Wednesday, September 30, 2015


There is clearly a different tone to the Bernabei and Healy campaigns for mayor which will be decided by Canton voters on November 3rd.

The SCPR has already predicted a Bernabei win. (LINK)

But The Report has over the nearly eight years of writing this blog marveled at how William J. Healy, II has extricated him out of one seemingly impossible situation after another after another after another ad nauseam.

Healy is clearly "the envy of the proverbial cat of nine lives!"

So it would be foolish for anybody to totally count Healy out in gaining a third term as mayor of Canton.

A true indicator of who the "real" players are in terms of putting money where their mouths are will be forthcoming on October 22nd as that day is the day that Ohio campaign finance law mandates that the candidates file a list of campaign contributors (CFR) through October 14th.

Cantonians should pay close attention to this list.

For it will tell who will have the ear of the election victor come January 1, 2016.

And the foretold that Healy would defeat Democratic challenger and Canton treasurer Kim Perez as soon as early January, 2015, to wit:

There are some interesting things to look for in the respective upcoming Bernabei and Healy reports.

For Healy:
  • Who among the "organized" Stark County Democratic Party officialdom (both party officials and elected Democrats across Stark County) show up on the list,
  • The scope and largesse of organized labor as contributors, and
  • The out-of-town factor

For Bernabei:
  • For beginners, the same as with Healy:
    • Who among the "organized" Stark County Democratic Party officialdom (both party officials and elected Democrats across Stark County) show up on the list,
      • SCPR Note:  to the extent that well known and especially recognized as pretty much committed to the "organized" Stark Dems' supporters appear on Bernabei's list will be a leading indicator that the Stark County Democratic Party apparatus is fractured making a Healy re-election unlikely,
  • Whether or not any "organized" labor connected contributors appear,
  • The extent to which the generally recognized and identify by the public "civic leadership of Canton" are willing to step out of the shadows of political involvement and declare that they have broken with the official leadership of Mayor Healy and cast their lot with a new approach to solving the manifold problems of Canton
The SCPR will be all over those report and anybody who wants an in depth political analysis of the significance of the Bernabei/Healy pre-general CFRs will want to be on the SCPR early in the morning of October 23rd.

And, of course, the SCPR will be Cantonians "place to go" for all the important news and information on the Healy/Bernabei matchup over the remaining month of the campaign.

In the meantime, readers should keep up with campaign activities of the respective campaigns at these links:

Tuesday, September 29, 2015





The Stark County Political Report began this series on Friday of last week (LINK).

In that initial blog, The Report set up the structure for the entire series, to wit:
  • The Brunckhart Factor,
  • The Candidates' Health, and
  • The Candidates' Demeanor
And as we move on with this series, The Report will be focusing on one or more of these factors as the series unfolds.

Moreover, yours truly may add factors from time-to-time.

Today is an instance in which a "by the numbers" factor is added.


Today the SCPR turns to a primarily "by the numbers" analysis as to discerning from:
  • the 2011 Democratic primary election numbers (Catazaro-Perry versus Cicchinelli), 
  • the 2015 Democratic primary election (Catazaro-Perry versus Ress), and 
  • the 2011 Republican numbers in the GOP's primary and in the general election in terms of getting a look at the strength of the Republican vote in Massillon and at Republican candidate Lee Brunckhart's strength as a vote-getter.

Looking at the numbers that The Report drew from official online reports from the Stark County Board of Elections, it appears that "independent" candidate Frank Cicchinelli has a good chance of reclaiming the office he held as a Democrat for some 28 years only to be up-ended by then Ward 3 Democratic councilwoman Kathy Catazaro-Perry.

Catazaro-Perry was - so to speak - "the designated hitter" for the real opposition to Cicchinelli.

Going back to the days that they were fellow students at Kent State University - Stark, Cicchinelli and one Johnnie A. Maier, Jr. have been competitive with one another.

But as far as the SCPR knows, there has never been a head to head.

The fights appear to always take place through their respective proxies.

