is subject to a recount.  But it is highly unlikely that it will precipitate a change.

The primacy of politics over merit is nothing new for Kasich in filling judgeships is nothing new to the governor.

This from a May, 2013 Columbus Dispatch article:

As the Franklin County legal community gathers today for a seminar on attracting qualified candidates for judgeships, a local Democratic leader is questioning the qualifications of the Republican governor’s two latest judicial appointments.

Colleen O’Donnell, appointed to the Franklin County Common Pleas Court, and Amy O’Grady, appointed to the county Court of Appeals, appear to have been chosen because of their names, not their experience, said Greg Haas, county Democratic chairman.

“Other than their names, it’s not immediately obvious why they were selected,” he told The Dispatch.

O’Donnell, 32, is the daughter of Ohio Supreme Court Justice Terence O’Donnell. O’Grady, 38, is the wife of Franklin County Municipal Judge Jim O’Grady and the daughter-in-law of retired Franklin County Judge James J. O’Grady. She is not related to county Commissioner John O’Grady, a Democrat.

Gov. John Kasich appointed Colleen O’Donnell and Amy O’Grady last week from among names submitted by the county Republican Party as recommendations for judicial vacancies. Both must run in 2014 for the right to complete the terms, which run through 2016.
It could be that Kasich will give Werren "a second bite at the apple."

If he does; hopefully, on November 3, 2015, Canton Municipal Court voters will once again reverse the governor.

It could be that he will not give Werren a second chance to be a judge.

The SCPR is hearing that North Canton law director Tim Fox has applied to the governor to be the recently resigned Stephen Belden's replacement.

Belden, reported to be under investigation by Ohio Disciplinary Counsel, has announced his resignation.

The Report is also hearing that State Senator Scott Oeslager (Republican - the 29th Ohio Senate District which includes most of Stark County) has applied.

Oelslager, a graduate of the Capital University Law School in 2002, hasn't practiced very much if any law.  In the fuzzy memory of the SCPR, he reportedly had joined up with the highly Democrat Steve Okey's law firm a number of years ago.  As far as The Report knows the combo did not work out and there is no longer an association.

But not having had much of a practice of law but politically astute or connected seems to be a virtue with Governor Kasich insofar as "leaping to the front of the class" for a Kasich judicial appointment.

One political wag the SCPR has spoken to thinks that should Kasich be dissatisfied with Oelslager as chairman of the powerful Senate finance committee, making him a judge might be a win-win way for Oelslager to land the appointment.

And, as the winner of many of a Stark County election as state representative and state senator since the 1980s playing musical chairs with Kirk Schuring on the Stark County senate seat and the Jackson Township centered Ohio House district (as a way to deal with term limits), it is hard to imagine that any Democrat could defeat him next November.

If Kasich is to make yet another politics based appointment better Oelslager over North Canton law director Tim Fox.

As readers of the SCPR know, The Report has written many blogs detailing the arbitrary and capricious ways in which Fox as operated as law director.

Making him a judge would be like making a documented bully a policeman.

He'd be right up there with, if not worse than:
  • Democrat Stark County Court of Common Pleas judge Frank Forchione,
  • Republican Stark County Probate Court judge Dixie Park,
  • Democrat Massillon Municipal Court judge Eddie Elum, and, of course,
  • Republican Canton Municipal Court judge Stephen Belden
as outright imperial autocrats who seem to think they rank right up there with God Almighty in terms of absolute authority.

As an aside, the SCPR asks:  how is that Stark County has developed so many imperial minded judges?

The SCPR hopes it is true that Fox (imperialism personified) has applied for and, according to one source,  is a cinch to get the judgeship.

First, between now and the November, 2015 election a Fox appointment would provide the SCPR with ample material to write blogs on.

