Wednesday, June 24, 2015


UPDATED:  08:45 AM

On Thursday, June 18th, Massillon City Council mustered together seven members (the minimum required to act) for the purpose of passing an ordinance joining Mayor Kathy Catazaro-Perry in presenting to the Massillon Financial Planning & Supervision Commission (MFP&SC, Commission) a Restoration Plan (Plan) to bring Massillon out of fiscal emergency.

Council deliberated for 42 minutes and 35 seconds, more or less, (see full video below) before passing its part of the Plan after amending the original proposed ordinance several times.

Along the way, various council members seemed to lose their focus on why council was in "special" session in the first place.

Council president Tony Townsend has done much to impress the SCPR with his handling of the presidency.

Several weeks ago, he himself lost sight of the appropriateness of his action when he - from the presidency chair - weighed in on council deliberations about a Southway roadway issue. He should have stepped down from the chair to the lectern for public speaks and spoke his peace.

But last Thursday he did impress in his admonishing and structuring the "special" session of council to "keep on task" in voting up or down on the Plan ordinance.

A disturbing aspect of the meeting was the complete absence of any administration official to answer council member's questions about administration viewpoints and obtain information maintained by administration officials.

Mayor Kathy Catazaro-Perry was nowhere to be seen.

Budget Director and Income Tax Director Ken Koher did take a telephone call from Councilman Paul Manson.

Joel Smith, the mayor's newly appointed safety director was present, but he declined answering any questions about the mayor's perspective nor attempt to provide needed information.

All that sets the scene for comments made by Mayor Kathy in a letter transmitting the plan on Friday, the 19th to Chairwoman Sharon Hanrahan of the MFP&SC in which she said:
  • that she is seriously concerned about a third city income tax increase attempt,
  • that the Plan does not adequately provide for  financing of the repair of Massillon's deteriorating infrastructure such as:
    • road resurfacing,
    • culvert and storm grate replacing, and
    • fixing of potholes,
So it will be interesting to see how the Commission reacts.

The mayor is one of seven voting members of the commission.

As far as the SCPR is concerned, Catazaro-Perry's negative attitude towards working enthusiastically and energetically with council is a primary reason that two prior attempts (one no part of the Plan) failed.

As the graphic at the lead of this blog depicts, Mayor Kathy Catazaro-Perry is the personification of a dark, dark, dark cloud that rains negativity into the mindset of voting Massillonians and thereby drowns the city's chances of generating desperately needed new revenues.

However, her fellow Commission members appear to lack the gumption to put her feet to the fire on her failure to be part of the solution rather than a primary roadblock to convincing voters to provide the city with sorely needed additional finances.

And who knows, the MFP&SC on July 1st at its meeting to consider the Plan submitted on the 19th may once again generate reasons to reject the Plan.

At the beginning, nobody thought that Massillon would in fact experience 15% across-the-board cuts to all departments of Massillon government.

The Stark County Political Report for one thinks that it is foolhardy given the mayor's failure to cooperate and embracingly participate in convincing voters to provide new monies to city coffers to think that the 15% cuts are not only thinkable but perhaps probable going forward.

Here is the video of the session of the 18th.

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