In the 2011 Democratic primary between Cicchinelli and Catazaro-Perry (KCP) as the blue shaded numbers indicate, it was all KCP!

Cicchinelli only won 4 of Massillon's 26 wards and two of them by only '1' (1E) and '2' (3E) votes, respectively.

Quite a drubbing, no?

But by the SCPR's analysis of the numbers and Catazaro-Perry having a record as mayor, the 2015 "general election" results figures to much rosier for Cicchinelli.

A clue on the results of the 2015 general election is to be had by looking at J. David Ress's numbers in his primary fight with incumbent Mayor Kathy.

The Massillon mayoralty 2015 Democratic primary results really was astonishing to the chagrin, no doubt, to the incumbent mayor.

Catazaro-Perry wins 13 wards, Ress 12 wards and one tie (1D).


No wonder Cicchinelli was chomping at the bit to change political affiliation and get into a re-match with Catazaro-Perry.

Getting deeper into the SCPR's "by the numbers" analysis, take a look at this chart:

Focus on the "Flip 2015?" column.

Where a highlighted appears, The Report analyzes, either by virtue of Cicchinelli's numbers (where check marked in the above graphic) in the 2011 Democratic primary in relation to KCP's or by virtue of the closeness of the Ress/KCP vote in the 2015 Democratic primary, that there is an opportunity for Cicchinelli to win said highlighted  wards in the upcoming November 3rd election.

Where a highlighted # appears, J. David Ress's performance in this year's Democratic primary offers hope to Cicchinelli that he can turn around in marked deficit to the mayor in the 2011 Dems' primary.


In a word or two or three, the SCPR thinks Republican Lee Brunckhart will be a non-factor and that he will do much worse in 2015 than he did in 2011.

To the degree Brunckhart cannot maintain his percentage of the vote in the 2011 general election head-to-head vote with Mayor Catazaro-Perry in 2015, guess who the beneficiary is likely to be?

You've got it:  Franchis H. Cicchinelli, Jr!

The Report hears that Cicchinelli is working very, very hard in Ward 6 in order to capitalize on the wins that J. David Ress had over Catazaro-Perry in this year's Democratic primary election.

In general, the SCPR thinks that Republicans who do not want to back a "sure to lose" candidate will opt to vote for Cicchinelli.

It does appear that a Cicchinelli victory is in the offing in less than five weeks, but the SCPR's calculus is that it is far from a sure thing.

Cicchinelli is running a much more "in your face" campaign than he did in the 2011 Democratic primary and it will probably pay off come November 3rd.

Monday, September 28, 2015


UPDATED:  10:40 AM


Commissioner Richard Regula
"the dark days of 2006-2010"
of the
Stark County Commissioners

Sales Tax Collections Up
$22 million to $27 million

Regula & Creighton
Answer SCPR Question
Sparsely Attended
Outreach Meetings

Lake Trustee
John Arnold
Comments on
County Government

Lake Meeting


The office of the Stark County commissioners has come a long way from "the dark days 2006 through 2010" according to current Stark County Commissioner Richard Regula.

That was what Regula said last Tuesday evening at the Lake Township Hall in one of a series of "community outreach" meeting that the commissioners have been doing since 2011.

In 2010 Commissioner Janet Creighton (Republican, formerly Stark County recorder, auditor and mayor of Canton) and Thomas M. Bernabei ("independent," [formerly a longtime Democrat], a former Canton law director, chief of staff and service director [Healy administration] and Canton councilman) were elected commissioners.

The SCPR agrees with Regula

Years 2007 (actually, when Bosley and Harmon became commissioners) through 2010 were indeed dark days witness the following events:

