HEALTHCARE INSURANCE ISSUE
This blog is the ninth in a series of 10 blogs until the tenth one in which The Stark County Political Report will name the absolutely worst Stark County political subdivision "elected" official.
Indeed, we have reached the midpoint of the list most viewed of any series that the SCPR has ever done in the blogs' seven plus years of existence.
To those elected officials who have captured the SCPR's attention enough to have made the list: CONGRATULATIONS!
For those readers who are just catching up with the list, here are links to these previous selectees:
- #10, Plain trustee Louis Giavasis,
- # 9, Jackson trustee James N. Walters,
- # 8, Canton Local School District BOE president Dave Brothers,
- # 7, North Canton City Council president Daniel "Jeff" Peters,
- # 6, Canton Councilman Jimmy Babcock,
- # 5, Mayor William J. Healy, II of Canton,
- # 4, Mayor Kathy Catazaro-Perry of Massillon,
- # 3, Johnnie A. Maier, Jr., Massillon clerk of courts,
The Report has asked readers to weigh-in as to whom will achieve the dubious distinction of being Stark County's worst from among the list of county, village, city and board of education officials who have convinced their respective constituents to vote for them.
Interestingly enough, two respondents to yours truly's request that readers send their guess to email@example.com has successfully figured out the name of the official who will be blessed in a few days with the unveiling of the absolutely worst - in the opinion of SCPR - Stark County political subdivision elected official.
To boot, in recent days a high level Stark County "elected" official whispered that officials name into the ear of yours truly and BINGO! that official hit the jackpot as to whom #1 is.
So tomorrow is "a really BIG DEAL" for some high blessed Stark County elected official.
It is not everyday that one gets designated as the "absolutely worst" Stark County elected official.
A bad as the SCPR thinks #10 through #2 are for good government, there was no question from the get-go who #1 was going to be.
Today, though, The Report names "a really tough lady" (in her own estimate, just ask her) who is a member of the North Canton City Council as the penultimate worst Stark County elected official.
Indeed! None other than Ms. "Stark County Republicanism Personified" Marcia Kiesling.
An early in the life of the SCPR tête-à-tête between yours truly and Kiesling was her making the point how tough she is.
Such is a compliment to The Report inasmuch as it communicates how much on edge the likes of Kiesling are when they have to face the SCPR camera with questions about their obvious "my way or the highway" anti-citizen attitudes.
As The Stark County Political Report sees her, she has the distinction of being the most anti-democratic-republican councilperson in all of Stark County in the context being an elected representative in relationship to her citywide constituents.
A good part of the "anti-citizen-participation-in-your-government" attitude of North Canton government (from council's perspective) emanates, the SCPR believes, from the tone set by Councilwoman-at-Large Kiesling.
Undoubtedly, it was a mere co-incidence that the first words out of the mouth Law Director Tim Fox shortly after moving from Ward 3 councilman to being director:
- whom the SCPR thinks was a primary person along with Councilman Jeff Peters in making Fox North Canton's lawyer
- with the understanding that he take on the role of knuckling down on the likes of the Concerned Citizens of North Canton and
- their efforts to make North Canton government:
- responsive, and
Think maybe Councilwoman Kiesling might have had a hand in that?
She was anything but tough when it came out that she, political bedfellow Stephanie Werren (Ward 3 originally appointed successor to Tim Fox; she also a Republican as is Fox), Peters (a Republican, Ward 2) and John Snyder (a Republican and former Ward 4 councilman) on the legal opinion of Fox elected for a time after the November, 2012 vote to maintain North Canton taxpayer paid for healthcare insurance benefits in the face of North Cantonians having voted in November, 2012 to take away such benefits by an overwhelming majority.
The Report's recollection is that immediately after her SCPR videotaped comments, a highly emotional Marcia Kiesling had to exit the meeting for a short period to collect herself.
In addition to the health care insurance debacle, Kiesling, the SCPR thinks, is "up to her eyeballs" in North Canton Council's failure to control Director Fox.
There are a score of issues on which it appears to the SCPR Fox is decidedly antagonistic to facilitating citizen participation in North Canton government. However, The Report does not think for a nanosecond that he is "on a lark of his own."
The Report believes that he has his marching orders from the likes of Kiesling, Peters and Werren. For the rest of council, it seems they lack the gumption to contend with Kiesling, Peters and Werren to rein Fox in.
A particularly vexing problem for the Concerned Citizens of North Canton has been to get compliance with many of their public records requests. And, in a manner set out in the request. (LINK to Citizen Miriam Baughman on public records)
To reiterate, here is a long list (a partial one at that) of North Canton government's (principally city council) abrasive relationship with its citizens and today's selectee; namely, Councilwoman-at-Large Marcia Kiesling, the SCPR believes, has been a major player each step of the way.
As indicated above, the SCPR thinks that Kiesling is politically tight with Law Director Fox and a chief enabler of his arrogance.
Take a look at this photo of Fox huddled up with Kiesling, Snyder at the November 4th "day before election" Election Commission hearing. McCleaster (an at-large opponent of Kieslings in 2013 and the object of her Ohio Elections Commission ethics complaint says:
That exact moment was to be a last minute negotiations between parties and Law Director Fox interjected himself in a way (as we have always maintained) that he was assisting Kiesling and Snyder with their respective cases.
And this is what the SCPR had to write at the time:
Merely there as an observer?
Notwithstanding Kiesling's Ohio Election Commission "success," except on the issue of Kiesling's council attendance record; McCleaster came very close the next day in becoming a fellow council member.
The SCPR figures that this time around (the 2015 elections), he will succeed.
It is not likely that Kiesling will be his political victim, but who knows; stranger things have happened.
Such would be a measure of poetic justice.
For her apparent lead in being a Tim Fox enabler/director which in effect seems close to making the law director "the be all" in North Canton government and appears to entail a concomitant derogation of citizen participation in that government and thereby making North Canton City Council the very worst in all of Stark County; Macia Kiesling is well deserving of being #2, joining #7 - Daniel "Jeff Peters" (council president) on the SCPR 10 Worst Stark County Elected Officials list.