Monday, June 1, 2015



The Stark County Political Report has been following the "politics" of Stark County government's implementing of a state of the art 9-1-1 call receiving and dispatch (i.e. Computer Assisted Dispatch "CAD") system from the beginning.

The SCPR began it existence on March 12, 2008.

As hard it is to believe, the repair of Stark County's "broken" (according to February, 2008 specially commissioned analytic report) has been embroiled in "politics" from the very beginning.

That "politics" have played large in the fix of Stark's emergency services is disturbing in that your, mine and everybody's personal safety could be at stake.

It appears that to the SCPR that the politics has come mostly from the county's various fire departments as addressed two years ago by The Report's favorite Stark County fire chief; namely, Tom Burgasser in a video in a prior SCPR blog.

The Report has written a number of blogs critical of Nimishillen Township fire department chief Rich Peterson and by extension the trustees of Nimishillen for not integrating into the Stark County emergency communication system.

With the election of Janet Creighton and Thomas Bernabei as commissioners in November, 2010 and quality leadership:
  • from, of course, Commissioners Creighton and Bernabei (mostly Bernabei), 
  • Stark County Emergency Management director Tim Warstler
  • 9-1-1 Project Manager Joe Concatto
    • a former Creighton Canton mayoralty administration cabinet member,
    • a former Canton Fire Department chief,
  • Stark County Council of Governments (SCOG) mostly under the leadership of Randy Gonzalez
    • SCOG's point man on the rehab of Stark's 9-1-1 system, also:
      • a former chief deputy clerk of courts (Canton Municipal Court) who was a key factor in the development of the Criminal Justice Information System (CJIS),
      • a former Stark County Democratic Party chairman, and
      • a former Jackson Township trustee, and
      • current Jackson Township fiscal officer,

an effort to fix the broken system got underway.

Also deserving of a mention for their contributions to the 9-1-1 rehab are former Stark County commissioners Todd Bosley, Tom Harmon and Jane Vignos.

In December, 2008 they "imposed" a 1/2 countywide sales tax that was pumped as being for 9-1-1 repair.

For them, the hype was only, the SCPR thinks, half true.

What was not emphasized with the "imposition" of the tax was that half of the revenue generated for the 9-1-1's being brought to the state of the art was for the county's general fund.

It turned out that the tax was rescinded by Stark voters in November, 2009 in an effort spearheaded by local attorney and civic activist Craig T. Conley ably assisted by Citizen Thomas Marcelli because that tax had been imposed.

At the time, the SCPR supported the notion of additional revenues for the 9-1-1 rehab but admonished that he should have been put up for a vote of the people of Stark County.

Notwithstanding the voter decommissioning of the imposed tax, it did generate several million dollars with which the likes of Bernabei, Concatto and Gonzalez formulated a way to update the dispatch side of the 9-1-1 update to state of the art.

Though the SCPR is generally complimentary of the work done by the commissioners, The Report suspects that they unnecessarily overspent by $1 million or so in the dispatch that the eventually purchased.

On the emergency call receiving side, the primary architect of the degree of efficiency that Stark County today enjoys, is attributable to the director of the Stark County Emergency Management Agency and his staff; namely, Tim Warstler.

Earlier this year The Stark County Political Report happened on an article published in USA Today as cited at the beginning of this blog.

Readers of this blog:
  • in order to grasp the significance of "location data," and 
    • to get a full appreciation of the critical importance of same to each and everyone of us in terms of being located
    • in order to receive emergency medical care in the event of a:
      • heart attack,
      • stroke,
      • automobile accident injury,
        • and the like
absolutely need to read the USA Today article cited above.

Here is a LINK to that USA Today baseline article.

Please take about five (5) minutes or so to read this article so that you can appreciate fully the answers to SCPR "on camera" questions by Director Warstler and his highly able staff.

Your life could depend on your doing so.

Moreover, viewing each and every part of the Warstler and staff interview being with this blog and continuing until the interview answers to SCPR questions is completed provides readers with knowledge of what Stark County's, in particular, capability is with regard to locating you and me in the case of an emergency.

The interview lasted about an hour or so.

However, recognizing that most of us do not have space to allocate a solid hour or better to view interviews, the SCPR has broken the presentation into much smaller segments and has written the full treatment of what Director Warstler has had to say about Stark County's ability on the location factor and nominated such as being a multi-part series.

PART 1 - INTERVIEW (about 4 minutes)

Getting to Know Tim Warstler

Is Stark County at the "state of the art" in terms of locating Stark Countians who make cellphone calls in for 9-1-1 emergency medical assistance?

The SCPR encourages readers to contact their friends, relatives, neighbors and acquaintances to hear/see Director Wartstler's responses to The Report's questions.

All our lives could hinge on understanding the state of the art of Stark County's emergency services and what the system can and cannot do.

Interview, Part 1:

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