  • DECEMBER, 2008:  Democrat commissioners Todd Bosley (currently running for Nimishillen Township trustee) and Tom Harmon (a former Canton clerk of courts and Stark County commissioner now running for Canton council-at-large) teamed up with now retired former commissioner [2008] and Republican Jane Vignos to "impose" (meaning:  no vote of the people) a 1/2 cent sales tax on Stark Countians.
    • Note:  Stark County undid the "imposed" tax in November, 2009 through an effort spearheaded by community activist and local attorney Craig T. Conley and community activist Thomas Marcelli,
  • APRIL, 2009:  Allegations surfaced (subsequently confirmed by a guilty plea in June) that Stark County chief deputy treasurer Vince Frustaci had stolen several million dollars from the Stark County treasury (i.e. taxpayers).
    • Note:  Stark County government was rocked with turmoil through October 19, 2011 as then Stark County treasurer Gary D. Zeigler (originally in 1999 a Stark County Democratic Party Central Committee appointed to that office) fought being removed from office by the commissioners for not having ensured the security of facilities and management instituted safeguards to have prevented the Frustaci theft.
    • Note:  Zeigler was removed by the commissioners in August, 2012 only to be re-instituted in June, 2011 by the Ohio Supreme Court as having been unconstitutionally removed,
    • Note:  In a financial settlement deal brokered by the 2010 elected Bernabei, Zeigler agreed to resign on October 19, 2011 and was replaced with Republican Alex Zumbar in an unheard of move whereby he was appointed treasurer by the Stark County Democratic Party Central Committee under the leadership of then chairman Randy Gonzalez (Gonazalez currently is Jackson Township fiscal officer).
It was only with the Zeigler resignation that Commissioners Bernabei, Creighton and Ferguson (a Democrat elected in 2008 who did not run for re-election in 2010) that the commissioners could get on with the task of working to re-gain the trust of Stark Countians in the operations of Stark County government.

In 2012, the commissioners instituted a series of community outreach meetings in which they visited many of Stark County's townships, villages and cities to demonstrate:
  • accessablity,
  • accountability,
  • communicativeness,
  • openness, and
  • transparency
There was somewhat of question about whether or not the commissioners' community outreach was "really" about connecting to Stark Countians where we live in enhancement of our democratic-republican values listed above inasmuch as the commissioners had also placed on the November, 2012 ballot a 1/2 cent sales tax increase for Stark Countians to vote on.

In Lake, Regula revealed that the November, 2012 sales tax revenues have mushroomed from $22 million to $27 million.

After the election, the community outreach meeting dissipated because of the lack of attendance support of city, village and township residents except for meetings in Jackson and North Canton which had issues of their own in process and therefore the commissioner event was the perfect forum to more airing of those local issues.

While the SCPR can understand the frustration of the commissioners experienced in having the many hours expended in preparation and appearance go largely unrewarded, such (disinterest) is the state of the public attitude in Stark County towards not only county level government but also at city, village and township levels, unless, of course, a "hot button" issue is in play (e.g. Jackson Township now and the fourth DeVille zoning change request.

There appears to be no ulterior motive in the commissioners some three years later in re-instituting their current community outreach series.

As part of the SCPR video coverage of the Lake meeting, yours truly asked questions about the frustration experienced in the 2012 and so far in 2015 in not getting a great deal of response.

Next his blog turns to comments about county government and questions to the commissioners by those attending the Lake meeting

Here is Lake trustee John Arnold:

While only about a half-a-dozen citizens (several of whom were township officials, the commissioners appearance did as the meeting wrapped up asked some interesting questions.