Though he does have six years as a practicing attorney with Black, McCuskey which, by the way:
  • is the law firm of Randy Snow
    • whom is the father of North Canton councilwoman Stephanie Snow Werren
      • whom was appointed to replace Tim Fox as Ward 3 council person who had served a mere matter of months as councilman
        • whom also is the wife of Curtis Werren 
          • whom may get a second chance at a Kasich judicial appointment
            • which, ironically, may put an end to the judicial ambitions f Law Director Tim Fox for now anyway
  •  SCPR POINT OF INTEREST:  Isn't interesting how "incestuous" the Republican line up for political appointments is? 
    • Of course, the Stark County "organized" Democratic Party leadership matches in not exceeds the Republicans on this score.
      • That both parties do it should not be any solace to everyday Stark Countians.  "Inside the political family stuff" is "increasingly" turning ordinary Stark Countians against both political parties and thereby puts our cherished democratic-republic's longevity in jeopardy, so the SCPR thinks
    Fox is said to have been the firm's collections attorney which might make him the ideal candidate to replace Belden who is said by his critics to have created a virtual "debtors prison" (outlawed "as a matter of law in Ohio for about 200 years) with his alleged misuse of a judge's contempt of court powers.

    But work in collections is hardly the background that one would hope for in selecting in judge, no?

    Second, a Fox appointment enhances the prospects for a Democrat (Canton senior trial counsel/domestic violence prosecutor prosecutor and Plain Township Board of Education member Kristen Guardado is the name being advanced) to "put egg on the face" of Kasich once again in a selection "by the people" on merit rather than on political considerations.

    The Stark County Political Report does not know much about Guardado.  The Report is told by Republican and Democrat lawyers alike that Guardado is first rate and would make an excellent judge.

    The Report's preference is number 2 in command at the Canton Law Department Deputy Chief Counsel Kristen Bates-Alyward.  However, the SCPR is told that she is "absolutely" not interested.

    A Fox appointment would solve the problem of a group of North Canton citizen activist who have battled with Fox over his interpretation of the law on:
    • public records, 
    • on heath care and other ordinances,
    • the legality of council procedures in force on his advice,
    • on North Canton employee comp. time
    to name just a few.

    On reflection, in that Kasich is not about to appoint a merit candidate (let's say Kristen Guardado), then, maybe, Fox would be the best choice.,

    To repeat, a Fox appointment
    • rids the Concerned Citizens of North Canton of "the bane of their existence" and
    • the chances of Fox and his sketchy legal experience and the baggage of imperial ways, as North Canton's law director make it likely of his being defeated next November, should he get the appointment
    Go! John Kasich.

    Appoint Tim Fox to be Belden's replacement on the Canton Municipal Court!!!

    A Fox appointment will likely ultimately result in a merited person becoming Canton Municipal Court judge and North Canton government settling down, no?

    Friday, November 21, 2014


    UPDATE "SUNDAY"  11/23/2014 - "HIGH NOON"




    The results are in.

    After the provisional ballots and "late" arriving but postmarked on or before November 4, 2014 absentee ballots have been counted and certified as official numbers, as the SCPR predicted, Democrat Chryssa Hartnett pulled off a pretty amazing defeat of Republican Curtis Werren for Stark County Court of Common Pleas judge for the unexpired term of V. Lee Sinclair (a Republican himself).

    In year when the lead of the Republican ticket (Republican incumbent governor John Kasich) won by over 37,000 votes in Stark County, a Democrat wins over an incumbent though "appointed" Republican.

    Simply amazing.

    Just an aside, but the Stark County Republican Party leadership has some "soul searching to do" in having Werren and Republican sheriff candidate Larry Dordea lose in an overwhelming Republican year.

    Being the "number cruncher" the SCPR is, The Report has embarked on a "weekend project" of going through each and every precinct of Stark County's 284 precincts to show Stark County voters exactly where Hartnett overwhelmed Werren to gain 101 more votes of the provisionals and late arriving absentees to increase her "unofficial" election day tally from 29 votes to 131.

    That is the "official" and certified count.

    There will be a recount, but there is plenty of margin for Hartnett to offset any glitches that may surface.

    Again, simply amazing!

    The SCPR is pleased to have been a leading communicator of the greater degree of qualification that Hartnett possessed over Werren.

    Nothing against Werren, but he did play the political game in getting the appointment.

    It is refreshing to see merit win.


    Starting off with Alliance.

    In Alliance 69 uncounted "potential" votes remained after election night.

    Of the 69 uncounteds 22 were disqualified for one reason or another "unanimously" by the two Democrats (Sherer, Jr and Ferruccio) and two Republicans (Braden and Cline), all of whom are political appointees by their respective political parties.

