Friday, August 21, 2015


What in the world is going on with The Stark County Political Report's "Bottom 10 List" (List) of Stark County Political Subdivision Elected Officials in this updated quarterly report?

First, Jackson trustee Jamie Walters nearly escapes the List  altogether and North Canton Councilwoman Marcia Kiesling goes from #2 on the List to #9.

And today, Massillon Mayor Kathy Kathy Catazaro-Perry loses status on the List in losing her #4 rating and settling in at #7 in this update.

The way the SCPR figures it, Mayor Kathy probably does not have much time left in office and therefore is not likely to be eligible for the List.

It appears nearly certain the former Democrat and mayor Francis H. Cicchinelli, Jr. is going to be confirmed by the Ohio Supreme Court as qualifying for a November ballot spot as an "independent" candidate for mayor against Democratic incumbent Catazaro-Perry and Republican Lee Brunckhart.

Catazaro-Perry has of late been in a rush to mend fences with the Massillon electorate witness her voting for the latest Restoration Plan recently unanimously approved by the Massillon Financial Planning and Supervision Commission (Commission).

If Cicchinelli puts on the campaign The Report thinks he will this time around, Mayor Kathy is likely to be the lame duck mayor of Massillon from November 4th on.

The SCPR is bittersweet about the prospect not having the mayor around to assess, but is the life of a blogger.

Political characters move in and out of yours truly's purview and while it would be sad indeed to lose Mayor Kathy, one has to be confident that there will be a rich infusion of replacements to replace her and others who might lose their "elected status.

Now it is time to look back at how Mayor Kathleen Catazaro-Perry got on the List in the first place.

Having achieved the #4 position the list, Catazaro-Perry has to be the envy of the rest of the elected officials within the bevy of those who comprise what the SCPR calls the Maier Massillon Political Machine (MMPM).

But the remaining aspirants still have hope that one if not three of them can attain #3 on the list.

Numbers 2 and 1 are reserved for others.

So tomorrow, those remaining MMPM elected officials should be up bright and early to learn whether or not one of them attains a more prominent place on the bottom 10 list of Stark County worst elected officials list than Mayor Kathy.

The Report is betting that one of them will best Mayor Kathy.

Recently, the SCPR had a conversation with a Stark County political subdivision elected official who wanted to go on, and on, and on about Mayor Catazaro-Perry's "good works" out in the Stark County high society where Noblesse Oblige is a mandatory quality and characteristic in order to part of high society.

And God Bless the mayor for her good works for the less fortunate among us.

But that does not "an effective mayor" make her.

As the SCPR has written from the time that talk started about her running for mayor, she was not and continues not to be up to being mayor.

And that pains The Report to say.

For the SCPR is one of Stark County's foremost advocates for women taking their place as every bit the equals of men as leaders in Stark County government, elected and unelected.

Unfortunately, Catazaro-Perry does not bring her own qualities to bear on being mayor of Massillon.

Perhaps, if she were to, she might find out that the wizards she relies on are not all that wizardly.

It is well known that there is a well-worn pathway between the Mayor's office and that of Clerk of Courts Johnnie A. Maier, Jr. (the Massillon Municipal Court) and his protege and chief deputy R. Shane Jackson.

The common understanding is that Mayor Kathy not make any chief executive officer of Massillon decision without it passing muster with Maier, Jr. and Jackson.

Therein lies her problem.

It could be (noting her touted "good works" effectiveness) that buried deep within the mayor there are qualities that if released would make her an effective mayor that would place her in the annals of being one of the all time great mayors of Massillon.

Someone has convinced Mayor Kathy that she is not up to the task of being her own person as Massillon's mayor.

From day one as mayor (January 1, 2012), she has adopted a combative relationship with Massillon City Council which continues to this day as evidenced by the rejection of the Massillon Financial Planning and Supervision Commission (MFP&SC) of the joint proposal (Restoration Plan) signed onto by herself and council to bring Massillon out of fiscal emergency status imposed on the city by the State of Ohio Auditor (SOA) on the initiative of the mayor herself.