Lake citizens "held court" with the commissioners some 15 minutes (see video below).  And the SCPR asked a few questions too that probably took another 5 minutes (see below).
  • Note:  Commissioner Bernabei was not part of the Q&A because he had to excuse himself to attend another function.
Among the topics covered in "the citizens inquire" segment and touched upon by the commissioners  in the Q&A part of the meeting:
  • the county budgeting process,
  • the county's "rainy day fund,"
  • the enterprise funds,
  • budgeting for the long term,
  • commissioners will be asking for sales tax renewal in 2019,
    • Note:  (Regula:  Stark County has lowest sales tax in State of Ohio),
  • Lake's Midway St Recycle Center
    • Note:  (Regula:  Lake road superintendent "best" in Stark County),
    • Citation of good work of Stark, Tuscarawas, Wayne Solid Waste District and work of David Held (also Republican mayor of North Canton),
      • "a very progressive recycle program,
        • supported by "tipping fees" paid for by waste dumped in Stark County sited landfills,
      • but (Regula) solving landfill problems (Countywide) was because Ohio EPA was getting tipping fees and therefore (a Regula implication) the Ohio EPA was not motivated to solve the Countywide thought-to-be underground fire problem,
      • (Creighton) Recycling is the priority over solid waste dumping,
  • citizen expresses appreciation to commissioners (for holding meetings), 
  • commissioners re:  holding of budget hearings (open to public) beginning in December and the overall budgeting process in which commissioners approve a budget in March of the new fiscal year,
  • citizen comments re:  "caliber of employees hired" by commissioners,
    • Regula:  "every job in county government should be posted,"
      • "we are all about accountability and transparency to the taxpayers of Stark County
  • citizen asks Regula responds to disposal of hazardous waste,
  • Regula brings up the problem of disposing of unused/outdated prescription drugs
  • Regula winds up with reference to:
    • the adding of hotel rooms in Stark probably as a significant factor in Cleveland getting the Republican National Convention in 2016 over Columbus,
    • the upgrading of the sewer plant with services the county and various Stark County city governments,

As indicated above, the SCPR asked questions of the trustee.

One was about the township government valued recycling of shrubs, trees and the like and the pressure on township budgets (Lake and Jackson, in particular) and how the commissioners might work with township trustees to build a sustainable financial model for townships to continue this highly prized by citizens government service.

Moreover, yours truly asked the commissioners about the frustration of holding community outreach meetings sparsely attended by Stark citizens.

See Commissioner Regula's response on the "sustainable financial model factor" and Commissioner Creighton on the "frustration factor."

And, to boot, and toot the SCPR's horn just a little, see a citizen extol the work of the SCPR in bringing video to Stark's citizens about the goings on of various levels of Stark County government.

  • Note:  Commissioner Creighton's reference to yours truly not attending Stark County commissioner meetings of late invites comment.
    • My wife Mary underwent open heart surgery on August 12 at University Hospitals's Cleveland facility.
    • She is recovering nicely, but she still needs the close attention of her "next-of-kin."
    • Accordingly, I have been judicious in the time I am separated from her.
Notwithstanding The Report's decrease in ability to get out and about to Stark's local government meeting, sources continue to be in constant contact and they have helped in the endeavor to keep the SCPR reading public up-to-date on significant local government commentary and analysis.

In additional parts of this series, he SCPR will be presenting additional segments of video and in the final segment include the full video for readers who want to take in the meeting unbroken.

This particular series will have value for Stark County citizens for sometime to come going forward.

Friday, September 25, 2015






Video of Catazaro-Perry Auto-Accident Conduct





Today, The Stark County Political Report begins in earnest coverage of Massillon's 2016 general election for the office of mayor.

The outline at the beginning of this blog offers a clue to where The Report is going with this series of blogs.


Make no mistake about it, Republican Lee Brunckhart is pretty much a non-factor in this race.

Only those Republicans who will vote for a Republican even if he/she were dead and buried will likely being voting for Lee Brunckhart.

Brunckhart was absolutely obliterated in the November, 2011 general election versus Catazaro-Perry.

Undoubtedly a significant number of Brunckhart's votes came from disgruntled Democrats loyal to Cicchinelli who not stomach voting for Catazaro-Perry as the Democratic standard-bearer having defeated Cicchinelli in the Democratic primary election.

This time around Catazaro-Perry and Cicchinelli are likely to split the Democratic vote if the mayor's near loss to unknown and neophyte Democratic politician J. David Ress's vote in this year's Democratic primary is an indication of the dissatisfaction that Democrats have for the mayor.

The Report suspects that had Cicchinelli run in the primary, he would have handily defeated Catazaro-Perry which indicates that a number of Democrats voting in the primary had misgivings about the electability of Ress and decided against taking a chance of being on the losing side.

Using the May, 2011 Cicchinelli/Catazaro-Perry primary fight as the base, Cicchinelli only has to pickup 173 Democratic votes (4% of the total primary election vote) to turn the tables on the sitting mayor and putting challenger Cicchinelli back in the Massillon mayor's chair.

