This blog is the sixth 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 the previous three 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,
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, one respondent to yours truly's request that readers send their guess to firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
For those readers who want to join the elite group of successful guessers, here is a clue:
The "winner" is NOT a member of the Maier Massillon Political Machine (MMPM).
We all just heard a sigh of relief - didn't we? - from Kathy, Johnnie, Jr., Phil, George, and the like.
However, some of those devotees to the MMPM need to keep their fingers crossed in hopes that they will place somewhere in the remaining four slots.
Remember, none of them made the top spot. Sorry guys!
Better luck in the next quarterly report.
Today's honoree is Stark County's top escape artist who over his 7-1/2 years as mayor of Canton has survived one self-inflicted scrape after another, and another seemingly on into infinity; namely, William J. Healy, II.
In order to accomplish his Houdini-esque feats, he has had to be Stark County's slickest politician ever, no?
When one looks at his campaign finance reports, it is interesting to see some of the names that appear on his latest list of contributors, to wit:
And Healy's to them:
The SCPR has a high regard for Councilpersons Mack and Mariol, especially Mack and his power of discernment, and therefore find it interesting that Healy has apparently convinced them that he - the mayor - is the real deal and is on way to solving Canton's many problems.
The Mack and Mariol justifications for having helped Healy defeat Kim Perez in the recently concluded Democratic primary are of the "hope and a prayer" variety to the SCPR.
As the SCPR understands Mack's and Mariol's rationale in connecting with the Healy mayoralty campaign is that they feared that Perez as mayor would undo all the work that Canton City Council has invested in the rebuilding of Canton.
While councilpersons ought to work with the executive branch for the betterment of Canton, making financial contributions to Healy's campaign is tantamount - the SCPR thinks - to an endorsement with the way Healy has been or, if not that but rather going forward, will administer the city.
Sorry guys, I don't see Healy as anything other than being a "smoke and mirrors" mayor as long as he is in office using political manipulation as his preferred tool
Of course, when they threw their lot in with Healy they did not know that Tom Bernabei's "independent" candidacy was coming.
If Bernabei makes it to the ballot, are they going to be sticking with Healy?
Stay tuned on that one.
Another thing to note about Healy's campaign finance reports is the erosion of Stark County Democratic officials and public figures contributions from his 2014 Annual Campaign Finance Report.
Go back and review the 2015 pre-primary list published above.
Now look at the 2014 report:
Quite an erosion, no?
In the 2015 report about 60% of the contributors were from outside Canton and approximately 25% were from outside Ohio.
The SCPR holds the distinction of having totally frustrated Hizzhonor in being unaffected by his "carrot and stick" approach to politics.
Healy has ignored, yelled at and sweet talked yours truly; all to no avail in his quest to influence what appears in these pages about his comings and goings as mayor of the Stark County county seat.
The latest episode in the rocky relationship going back to the beginnings of his administration occurred at Canton City Council meeting of May 11th.
Here's the video.
The way the SCPR assesses his turning ugly on the 11th has to do with his realization that "the [being mayor] gig is up" if his former service director and chief of staff (his very first one) Tom Bernabei makes it to November's ballot as an "independent."
Who knows, the guy might be back to sweet talking next week?
Rather than bore readers with a recitation of all his self-inflicted political injuries, here are a few links to blogs the SCPR has done since January, 2007 about the mayor.
What's worse for Stark Countians living within the boundary of Canton is that despite his many, many, many "spins" about the good things happening in the Hall of Fame City during his tenure as mayor, it appears to the SCPR that at best is stagnant if not continuing to slide.
There are pockets of Canton which have a poverty rate in the range of 40% which has persisted if not increased during William J. Healy, II's reign as the city's chief executive officer.
The streets and roadways are an absolute mess.
Demolition of abandoned residents lag.
Healy plays with Canton's crime rate numbers as if he were playing volleyball with them.
The mayor loves to take folks aside and say something like this: "I can't tell you the specifics because negotiations are at a sensitive stage, but we are on the cusp of a REALLY BIG economic development job producing deal."
And nothing or very little materializes.
Healy has had nearly eight years to right the Ship of State Canton, but has failed to do so.
Accordingly, he is richly deserving of being ranked #5 on the SCPR 10 Stark County Worst Elected Officials list.