Wednesday, March 25, 2015


On Monday, The Stark County Political Report started a new feature:  Stark County Top 10 Leaders.

On a quarterly basis, The Report plans on ranking Stark County's political subdivision (villages, cities, township and boards of education) leadership in terms of the "Top 10."

See previous blogs in this series for the particulars of how the quarterly "Top 10" blogs will be constituted, revised and what the timetable is for publication.  (reference:  the Tom Bernabei blog)

And, of course, to see the SCPR's presentations on:
Today's blog is on Canton Councilman Edmond Mack.

Years In Office:  January 1, 2012 to present

Political Affiliation: Democrat


Juris Doctor, University of Akron School of Law

Bachelor of Arts, Kent State University

Current Employer:

Attorney - Tzangas Plakas Mannos Ltd.


Judiciary Committee (Chairman)
Member, Public Property Capital Improvement Committee
Member, Rules Committee
Member, Downtown Development Committee

Special Interests:

Reducing storm water drainage problems in Ward 8.

Decreasing the amount of blighted and abandoned houses in Ward 8.

Increasing the number of police patrolling Ward 8.

Professional Recognitions:

Recognized as 2014 Top 20 Under 40 Young Professional by the Canton Regional Chamber of Commerce, ystark!, and the Canton Repository.
Recognized as one of Ohio's best attorneys under the age of 40 for 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, and 2015 by Super Lawyers "Rising Stars" rating service.

Community Service:

Provides pro-bono legal services on behalf of non-profit organizations in Ohio Appellate Courts as amicus curiae.

Volunteers legal services through the Wills for Heroes Foundation.

Serves as a Member of the Kent State University Stark Chapter Alumni Board.

Serves as a Trustee on the Stark County District Library Board.

Term Expiration: December 31, 2015


Elected in November, 2011 over incumbent Councilman Mark Butterworth (a Republican), Mack has had a stellar rise in government and politics in terms of honing his leadership skills over his nearly four years as Ward 8 councilman.

Butterworth as Ward 8 councilman (2010 - 201) used to talk about the advantages of charter government but was so utterly intimidated by the 11 ward and at-large Democrat councilpersons' dissonance that his talk proved to be just that:  "talk."  As councilman he proved to be an out-and-out "mealy-mouth."

That Mack won by a mere 43 votes out of 3,443 cast, should make the case to voters that voting can make a critical difference on how their government functions in their interests.

Added significance to the Mack 2011 victory is that Ward 8 is about the only chance that Republicans can win a ward seat in council.

Edmond Mack has shown that on the charter government issue he has added "action" to the Butterworth rhetoric and, accordingly, has achieved productivity in terms of getting the measure on the November ballot.

In July, 2014 Mack sponsored an ordinance for council to place the creation of a charter commission on the November 2014 ballot.

But he was defeated.

Mack was undeterred.

Since the defeat, he has been working tirelessly to get the matter before Canton's voters.

He tells The Report that he will be filing his petitions with the Stark County Board of Elections in June.

Cantonians may or may not reject Mack's work, but he has worked hard and intelligently in shepherding the charter government issue to the ballot.

If there is  a rejection, Mack will pick up and go on as he did when Ward 8 residents rejected his initiative to find a use for $10,000 allocated to the ward from the November 2013 passed Canton Parks & Recreation levy proceeds.

If it passes, the SCPR can think of nobody better equipped to promote that Canton voters accept  the charter plan formulated by the 15 member commission selected this November for presentation for an up or down vote within a year (likely the November 2016 election) by Cantonians than Edmond Mack.

In that he is a councilman, Ohio law prohibits him from seeking a place on the commission.

However, it is likely that when Edmond Mack as a citizen speaks, commission members will be listening attentively.  For BUT FOR his effort, there would be no opportunity for Cantonians to vote in our democratic-republican system to weigh-in on the matter.

It was a sad day for citizen participation in our government when on July 14, 2014 Councilpersons West, Griffin, Smith, Fisher, Dougherty, Morris and Babcock voted to deny Cantonians the opportunity to have their say.

Mack himself repeatedly demonstrates that he listens when his fellow councilpersons speak and super-listens when his constituents speak.

The SCPR did a thoroughgoing blog on a meeting in the ward hosted by Mack on the proposed site (St. Mark's Episcopal Church) where the $10,000 was to be spent.

It was clear to one and all that the residents who showed up at the meeting were overwhelmingly opposed and, consequently, Mack withdrew the proposal.

All to many elected officials "bull ahead" despite clear opposition because their egos cannot take "no" for answer.

But not Edmond Mack.

The impressive thing to the SCPR was that Mack provided each Ward 8 resident who showed up at the meeting to have his/her full say and he endeavored to provide a full and complete answer (whether liked or not) to each citizen question.

On this question, Councilman Mack proved that he can "handle the heat in the kitchen."

It is difficult to rank Mack as being superior to his fellow young councilpersons on council (the others being Fisher [Ward 5], Mario [Ward 7] and "sort of" young [at least in term of his time on council] Frank Morris [Ward 9]).

They all deserve consideration to be among the SCPR's Top 10.

However, the SCPR puts Councilman Mack in the #3 slot in this initial quarterly evaluation because of:
  • his persistent activity (currently) in getting the charter government question on the upcoming November ballot, and
  • his demonstrated sensitivity to his colleagues and constituents
Nobody knows what the future holds.

But the SCPR sees Mack as having the potential to be a future mayor of Canton.

He may not be interested in that:
  • he has a child that he needs to nurture, and
  • he is a high quality lawyer with one of Canton's prime law firms and being mayor would be at great professional career path cost and surely long term would entail considerable financial sacrifice
The SCPR trusts he is considering such.  For he has qualities (i.e. intelligence, character and a vision) that are sorely needed in Canton government.

For the foregoing reasons, Councilman Edmond is named #3 on the SCPR first quarterly leadership honor roll.

Tomorrow's blog will be on #4 on the SCPR Stark County Top 10 leadership list.

Hint:  A county official who once demonstrated against John Boccieri in 2008 in Boccieri's successful campaign (opponent:  Republican Kirk Schuring) to replace Stark Countian Ralph Regula upon Regula's retirement.

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