Doesn't the dissatisfaction of the voting Democratic sample of May, 2015 Ress/Catazaro-Perry contest clearly indicate that picking up a percentage equivalent to the 173 votes is highly likely in the November, 2015 election?

The Report thinks so.  And thinks that the pick up will be much higher given that the mayor now has a record to defend and that many Massillon Democrats (see the Ress vote) have not liked what they have seen from the Catazaro-Perry administration.

Most Republican votes will go to "independent" and former longtime Massillon mayor Frank Cicchinelli in this race.  Which, of course, is a parallel to what will be happening the the Canton mayoralty race of Democratic incumbent William J. Healy, II versus now "independent" but long term Democrat Thomas M. Bernabei.

While The Report is not prepared at this time to project Cicchinelli as the winner in November as in the Bernabei/Healy Canton match up, the SCPR does say that Catazaro-Perry has a high, high hill to climb the next 30 days or so.

In future editions of this series, the SCPR will share with readers chapter and verse on the factors that indicate that Brunckhart is likely to run a distant, distant, distant third candidate to Cicchinelli (who the SCPR thinks has the edge as stated above) and Catazaro-Perry.

Catazaro-Perry's main hope of eking out a victory lies in Brunckhart garnering a sufficient number of Republican votes in his column and concomitantly away from Frank Cicchinelli.


At least one Massillon citizen, the SCPR is told by a source, thinks that Massillon City Council president Tony Townsend should have been acting mayor from September 7th through yesterday due to the hospitalization of Mayor Catazaro-Perry when she was released.

Instead, the mayor chose to run Massillon from her hospital bed.

All of which brings up the health of a candidate for public office as an appropriate topic for thorough vetting.

We all should remember the situation in which the late Mike McDonald was elected sheriff of Stark County in November, 2012 only not to be able to take office on January 7, 2013 because of a health condition that ended with his death on February 22, 2013.

The SCPR was the only Stark County media outlet that constantly tried to keep tabs with McDonald and his health inasmuch as he had revealed earlier in his campaign that he had a serious health condition.

McDonald became highly sensitive to The Report's persistent inquiries.

As it turns out, the SCPR was onto something in terms of whether or not McDonald would be able to take office or if on taking office he would be up to serving four years.

If he wasn't able to take office or serve a full term, then it would be the "organized" Stark County Democratic Party's central committee who would be selecting a successor.

It is highly unlikely that a majority of Stark County voters would have placed an "X" beside a ballot entry "Stark County Democratic Party Central Committee" in the election which it turned out - unfortunately - turned out to be the de facto situation.

What the unvetted McDonald health issue led to was a bitter intra-party fight between the Massillon Maier (Johnnie A. Maier, Jr) Political Machine and its candidate and Maier, Jr. brother George and Stark County prosecutor John Ferrero and former sheriff Tim Swanson waged within the party for over a year (Feburary 5, 2013 through April, 2014) and involving much litigation.

Only in November, 2014 - two years later - did the Stark County voting public have a say in who would be sheriff.

Had the mainstream Stark County media done its job effectively, the issue of McDonald's health would have been vetted and perhaps there would have been a different result in the November, 2012 election.

The Catazaro-Perry hospitalization and publicly revealed health condition of Frank Cicchinelli highlight the importance of health issues being vetted in the run up to this year's election.

The Report is told that in today's Independent editorial interview of the Massillon mayoralty candidates, not one word was uttered as to the status - going forward - of the candidates' health.

Unbelievable!  Simply unbelievable!

Just terrific journalism, no?

The SCPR in future blogs in this series will probe the issue of health status of each candidate going forward so that Massillon voters have a reasonable assurance that who they are voting for can reasonably be expected to be able to take office and to serve for the entire four year term.

Cicchinelli has already shared with The Report his health viability going forward which this blogger will share with the SCPR reading public.

Will Mayor Catazaro-Perry do the same?  If not with the SCPR, another media outlet?