    In Alliance alone, Hartnett picked up 15 votes to make her margin increase from 29 to 44.

    Werren was in real trouble coming out of Alliance.  He wins 10 of 27 precincts but loses the count of the eligible to be counted votes.

    Does not bode well, no?


    Of some solace to Werren, he wins the count of the eligible uncounted by 1 vote.

    He reduces Hartnett's lead to 43 votes.


    In Canal Fulton Hartnett "holds serve."  She won all four precincts in the "unofficial" count and she more than doubled Werren on the uncounted eligible to be counted voters.

    At the Canal Fulton point of the uncounted eligible to be counted votes, Hartnett leads by 48 votes.

    "Holding serve" was a feat that Werren was not able to accomplish in Alliance where he won 10 of 17 precincts.


    No surprise here.

    Canton, a Democratic stronghold.

    Hartnett picks up 28 votes to increase her lead to 76 votes.


    if Curt Werren was privvy (which he wasn't, of course) to the counting of the eligible to be counted uncounted vote, he undoubtedly taken heart (presuming an "in alphabetical order" process) when the count reached Canton Township.

    He outpolls Hartnett by four votes thereby reducing her lead to 72 votes.

    And Republican strongholds Jackson and Lake township are next up on the alphabetical list.

    "Hope, springs eternal," no?


    Though Republican Werren did win a majority of Jackson's precincts (Jackson is a predominantly Republican part of Stark County), he did not gain votes on Democrat Hartnett.

    By the SCPR's count he actually lost one vote.

    Hartnett up 73 on Werren after the Jackson count.

    What a disappointment for Werren, no?


    If the Jackson results on counting of eligible uncounted votes is disappointing to Werren, it is likely that the Lake count is even moreso.

    A leading Stark County Republican told the SCPR before Friday's release of the count that the hope for a turn Werren's way was in Lake Township.

    In Lake he won all but five precincts and there were 111 uncounted votes that predominantly go to Werren.

    But the actual count only produced a four vote pick up.

    After Lake, Hartnett's margin stands at 69.

    Lake is about the alphabetical midpoint of the count and things are not looking good for Werren.

    He has dropped 40 votes from the unofficial count showing Hartnett up 29 votes.

    Many of us who do political/voting pattern analysis believe that Democrats have more trouble voting no matter the voting district.

    The SCPR's take on voting so far is that more provisional ballots even in strong Republican area of Stark County seem to fit the stereotype that those ballots were predominantly cast by Democrats.

    While Republcan Werren did have a margin in Lake, it was a small one.  Jackson was a virtual tie.


    Hartnett took four of the five Lawrence Township precincts.  And, much more truer to form in terms of a correlation between Harnett dominating in a particular city, village or township than with Werren, a Harnett dominance in a given geographical unit usually spells a significant increase in her vote total.

    By the SCPR's vote tally, she picked up six votes in Lawrence which increases her lead to 75.


    Hartnett and Werren split Lexington Township.

    Yet Hartnett walked away with a net gain of seven to 82 votes to bring her over Werren.


    Another downer for Werren.  He wins six of seven Louisville precincts but Hartnett increases her lead by one vote.


    Matters are "really" looking dire when a Republican loses a net calculated provisional vote in Marlboro Township.

    To the SCPR it is really weird that two of the most Republican areas in Stark County are Marlboro and Tuscarawas townships.

    Both are "working class" communities that seem to have little in common with the likes of Jackson and Lake which are two of Stark's financial better off areas of Stark County.

    Despite being a sweep for Werren, Hartnett still picked up another one vote increase in Marlboro which put her at 83.


    Whew!  Was Massillon good for Chryssa Hartnett or was Massillon good?

    A net gain of 18 votes to bring her total increase to 101.

    All over but the shouting, no?

    Massillon, if properly worked, is an out-and-out Democratic Party city pretty much the equal of Canton.

    Democratic voters may stumble and bumble to the polls and may have trouble getting things straight on voting procedures but enough of them negotiated the terrain so as to give Hartnett a commanding lead.


    in Myers Lake a reprieve for Curt Werren.

    He gets Hartnett under 100 with his net two vote pick up of provisionals.

    But the reprieve is short lived.

