8:15 AM U.S. TIME
2:15 PM IN SWEDEN
8:15 AM U.S. TIME
2:15 PM IN SWEDEN
Yesterday, Canton Councilman Edmond Mack of filed a Mandamus action with the Stark County Court of Common Pleas asking that the court (case assigned to Judge Frank Forchione) compel the Stark Board of Elections (BOE, Board) to send a tie vote of July 13, 2015 to Ohio's secretary of state Jon Husted for his tie-breaker vote on the issue of whether or not valid signatures on a BOE determined overall invalid petition should be validated as substantially complying with Ohio election law.
As the SCPR, the problem person in terms of Cantonians getting the right to vote ultimately in Canton becoming a charter government city is North Cantonian - not elected to anything - Republican lawyer and BOE member William S. Cline.
DISCLAIMER: Cline is a person in the context of his public officialdom persona who the SCPR doesn't much like and thinks should not be on any public officialdom board whatsoever in Stark County.
The Report thinks he teamed up with "power makes right" politico Johnnie A. Maier, Jr. (a former Stark Dems' chairman) to deny the SCPR camera access to BOE meetings back in 2010.
For Cline yours truly thinks, the camera ban was matter of not wanting the Stark County public to see with their own eyes and hear with their own ears how he his his backroom politico-esque manner teams up with other politicos to make political sausage that all we Stark Countians are forced to eat.vi
Cline at work in the political world is hardly consistent with the view he would like Stark Countians to have of him.
For Maier, yours truly thinks, the camera ban was a case of political vendetta in retaliation for The Report sharing with Stark Countians an inside look at what makes him tick in the politics and government arenas.
In contrast to Cline, he makes no pretense of refinement. He appears tbe content with being seen as a literal "bull in a China shop." The Report's take on Maer, Jr. is that he likes making people afraid of him on political and government matters so they wilt to his will in his mere presence.
Yours truly is one the few of the Stark County politically engaged who has consistently told Maier, Jr. that he can stuff it "where the sun does not shine."
Cline tries to carry himself as some sort of patrician, but he comes across to The Report as perhaps the premier anti-democrat government official (the BOE and the North Canton Board of Zoning Appeals) in the entire county.
In his brief to Judge Forchione, Attorney Edmond Mack makes the point that the Stark BOE made no effort to notify Mack (as the lead person as a Canton councilman [Ward 8 and chairman of the Canton City Council Judiciary Committee) that on July 2, the BOE was going to make a determination of whether or not the Board was going to certify petitions circulated by Mack and fellow Committee members on the issue of having Cantonians vote on the formation of a Canton Charter government commission.
There is likely no legal requirement that the BOE notify Mack that the certification matter was on the July 2 regular meeting agenda.
But a body that cares about citizens and their opportunities to have input into decisions made by the Board in the spirit of our democratic-republican way of governing ourselves would have given Mack the heads up that a decision was forthcoming.
That no notice was afforded Mack makes all the BOE members (Braden and Cline [Republicans]; Ferruccio and Sherer, II [Democrats] unimpressive in terms of Board devotion to democratic processes; not just member Cline.
Had Mack known about the July 2nd planned BOE action, he undoubtedly would have had the circulator present to present live testimony as presented in this affidavit submitted on the hearing of the motion for reconsideration (see discussion below), to wit:
Cline did make himself more anti-democratic-culpable in the eyes of the SCPR in pushing the matter that:
- since the Board in its original decision of July 2nd voted 4 - 0 in denying certification because one petition of signatures contained the following notation rather than a strike-out of ineligible voter names,
therefore a motion to reconsider heard and tied 2 to 2 in a vote thereon on July 13th was not eligible for a secretary of state breaking of the tie vote.
As Mack pointed out in his brief in support of the Mandamus filed yesterday to be heard by Judge Forchione, the 2008 Stark BOE (which Cline was a member of) took an identical process and in the cited instance did ask the secretary of state to break an original 4 - 0 vote on the basis of a subsequent 2 to 2 tie vote on a motion to reconsider.
All of which makes Cline what?
You've got it!
A hypocrite in the discharge of his official duties.
As a lawyer Cline knows all about legal precedent.
But he chose not to follow it in the Canton charter government matter even though he was part of the precedent.
In the broader picture of the matter, Cline had the opportunity to weigh in on the side of "letting the people vote" on the basis of a decision he participated in (2008) and apparently - in a arbitrary fashion - refused to do so.
For people who hold office as BOE members:
- being appointed by political parties,
- which are themselves minorities in the context of the numbers of Republican, Democratic and "independent" registered voters
For political appointees Braden. Cline, Ferruccio (especially lawyers Cline and Ferruccio who are lawyers) and Sherer to deny the vote to Cantonians on a hypertechnical basis and not submit the matter to the secretary of the state is an outrage, pure and simple.
Hopefully, Judge Forchione will make quick work of the disproportional role played by BOE member and North Cantonian William S. Cline in denying Cantonians the right to self-determine as guaranteed by the Ohio Constitution and follow Judge Farmer's lead (in re: Cerreta) in fostering the right of citizens to vote.