One Massillon councilperson has told the SCPR that when he was mayor Frank Cicchinelli repeatedly ran roughshod over disagreeing members of Massillon City Council.

The Report's source, of course, is not Kathy Catazaro-Perry.  But undoubtedly she would share that sentiment.

In this campaign, Cicchinelli should be grilled on what he thinks an appropriate relationship between him and council should be going forward.

The reports on Cicchinelli's alleged roughhousing of dissenting council members and Catazaro-Perry's bullying need to be out there for the Massillon voting public to know about.

And so should Mayor Kathy.

In her four years as mayor she has had a number of videotaped incidents in which she turned very ugly with council even to the point of accusing council as body as being racist and sexist.

That is in the heat of political battle, no?

Of course!

Well, the SCPR just came onto a freshly dugout video of the mayor acting - The Report thinks - conduct very unbecoming of a mayor in the context a minor, minor, minor auto accident which occurred on 3rd Street, NW in Canton as she was on her way to an Edmond Mack (Democrat - Ward 8, Canton City Council) and John Mariol (Democrat - Ward 7, Canton City Council) on March 26, 2015.

The SCPR's opinion of the "unbecomingness" on based on:
  • Her out-of-the-chute letting responding officer Watkins know that she is the mayor of Massillon,
    • Note:  an attempt at intimdation?  The SCPR thinks so.
  • Allowing her husband, who according to the other party to the accident, was not in the mayor's car when the collision occurred, to get involved in the interaction with investigating Canton police officers to the point that one of the responding officers on the video says that the husband was flirting with the possibility of getting arrested,
    • Note: the other party tells the SCPR that until her husband arrived on the scene, she was telling him that the accident was her fault,
  • Making a big show to responding officers of making a call to Canton mayor "Jamie" Healy (connoting, The Report thinks, she is the "personal" friend of Canton's mayor) when the officers are not appearing to accept her demand that the other party be given sobriety tests (reference:  at the 13:52 mark of the video below),
  • She insisted that the other party be given sobriety tests (including a breathalyzer which requires the legal standard of "probable cause") on her observations:
    • that he went to the nearby corner drugstore and came out with a drink he was imbibing on his way back to his car,
      • Note:  the other party's wife works at the drug store and officers determined he was notifying her (whom he was endeavoring pick up from work) that he had been in an accident,
    • that he had bloodshot eyes,
    • that he has a "beer belly,
    • that he was unable to do a walking test,
      • Note:  Officers were convinced that an ankle injury prevented him from taking a walking test,
      • Note:  This after officers informed her that after did administer an eye movement test and were convinced that on the basis of that test coupled with not smelling alcohol in his breath that there was no legal basis to ask the other party to do a breathalyzer test,
    • that she knew better than the officers in their assessment of whether or not the other party merited alcohol use testing on the basis of her having been a nurse for years,
  • Her demanding to know and writing down the names of the responding officers,
    • Note:  The SCPR takes the maneuver to be of a intimidating nature,
Take a look at excerpted video (see note of omitted footage) that the SCPR has extracted from the Canton Police Department video taken of its investigation of the accident.

The extracted video was edited by the SCPR to take out footage that is marking time (i.e. camera in cruiser still turned on and video looking through windshield until other officers responded) and to omit other material not related to accident investigation:


The SCPR sees Mayor Catazaro-Perry has largely run her administration on two negative bas├Ęs.
  1. Frank Cicchinelli left Massillon government in a mess and that she has had to spend four years undoing the harm he has done,
  2. A majority of Massillon City Council has been against her from the get-go of her administration and not allowed her to move Massillon forward in a positive vein.
There is no doubt that Cicchinelli did leave some problems for Catazaro-Perry's administration.  One of which - he freely owns up to this one - was the addition of nine holes to The Legends Golf Course originally 18 hole course.

Another thing that the former mayor did that the SCPR did not think was wise was to budget on items on the assumption that the money would be there at the end of the year even though there was a real question about whether such would be the case when the budget was formed.

