Tuesday, March 10, 2015


Last week the SCPR missed the fireworks directed at Ward 7 Councilman John Mariol (chairman of Canton City Council's Public Property and Capital Improvements Committee) by Councilpersons David Dougherty (Ward 6) and Chris Smith (Ward 4).

However, the SCPR did have excellent sources who enabled The Report to write these two blog last week:
The issue last night, once again, as clarified by Majority Leader/Vice President of Council Frank Morris (see video below - in response to Councilwoman Smith's comments [see her video below]) was not whether or not Fulton Road NW is going to be repaved with some $1.25 of federal/state grant money plus $314,000 in local match (an 80/20 ratio), but rather where the $314,000 mandatory local match funding is coming from is coming from.

Insofar as Dougherty is concerned, it is NOT to be taken out of a $400,000 budget set aside for paving projects within Wards 1 through 9.  Otherwise, he is fine with the project.

Although Councilwoman Smith did revisit the issue last night, her announced mission was "set the record straight" (the SCPR's expression) as to what her position was last week when she initiated - what turned out to be - the turbulent council discussion on where the funding was to come from on Canton's local share of the Fulton Rd NW project.

While Dougherty was not as vitriolic last night as last week, the sparks did fly in exchanges between Dougherty and Mariol and Mariol supporter Councilman Edmond Mack of Ward 8.

As shown in the video, Dougherty accused Chairman Mariol in presenting a plan for passage at next week's meeting is a case of one councilman making off with money for Fulton Rd at the expense of nine ward councilpersons.

Moreover, it is interesting to see Councilman Mack chide Dougherty over how when it comes to his ward primarily benefiting from macro-road improvement projects, then he is quite content to have other councilpersons whose wards do not directly benefit pitch in with support.

By the way, the SCPR has learned that the wards represented by Smith and Dougherty have in recent years been among the highest recipient wards in terms of paving dollars spent therein.

So it appears to the SCPR that the battle over the funding of Fulton Rd NW is really a fight over at least one "reactionary" (i.e. what's mine is mine and what's yours in mine) councilman (maybe two, depending on how one interprets Smith's stance as clarified) against the rest of council which in the context of this issue, the SCPR sees as being visionary, is to say they "see the whole picture."  Dougherty obviously does not.

Which councilpersons turn out to be reactionary and are visionary on this issue should become crystal clear next week when council votes up or down on legislation to fund the project.

However, you can bet that some face saving work will be done in the meantime to avoid putting Dougherty and perhaps Smith out-on-a-limb.

So on second thought, the vote may not turn out to be a stark contrast.

The SCPR sat down with Chairman Mariol after last night's meeting.

While Mariol does not use the terms reactionary/visionary that The Report does, he does divide council between those who focus on their respective wards as compared to those councilpersons who can shift off the ward focus on matters such as Fulton Road and see/support "the big picture."

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