With last Tuesday's MFP&SC rejection (which Catazaro-Perry joined in) of the Restoration Plan, the SCPR thinks that it is becoming "bigger than life itself" that Massillon departments of government will soon be ordered by the MFP&SC to make 15% across-the-board cuts.

This for a city that barely qualified to be placed in fiscal emergency in the first place.

There are six criteria, one of which an Ohio government entity has to meet in order to have the dubious distinction as being designated as being in fiscal emergency.

Massillon qualified on the basis of having a cash flow problem.

Much of the deficit in cash flow, the SCPR thinks, was bogus in terms of being based on "real" numbers and therefore the current "in the black" status pretty much as occurred on the correction of errant data.

The Report thinks that the idea of Catazaro-Perry pushing and pushing for the SOA determination had to do with the mayor's advisers (Maier, Jr., Jackson and perhaps Judge Eddie Elum [who apparently does not have enough to keep him busy as judge]) understanding the dynamic what the immediately preceding paragraph of this blog outlines.

Understanding same, The Report believes, gave birth to  "a political Aha! moment" among the mayor's deep thinkers.

Why not capitalize on the cash flow problem created by former Mayor Frank Cicchinelli's administration by insisting on a SOA determination of fiscal emergency and thereby set up a easily resolved in not self-resolving remedy and make Mayor Kathy appear to be a financial miracle worker?

Unfortunately, for everyday Massillonians the fix is not as easily fixed as the deep thinkers might have thought.

Since Massillon has not had new tax infusion revenues (except for a small Parks and Recreation levy) since 1976, it seems that it has been discovered by the MFP&SC that the revenue stream going forward will not sustain absolutely needed increased projected expenditures due to:
  • an ever present inflation factor (though low, it is real), 
  • an aging vehicle fleet, 
  • being way behind in road and street repairs,
  • an inadequate safety forces manning factor, and
  • other "lurking" infrastructure problems
One way or another Massillonians will have to pass an increase in revenues by an income tax increase or property tax increase.

Hence, the political gambit (in one buys into the SCPR take on what the mayor and her "Kitchen Cabinet" concocted in the deep recesses of their ruminations) may well come back to haunt the mayor.

Once "the genie is let out of the bottle," getting it back in "ain't" so easy.

That's what political manipulators for personal political benefit do to the unsuspecting public all across America.

And that's the dilemma the SCPR thinks the easily used Mayor Kathy Catazaro-Perry (not originally a Massillonian) by the hand of two of her politically calculating chief advisers (Maier, a resident of Tuscarawas Township; Jackson a resident of Perry Township) have put Massillonians into.

It is one thing if politicians "get hoisted by their own petard."

One can even take a delight when that happens to them.

But for day-in, day-out Massillonians to get caught up in what the SCPR thinks is at its heart an instance of political gamesmanship is truly outrageous.

Such is why many politicians are held in utter disdain by workaday Americans.

There are other  bas├Ęs on which the SCPR could rest in making Mayor Kathy Catazaro-Perry #4 on the the list of the worst elected political subdivision officials in Stark County government.

One that Mayor Kathy should never be permitted to forget is the Massillon City Council meeting in which she accused council of being racist and sexist for questioning the fiscal viability in hiring Dwan St. John as a member of Mayor Kathy's administration.

Talking about sexism, the SCPR has a hunch that many Massillon/Stark County women would likely find it gender-insulting for a woman mayor to have rely in two or three key male advisers to seemingly guide all her executive decisions for the city of Massillon.

If such is sexism, of course, it would be because the men advisers think they have prop up a female mayor who they apparently think is not up to being mayor on her own.

But the "fiscal emergency status" thing seems to The Report to be what yours truly thinks was politically contrived set up designed over the longer term to make Kathy look good for re-election" scheme is in and of itself ground enough to to justify the #4 designation.

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