North Canton Councilwoman-at-Large Marcia Kiesling gets a "left-handed compliment" (left-handed equals sarcastic) from the SCPR in this quarter's re-ranking of Stark County "Bottom 10 List" (List) of Stark County political subdivision elected officials.
She zooms from #2 to #9!
Judge Dixie Park comes off the list altogether?
Don't count it.
But one never knows with The Stark County Political Report.
So what gives with Kiesling nearly escaping the List.
In a few words: The Report needs the space for - believe it or not - more deserving elected officials for space the very bottom of the List.
Not to worry, though. The Report still considers Kiesling as a poor example of how a public official should comport her or himself.
As a member of Stark County's very worst legislative council, Kiesling is in the estimate of yours truly "the spiritual leader" of North Canton City Council which has demonstrated time and again how utterly citizen unfriendly and anti-democratic-republican system basic values a branch of American government can be.
She likes to portray herself as a Margaret Thatcher-esque "iron lady," but the following video shows a sniveling, whimpering and apologetic Kiesling (2014) when she had to explain herself on her taking health care insurance benefits in light of North Cantonians voting 72% in November, 2012 to deny councilpersons that benefit.
SCPR Note: a vote invalidated by Judge John Haas of the Stark County Court of Common Pleas; also Kiesling returned the value of the benefits to the North Canton treasury
The Report thinks the "apparent" emotion-ladened apology was all a political act as evidenced by the reality that she voted (indicating how dug in she is and her fellow council members are against the public will) to authorize if not lead-the-way to the filing of a Declaratory Judgment action which resulted in the Haas ruling.
Oh yes, council did subsequent to the vote pass mirror legislation to incorporate the vote of the people into the law of North Canton.
But one ought to take this for what it is:
as a face-saving gesture to put citizen activists "in their place" and thereby consistent with the antagonism that certainly a majority of if not all of North Canton's council members have demonstrated over the last several years towards any citizen who questions what North Canton Council and indeed North Canton government does.Kiesling does face opposition for re-election this fall.
It will be the same line up as in 2013.
The SCPR expects McCleaster to win this time around.
The likely victim of the hostility that council has dished out to North Canton's civic minded?
Councilman Dan Griffith.
North Canton Council would improve by leaps and bounds in terms of its own accountability and that of the imperialistic law director Tim Fox (as empowered and enabled by council) were Kiesling to be "the odd person out."
Unfortunately for North Cantonians, the SCPR does not expect such a result.
But if North Cantonians want to foster a more citizen friendly council settle down the political discord in The Dogwood City, they will target Kiesling rather than Griffith as the loser in the four person race.
Kiesling has demonstrated she can lose.
The Report thinks Kiesling really is (a veritable iron lady) insensitive to the voting North Canton public and moreover absolutely hostile to anybody who questions her in her performance as an elected official.
Of course, there is much more to public figure Marcia Kiesling, as the SCPR wrote back in May, 2015 when she achieved stellar status as The Report's #2 worst Stark County elected office.
Quite an achievement for a city council person, no?
Here is the a recapitulation of the May, 2015 blog:
Today, though, The Report names "a really tough lady" (in her own estimate, just ask her) who is a member of the North Canton City Council as the penultimate worst Stark County elected official.
Indeed! None other than Ms. "Stark County Republicanism Personified" Marcia Kiesling.
An early in the life of the SCPR tête-à-tête between yours truly and Kiesling was her making the point how tough she is.
Such is a compliment to The Report inasmuch as it communicates how much on edge the likes of Kiesling are when they have to face the SCPR camera with questions about their obvious "my way or the highway" anti-citizen attitudes.
As The Stark County Political Report sees her, she has the distinction of being the most anti-democratic-republican councilperson in all of Stark County in the context being an elected representative in relationship to her citywide constituents.
A good part of the "anti-citizen-participation-in-your-government" attitude of North Canton government (from council's perspective) emanates, the SCPR believes, from the tone set by Councilwoman-at-Large Kiesling.
Undoubtedly, it was a mere co-incidence that the first words out of the mouth Law Director Tim Fox shortly after moving from Ward 3 councilman to being director:
- whom the SCPR thinks was a primary person along with Councilman Jeff Peters in making Fox North Canton's lawyer
- with the understanding that he take on the role of knuckling down on the likes of the Concerned Citizens of North Canton and
- their efforts to make North Canton government:
- responsive, and
Think maybe Councilwoman Kiesling might have had a hand in that?
She was anything but tough when it came out that she, political bedfellow Stephanie Werren (Ward 3 originally appointed successor to Tim Fox; she also a Republican as is Fox), Peters (a Republican, Ward 2) and John Snyder (a Republican and former Ward 4 councilman) on the legal opinion of Fox elected for a time after the November, 2012 vote to maintain North Canton taxpayer paid for healthcare insurance benefits in the face of North Cantonians having voted in November, 2012 to take away such benefits by an overwhelming majority.
The Report's recollection is that immediately after her SCPR videotaped comments, a highly emotional Marcia Kiesling had to exit the meeting for a short period to collect herself.
In addition to the health care insurance debacle, Kiesling, the SCPR thinks, is "up to her eyeballs" in North Canton Council's failure to control Director Fox.
There are a score of issues on which it appears to the SCPR Fox is decidedly antagonistic to facilitating citizen participation in North Canton government. However, The Report does not think for a nanosecond that he is "on a lark of his own."
The Report believes that he has his marching orders from the likes of Kiesling, Peters and Werren. For the rest of council, it seems they lack the gumption to contend with Kiesling, Peters and Werren to rein Fox in.
A particularly vexing problem for the Concerned Citizens of North Canton has been to get compliance with many of their public records requests. And, in a manner set out in the request. (LINK to Citizen Miriam Baughman on public records)
To reiterate, here is a long list (a partial one at that) of North Canton government's (principally city council) abrasive relationship with its citizens and today's selectee; namely, Councilwoman-at-Large Marcia Kiesling, the SCPR believes, has been a major player each step of the way.
As indicated above, the SCPR thinks that Kiesling is politically tight with Law Director Fox and a chief enabler of his arrogance.
Take a look at this photo of Fox huddled up with Kiesling, Snyder at the November 4th "day before election" Election Commission hearing. McCleaster (an at-large opponent of Kieslings in 2013 and the object of her Ohio Elections Commission ethics complaint says:
That exact moment was to be a last minute negotiations between parties and Law Director Fox interjected himself in a way (as we have always maintained) that he was assisting Kiesling and Snyder with their respective cases.
And this is what the SCPR had to write at the time:
Merely there as an observer?
Notwithstanding Kiesling's Ohio Election Commission "success," except on the issue of Kiesling's council attendance record; McCleaster came very close the next day in becoming a fellow council member.
The SCPR figures that this time around (the 2015 elections), he will succeed.
It is not likely that Kiesling will be his political victim, but who knows; stranger things have happened.
Such would be a measure of poetic justice.
For her apparent lead in being a Tim Fox enabler/director which in effect seems close to making the law director "the be all" in North Canton government and appears to entail a concomitant derogation of citizen participation in that government and thereby making North Canton City Council the very worst in all of Stark County; Macia Kiesling is well deserving of being #2, joining #7 - Daniel "Jeff Peters" (council president) on the SCPR 10 Worst Stark County Elected Officials list.