This blog is the eighth 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,
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.
Today's selection is "bigger than life itself" (at least in his own mind) Johnnie A. Maier, Jr.
His day job is as the elected clerk of courts for the Massillon Municipal Courts, having been first elected in November as sort of a refugee camp since he was term-limited out of the Ohio House of Representatives (a limit of 10 consecutive years) first in the 49th, then the 56th and lastly in the 50th Ohio House District (all of which were in his terms pretty much the same geographic area except in the beginning he has Democratic candidate friendly city of Massillon in his district.
Had it not been for Ash running into legal troubles, there is a decent chance that Maier, Jr. would have been lost in "the sea of political oblivion."
And as a consequence of his being a political non-entity, the SCPR thinks, Stark County's political and governance structure historically and currently would have been/be of a much higher quality
From a November 5, 2008, SCPR blog:
Among his most significant early supporters was the-then Democratic Perry Township trustee Gayle Jackson who became a Stark County commissioner in the election of November, 1992.
That is the timeframe that he would have picked up with his current chief deputy R. Shane Jackson and together they have sought to create a Massillon political juggernaut which now has tenacles spreading throughout Stark County.
Shane Jackson is and has been for quite a few years political director of the Stark County Democratic Party.
Maier, Jr. is a former Stark Dems chairman (2004 through 2009) who currently serves as a executive vice president.
It appears that these two specialize in being cowardly "behind the scenes" political operators.
A number of years ago a blog entitled The Massillon Review (begun in March, 2010) appeared on the Stark County political horizon.
- it has been off,
- then on again,
- then off again, and
- now, since right before the May, 2015 primary election, on again
The SCPR believes that this "anonymously published blog" is the work of principal Shane Jackson with support and encouragement of Maier, Jr.
If The Report's take on authorship is correct, one has to wonder what the time of day and what the locale is when the blogs are put together?
Maybe The Massillon Review will address those questions in forthcoming blogs?
The most distressing thing about the Maier/Jackson political operations to Stark Countians is the tenacles thing.
Johnnie himself will tell you what a great clerk of courts he has been. On the court's website, he calls himself the Honorable Johnnie A. Maier, Jr.
In a technical/mechanical sense, there may be some credence to his claim.
But The Report has had reports that quite of number of employees feel quite intimidated by him and that he has groused a number of them.
Moreover, The Report thinks that being clerk is more like being a sidelight for him and that his primary interest and function is creating a political empire across the county witness his all-out, consummate effort to get his brother George T. Maier elected sheriff.
Accordingly, it is Maier's political effect, if any, from his elected-official- base that catches the SCPR's attention.
The Report is highly skeptical that Maier, Jr. can do all that he is doing in Massillon and Stark County, Stark County political subdivsion circles without same somehow overlapping with the timeframe one within which he performs in adminstrative duties as the Massillon clerk of courts.
As stated in yesterday's blog on Mayor Kathy Catazaro-Perry, it is common knowledge among Massillon's officialdom that there appears to be a well worn pathway between the mayor's office and the clerk of courts.
Now does Maier, Jr. mean to tell us that those back-and-forth trips are exclusively about court business with the mayor's office (Judge Eddie Elum's wife Margaret is Catazaro-Perry's top administrative official) and there is nary a word or consideration of the political aspects of being mayor of Massillon?
Clearly, that is the implication.
And it may be true.
But who is going to believe it?
Maier, Jr. remains highly involved in Stark Countywide political operations and in the opinion of The Stark County Political Report has had a significant hand in those elected officials who are included in the following graphic attaining office.
Many of the pictured elected officials could easily make future SCPR quarterly updates as being among Stark County's top 10 worst elected officials.
What a legacy, no?
So for what appears to be (i.e. the perception of) to a number of Massillonian and Stark County political observers his blurring of the lines between his being clerk of courts and his countywide political activity, The Report thinks he is deserving of being #3 on the SCPR 10 Worst Stark County Political Subdivision Elected Official list.