    When one considers the different proportions (i.e. number of Massilion voters to Navarre voters), as impressive as Massillon was for Hartnett, Navarre is the champ during this election.

    Little Navarre, Stark County, Ohio delivers eight (net) additional votes for Hartnett and thereby helps mightily as Stark's newest judge-elect increased her margin to 107 votes over Curt Werren.


    Deja-vu-all-over-again for Curt Werren in Nimishillen Township which surrounds Louisville.

    Werren wins six of seven precincts but loses ground to Hartnett:  a net of two votes.

    Consequently, Hartnett increased her lead to 109 votes.


    It was "high-five" time for the Werren camp with the North Canton counting of provisionals.

    Werren picked up 15 votes on Hartnett in the community which he calls home.

    Unfortunately for him, the Republican strongholds are already known by the time we get to North Canton.

    And, it did so poorly in these area (compared to expectations) that the North Canton boost will turnout to be a "feel encouraged for the moment" phenomenon.

    But after North Canton Hartnett's net lead is down to 94.

    Not great.  But heading in the right direction.


    Another standoff voting district.

    Werren and Hartnet split the precincts and each got six votes and, accordingly, there is no movement in the overall number.


    A voting district that was on November 4th was solidly Republican.  Werren wins all five precincts yet only picks up one net vote on Hartnett.

    Again, the SCPR thinks that Werren's misfortune (i.e. one would think that winning all precincts would show up in vote gains of provisionals) is wrapped up in the political reality that Democrat or Democrat leaning voters have voting problems more than Republicans that resulted in their casting "to be counted later, if at all" ballots.

    Paris/Minerva was Werren's last chance to eat into the Hartnett's lead and, perhaps, provide a spark of hope that a recount of the entire vote might spot an electronic glitch to turn things his way.

    But only picking up a net gain of one vote doesn't help that cause at all, no?


    Perry Township was definitely on November 4th Chryssa Hartnett territory.  She won 15 (one tied) of the 19 precincts.

    Somewhat odd is that she picked up "only" five votes on Werren.



    A much smaller voting district than Perry Township and yet Pike Township produced a net gain of two votes for Hartnett.  And Werren wins this district two precincts to one and over all by a comfortable margins.

    When are Democrats and Democratic leaning voters going to learn how to vote correctly (i.e. not having to vote provisionally)?

    Just kidding (sort of).

    But "hmm," anyway!


    Another revealing count that showed that Democrats have the most difficulty voting "trouble" free.

    Werren wins Plain 21 precincts to Hartnett's nine (1), but loses 12 votes (net) in the overall count of the provisionals including absentee ballots.

    Two of Plain's 30 precincts were very close, but still it begs the point to see that Werren wins comfortably in 19 of the 30 precincts but slides precipitously in the provisional/absentee count.

    With the Plain result, it appears to the SCPR that "all hope is lost" for Werren in the overall recount that is to come.


    This is "icing on the cake" time for the Hartnett campaign.

    Three (net gain) votes for Hartnett in Sandy Township.


    And more "icing on the cake" in Sugarcreek Township.  Three (3) more net to the plus votes for Hartnett.


    Back to stalemate.

    Neither Hartnett nor Werren gain in Tuscarawas Township.


    And Washington wraps of The Stark County Political Report's analysis with still more stalemate.


    All-in-all "impressive" for the Hartnett campaign, "pathetic" for the Werren campaign.

    Though Werren got much better Stark County Republican Party support than Larry Dordea did for his sheriff campaign, Werren still lost.

    It is obvious that the message got out to the voting public that Chryssa Hartnett on the basis of her sterling career as a Stark County prosecutor was eminently more qualified that Werren is to be a judge.

    Most observers that the SCPR conversed with felt that Werren would prove to be at least "a workmanlike judge."

    And that may be the case.

    However, when it comes to the administration of justice why would Stark Countians want to chance "workmanlike" when the prospect of "excellence" is at hand with Judge-elect Chryssa Hartnett.

    For this prospect, the SCPR thanks:

    • Chyssa Hartnett for "staying the course" and persisting even though twice rejected by a governor who in selecting Werren was playing politics with the administration of justice, and
    • "last, but certainly not least," the Stark County voting public for "rightly" dividing the "political" for the "merited."
    Undoubtedly, the Republicans will answer that the Democrat do it too.