There were times during the later years of the Cicchinelli administration where the auditor had to withhold payment of certain city expenses way beyond a reasonable time for having made payment.

However, there are two things the mayor forgets to mention in her complaining:
  1. She knew going in as mayor what she was facing.
  2. Rather than make council part of the solution, she elected to play the political blame game even to the point of getting the city - unnecessarily, the SCPR thinks - declared to be in fiscal emergency even if on the slimmest of basis.
And, of course, she conveniently ignores that all Ohio local governments suffered devastating loss of tax revenues and other revenue cuts as a consequence of:
  • The Great Recession of 2008, and
  • The onset of the Kasich administration in 2010 and his draconian cuts in State of Ohio funding of local governments over his first term in office,
    Cicchinelli over his 28 years of being mayor of Massillon can tick off and undoubtedly will during the debate between he, the mayor and Brunckhart on October 14th at the Lincoln Theater quite a few achievements during those years.

    The question now becomes for the two viable candidates for mayor (i.e. Catazaro-Perry and Cicchinelli) how will their respective leadership going forward benefit Massillon?

    This question will be the focus of future blogs in this series in some detail.


    The SCPR always reserves space for interesting and relevant material to intersperse in these pages in a serendipitous fashion for readers.

    Stay tuned for future parts of this series!

    For those readers who want the compare the edited version of the CPD video as published above, here is a copy of the full version as received by the SCPR.

    Wednesday, September 23, 2015



    The Stark County Democratic Party is a "classic" case study in self-destruct politics.

    Its operations over the past 16 years should be top drawer stuff for political science professors across American as "the way NOT to do 'local political party politics' and expect to survive as a dominant political party even in a county which 'overall' is a Democratic county.

    Perhaps Healy's campaign guru will want to do this at Mount Union University where he is a political science professor.

    One can go back in modern Stark County political history let's say to 1999 when the Stark Dems appointed Gary D. Zeigler Stark County treasurer to replace "the training/certification deficient" Mark Roach and track a "self-destruct" phenomenon that haunts the Stark County Democratic Party to this very day.

    As a consequence of appointing/nominating questionably qualified persons to various Stark County offices, the Dems have lost the treasurer's office (having endured the insult of "having" to appoint Republican Alex Zumbar to that office on October 31, 2011), the auditor's office and now likely the mayoralty of Canton.

    All of this in the midst of numerically having the political upper hand county wide and certainly within the cities of Alliance, Canton and Massillon.

    The SCPR thinks Stark County - of late - is 'overall' for a properly run campaign, a Democratic county.  In 2012 and 2008 countywide Democrat president Barack Obama won Stark.

    And, Canton, for sure - at least since 2003 - should not (given the approximate 9 to 1 'voting edge' for Democrats when factoring in Democratic leaning "non-partisan" voters)

    One local media person has honed in on official registration records which show "only" a 3 to 2 Democratic registration numbers over Republicans as being an accurate read of the partisan divide in Canton.

    What that reporter does not understand is that in Canton most non-partisans vote Democratic in general elections whereas in a place like Jackson Township most non-partisans vote Republican in general elections.  In an area like Perry Township, the split on non-partisans in general elections is about 50/50.

    If Canton were truly a 3 to 2 edge to Democrats, do you think that 11 of 12 councilpersons and the council president would be Democrats?

    And the lone non-Democrat (Richard Hart who has an uphill battle to be re-elected) tough historically a Republican runs as an "independent."

    Do you think that if Stark County Republican Party chairman Jeff Matthews thought that Republicans were within striking distance (which, clearly, a 3 to 2 register voter edge suggests) of Democratic candidates for elective office within Canton that he would stand by and allow Democratic candidates for council, mayor, law director, treasurer and mayor run unchallenged?

    The end of the line for Republicans as viable candidates within Canton city limits was in 2003 when current Republican Stark County commissioner Janet Creighton edged out Democrat Bill Smuckler by some 300 votes.

    That particular election should have an "*" next to do.

    Why is that?

    Answer:  Smuckler and current Democratic mayor William J. Healy, II had gone through a bitter Democratic primary battle and Healy and his Democratic Party supporters (i.e. many of the 2,741 Healy voters) were not - the SCPR thinks - supporting Smuckler in the general election inasmuch as Healy had to hoping for a Smuckler loss so that he could pick up the pieces for the Dems when Creighton ran for re-election in 2007.

    As a consequence of "a [Democratic Party] house divided" within the Canton branch of the Stark County Democratic Party, Smuckler was almost certain to lose, no?  And he did.  Healy did in 2007 challenge Creighton's re-election bid and won handily.

    Healy's 2007 election and the loss of Republican Mark Butterworth in Ward 8, Canton's most Republican ward (now represented going into his third term by Democrat Edmond Mack) in 2011 was a clear signal to the politically astute (OMG - how can the SCPR say that about Jeff Matthews?) that Republicans cannot win in Canton.

    To jump ahead to the theme of this particular blog regarding the 2015 Canton mayoralty general election:  a case of "what goes around, comes around" as Healy now trying for a third term is likely to lose to former Democrat and now "independent" and currently Stark County commissioner Thomas M. Bernabei as a consequence of the treatment he has meted out to certain key members of the "organized" Stark County Democratic Party.

    Recently the SCPR had a conversation with a Stark Dem politico who told The Report that he/she? figures Bernabei to defeat Healy on November 3rd by as much as a 55% to 45% margin, but, perhaps, as little as 52% to 47%.

    With Bernabei's certification as an "independent" by the Stark County Board of Elections on the tie braking vote of Republican Secretary of State Jon Husted as validated by the Ohio Supreme Court, it is "deja vu all over again" in terms of a divided Canton branch of the Stark County Democratic Party.

    This time around Healy is likely to be "the house divided victim" in an ironic twist of Healy having fired Bernabei as his chief of staff and service director in 2009 after being on the job for only one year.

    Double up the political irony on Healy having humiliated the-then Democratic Plain Township trustee Louis Giavasis (brother of current Stark Dems' chair Phil Giavasis and Stark clerk of courts employee once brother Phil switched over to being the Canton Municipal Court clerk of courts) when he applied to be service director in Healy's administration.

    Fast forward to a fundraiser by "independent" Tom Bernabei at The Canton Brewing Company on September 15 and who should show up at the fundraiser?

    You've got it:  "the Healy humiliated Louis P. Giavasis!

    Though Louis likes to paint himself paradoxically as a more or less non-partisan Democrat, the SCPR does not buy it.

    Louis does do some politically strange things and perhaps politically inexpedient things from time-to-time (e.g. fighting the oil/gas fracking in Plain Township, the Giant Eagle exclusionary of other grocery stores lease in Oakwood Plaza, et) cetera); he is otherwise a consummately loyal Democrat.

    He was really over-the-top for George T. Maier in Maier's successful race for sheriff in November, 2014 and may have been the key factor of Maier edging out Republican Larry Dordea.

    Certainly Maier recognizes Louie's key role in his election as he shown up with deputies in tow in support of Giavasis in his gaining commissioner and Stark County Democratic Party Central Committee appointment as successor to recently retired Stark County clerk of courts Nancy Reinbold who had received the appointment (2007) when Lou's brother Phil became the Dems' appointee as Canton's clerk of courts when Tom Harmon retired.

    Interesting enough, in the wake of the SCPR having reported Louie's appearance at the Bernabei fundraiser, The Report received this e-mail:

    Sep 21 at 2:06 PM

    Seems like many Democrats were upset that Louis Giavasis was at the fundraiser for Tom Bernabei and that those Democrats conveyed there disgust to his brother Phil Giavasis.  Time will tell if Lou switches sides now.

    The Report made a number of telephone calls to various Stark County Democratic Party connected persons and learned that the e-mail is "right on the mark" in terms of the complaints against Louis.

    As the SCPR is wont to do, an inquiry was sent to both Louis and Phil, to wit:

    Martin Olson <>  Sep 22 at 6:39 AM

    To:  Phil Giavasis


    Any response?


    ----- