Monday, August 3, 2015


Councilman-at-Large Paul Manson moves up to the #7 (from #8) on this quarters SCPR Stark County "Top 10 List" (List) of county political subdivision elected leaders.

Manson deserves the elevation because of the patient work he is doing as Massillon City Council's guiding force in putting together a Restoration Plan for the regrouping of Massillon city finances which was necessitated when in 2014 Mayor Catazaro-Perry unnecessarily (in the judgment of The Report) insisted that the Ohio Auditor place Massillon in fiscal emergency.

Manson is not a member of the Massillon Financial Planning and Supervision Commission (Commission), but he should be.

He has shown up at nearly every meeting of the Commission since it first met in 2014.

Council has been dealt one blow after another blow after another by the mayor in what the SCPR sees as a continuation of her political gaming of Massillon finances.

Underneath his calm exterior, Councilman Mansion has to be furious with Catazaro-Perry but one would never such as being the case inasmuch as he nearly always projects a measured, calm demeanor about himself.

This week council and the mayor once again go before the Commission for approval of a Restoration Plan.

In the past the Mayor has had a political bloc of herself, Elaine Campbell, Bob Yund, Massillon city council president Tony Townsend and Massillon Cable TV's Bob Gessner (not of late, though) in place to thwart any plan which council might favor but which the mayor disfavors even though she has signed onto the council initiated plan to present to the Commission.

At the last Commission meeting, Member Gessner showed some spunk in voting with Chairman Sharon Hanrahan and another state of Ohio commission member to at least get a tie.

Moreover, he put some incisive and telling questioning on Catazaro-Perry which yours truly thinks exposed her for the highly politicized person she is.

Exposing the mayor for being "impossible" really has put the heat on her to drop the politics thing.

Accordingly, he deserves a great deal of credit for moving the Commission near to accepting a submitted plan.

Hanrahan did a terrific job in "smoking out" Member Yund as to what it would take to get him to vote to accept a plan.  Chairman Hanrahan has tremendously impressed the SCPR with her handling of the Massillon situation and the obvious undertow of persons other than the mayor and her allies on the Commission hiding in the background dispensing directives to Catazaro-Perry.

She hasn't embarrassed anybody but one can tell she is well aware of factors who cowardly sleek back into the cover of anonymity where it is difficult to get at them and their obvious predominate influence on how the mayor and her allies comport themselves.

If Yund can be taken at his word, it appears that council taking out 10% pay cuts for a group of city officials will be what it takes for Yund to break free of his apparent to the SCPR political bondage to Mayor Kathy.

Paul Manson is to be credited through his leadership on council along with Gessner with getting the Commission by the mayor's political gaming.

Catazaro-Perry could be near the end of her political gaming days inasmuch as Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted voted on Friday to break a tie in favor of allowing former mayor Francis H. Cicchinelli, Jr (24 years as Democrat mayor) to run against her as an "independent" in the upcoming November general election.

Manson's leadership on council in resolving what the SCPR thinks was a contrived and politically inspired financial crisis at the hand of Catazaro-Perry might well be the catalyst coupled with Cicchinelli's election in November to persuade Masillonians in the Spring, 2016 to pass a .2% increase in Massillon's income tax.

If such happens, then it will inure to the benefit of a new Cicchinelli administration which, of course, will be "a hard pill for Catazaro-Perry to swallow.
She will blame others but the fault lies with herself and the "a step slow Kitchen Cabinet" of the likes of Johnnie A. Maier, Jr., R. Shane Jackson and Judge Eddie Elum who are so politicized that they outsmart themselves which, of course, doesn't take much.

The advisers get by with political bullying as their main forte and Massillonians are increasingly wising up to them.

Manson, on the other hand, is a "come let us reason together" type person.

If Cicchinelli wins in November, he would be well advised to bring Manson into his cabinet as his top administrative official.

His collected demeanor, his ability to resist becoming a sycophant and his demonstrated ability to work with council members would be a way for Cicchinelli to do much better as mayor than he did towards the end of this 24 year run.

Of course, there is much, much more to like about Councilman Paul Manson.

Here is what the SCPR wrote about him on March 30, 2015 when he first appeared on the SCPR "Top 10 List."

Today's blog is on Massillon Councilman Paul Manson.

By The Stark County Political Report's assessment, Paul Manson is the glue who holds the coalition of Democrats (who currently are in a majority on Massillon City Council) and Republicans who are committed to functioning as a "check and balance" on Mayor  Kathy Catazaro-Perry together.

Recently, The Report was in conversation with a Republican member of council who backed off on taking a position on a SCPR question out of regard for and sensitivity to the Democrats inasmuch as they are in the majority.

The SCPR thinks that the reluctance was due in large measure to the high degree of respect the Republicans have for the dean of the Democrats; namely, Paul Manson.

Paul has been on council 12 years (as of the end of 2015) having first been elected in 2003.

He did run in 2001 and came very close to unseating Republican Jim Filhour in that election.

This November he seeks his 7th straight election victory.

But things are just a tad changed.

In 2003 his election that Democrats held all of Massillon's at-large seats through successive elections until the win of Republican Milan Chovan in 2011.

The 2015 election outcome could result in a "difficult to keep harmony" scenario developing on Massillon's council.

The problem will not come in an at-large council race.

The Report figures Manson to win along with Republicans Chovan and Ed Lewis.

Mind you in 2003, it was Manson and two other Democrats.

So while it is ironic that two Republicans are likely to win at-large in a largely Democratic predominant voter registration city;  Chovan and Lewis have shown that they work comfortably with Manson and most of his fellow Democrats.

There appears to be virtually no chance that Republicans will regain control of council.

Moreover, it seems likely that a Maier Massillon Political Machine (MMPM) allied person could be elected this fall in Ward 2.

And the MMPM folks could make Ward 1 and Ward 6 interesting.  On the other hand, the SCPR thinks that MMPM ally Shaddrick Stinson is vulnerable not only in November's general election but also in the Democratic primary.

If Stinson survives this time around, the SCPR will be surprised.  This time there will be no Frank Cicchinelli to the rescue like there was in 2013.

If the MMPM is successful in electing a couple of their own to council, look for the coalition (likely still to be a majority) to be challenged by two or three councilpersons who see council's role to more of a "let's be handmaidens of the mayor" than a separation powers "check and balance" function unit.

It will take a strong Democratic leader like Paul Manson to could the "check and balance" coalition together.

The SCPR thinks Manson is a strong, respected leader and will be able to hold the coalition together.

Manson's leadership skills and his demonstrated willingness to "reach across the aisle" and work with the Republicans (both during the 2012-2013 term of council in which they were in control and in the past one-year-and-one-half that the Dems have been in controls is the primary reason that the SCPR selects him as #8 leader on the Stark County Top 10 List.

One of Manson's shining moments occurred on July 14, 2014 when he gaveled down a out-of-control Mayor Kathy as she accused council of being racists and sexists in trying to exercise fiscal control on the hiring being done.

The has received over 1,700 viewings as of today.

To capture Catazaro-Perry's intemperate outburst go to the 9:49 mark of the video.

The SCPR sees Manson working with Republican Ed Lewis, the de facto leader of the Republicans on council, notwithstanding tighter numbers, to ensure that Massillon returns to economic and financial health on a solid and sustainable foundation.

The foregoing capsulizes why Paul Manson is deserving of being the SCPR's Stark County #8 ranking leader from among county political subdivisions.

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