    That is not an acceptable answer.

    To answer that way is to advance a reason that goes to "the heart and soul" of why Stark Countians, Ohioans and American increasing reject the governance that both Democrats and Republicans offer up.

    Shame on both of these political parties for "feathering their own nests" at the expense of the interest of the American citizenry.

    If we one day lose our treasured democratic-republic, the specific names in Stark County, Ohio and across the land that bleed Democratic Party and Republican Party self-interest politics are the people to specifically "to point the finger of blame at."

    Now is the time to name names of the offenders.

    For once we lose our cherished institutions of government and politics, IT WILL BE TOO LATE!!!


    And, thank you Stark Countians for coming to the SCPR to get your most complete and thorough analysis of Stark County politics/governance that is to be had in Stark County!


    The Stark County Political Report used to think North Canton Ward 2 councilman (now council president) Dan "Jeff" Peters was one a few (perhaps Cerreta, Foltz and maybe even Fonte) of North Canton's seven councilpersons who the SCPR thinks have democratic-republican qualities in them.

    But with the e-mail he sent out on or about October 24th, you can strike him from the list, to wit:

    Well, someone is taking to heart the venomous talk directed toward our law director...

    Law Director Tim Fox had the misfortune to have a problem with the rear window of his car about that time.

    It is not unheard of for an overzealous citizen to get out-of-hand when things do not go their way in their dealings with government officials.

    And it is easy to see that Fox and his imperial ways would be the target of such ire.

    But to presume that such is what happened to Fox is totally irresponsible, especially from the leader of North Canton City Council.

    The SCPR suspects that there is more to this story.

    And the "more" might be that Fox himself prompted the Peters unwarranted snap judgement.

    In sending out the raw emotion-based cellphone e-mail, Peters demonstrated to The Report that he is unprepared to be council president in that he lacks the political maturity and studied thinking needed by a leader in handling the give and take of critical citizen input.

    With Peters at the helm, North Cantonians can expect a continuation of the rancor that has plagued North Canton City Council in an uncontrolled fashion since Daryl Revoldt left to take a Kasich administration job several years ago.

    Revoldt had his run-ins with the likes of Citizen Chuck Osborne during his latest stint as council president but he managed to be in control and to provide some semblance of directed leadership that was democratic-republican government processes friendly.

    Peters seems to have a "come let us reason together" quality about him, but the SCPR is thinking more and more that this apparent demeanor is not who Jeff Peters really is as a local government leader.

    Remember the intemperate, "jump to conclusions" Peters' comment above and then take a look at this North Canton Police Department report about the incident:

    FOX TIMOTHY L - Criminal Damaging/Endangering 10/23/2014 13 : 30

    Tim Fox report s that on Thursday , October 23rd, 2014 he was at City Hall , and he parked his vehicle in the southwest portion of the parking lot at approximately 1330 hours. 

    Tim Fox further stated that when he left the building at 1839 hours he noticed that the window looked foggy while driving to his
    residence but he did not think anything of it. 

    Tim Fox said that he parked his vehicle in his garage overnight, and when he went to leave for work this morning, the window was in the same condition.

    Tim Fox said upon checking the rear window, the window was shattered but still intact. 

    Tim Fox believes the damage may have occurred while parked in the parking lot at City Hall. This writer checked the rear window, and it could not be determined how the damage occurred. 

    This writer took six digital photos of the window.

    I then spoke with the dispatchers in the police department, and reviewed the security video specifically on on Thursday , October 23rd, 2014 from the hours of 1330 to 1845. 

    The video depicts Mr. Tim Fox's vehicle parked in the last parking space on the southwest portion in the parking lot.

    During those specific hours, the video showed no one near or around his vehicle , except for a parked vehicle to the left of Tim Fox's vehicle. It appears that the window was clear at the time it was parked in the lot. 

    At 1839 hours the video did show Mr. Fox walking to his vehicle, then driving away. 

    It is unknown at this time when and where the damage occurred at.

    The Report of the 23rd clearly indicates to the SCPR that the unfortunate damage to Fox's window may well have been a freak thing not done by any human act.

    Yet Peters' (council president) who had to have access to the report and likely to the investigating officer himself fires off the inflammatory and implied derogatory comments towards activist North Canton citizens.

    The SCPR cannot recall any such publicly transmitted communication by a Stark County local government leader during the nearly seven years of publication of this blog.

    That Peters would do such a thing is disappointing to say the least.

    But it is not surprising given the obvious hostility that exists between council in general and a group of activists North Cantonians who want North Canton local government to engaging its citizenry in a civil and constructive way.

    It appears that Peters' was primed to jump on the slightest thing a draw unwarranted conclusions because of what appears to the SCPR to be an underlying hostility to the activist citizens.

    In hindsight, the SCPR now is starting to think that Peters may be a primary inciting factor in the seeming "deteriorating by the day" relationship between North Canton City Council as a whole and any citizen who takes exception to council's governance.

    Peters, as the SCPR recalls, was a leading proponent of hiring Fox as North Canton's law director.

    The Report believes that Peters sold council on the notion that Fox was a tough guy who could rein in citizens questioning of controversial actions by council.

    There has been (to mention a few):
    • the whole health care insurance fiasco and council and Fox's apparent contempt for the nearly 80% of North Cantonians who voted to end council members participation (in most cases) in city paid health care insurance,
    • the question of whether or not North Canton should have a full time mayor,
    • the campaign ethics flap between a number of citizen activists and council member Kiesling and former councilman and council president Jon Snyder on a pay raise issue,
    • the departure of long time council clerk Gail Kalpac because - the SCPR thinks - she could not abide the arbitrary ways of Law Director Fox,
    • the inability or unwillingness of council to protect the aesthetics/trees of the neighborhoods near to the "being re-developed" Hoover plant complex,
    • the developing of a "comp. time" procedure without "official" council action on the advice of Law Director Fox contrary to the thinking of the Ohio State of Auditor's office,
    • the ongoing battle that citizens "with a point to make" about this or that action of council or the law director and their seeking documentary evidence (i.e. "public records request") supporting their point which all too often has been late in coming or "deep sixed" altogether, presumably on the arbitrary decision of the law director who apparently has a "blank check" issued him by council as a whole
    As long as council is into an underlying belligerence vis-a-vis North Canton's activist citizenry and refuses to rein-in Fox, troubled times are in the offing for North Canton city government for the foreseeable future.

    As this blog is written, Fox/council is refusing to provide documented evidence that council authorized the hiring of a local law firm to negotiate collective bargaining agreements.

    A citizen requested that the Ohio attorney general office mediate with North Canton government and the requester.

    North Canton's law director's response?

    From the attorney general's office:

    From: Jeff Clark []
    Sent: Wednesday, November 19, 2014 10:00 AM
    To: Chuck Osborne
    Subject: RE: Mediation Request #14-056

    Dear Mr. Osborne,

    Mr. Fox has advised that the council is declining the invitation to mediate.  Since mediation is purely voluntary and requires the agreement of both parties to go forward, we must close this file at this time.

    Thank you for considering the Attorney General’s Public Records Mediation Program, and please keep it in mind in the future.


    Jeff Clark

    Assistant Attorney General

    As far as the SCPR knows, there is no council action wherein council directed Fox to decline the mediation offer.

    Even if there were, for council to authorize a refusal to talk about how we can bridge our differences is very telling on the hostility of council towards any citizen who criticizes what council does.

    Leader Daniel "Jeff" Peters is showing the SCPR that he is a leader in title only.

    And at that, he appears to be part of if not the lead in foisting acrimony between council and those citizens who want their voices heard in local government.

    At the very least Peters should be apologizing for sending out the cellphone e-mail jumping to unwarranted "implied" conclusions obviously directed at certain citizens.

    If he "really" has the political maturity the SCPR once thought he had, he would step up to the plate and endeavor to repair the fractured relationship between council and citizens seeking redress.

    The SCPR thinks that in being all-out-in-support of whatever Law Director Fox does, council and Peters have painted themselves in a corner and that nothing short of change in the make up of council will solve the problem.

    Should North Cantonians choose to return the sitting council members Peters, Keisling, Werren and Griffith back to council next November; then turmoil will continue to plague the councils of North Canton government.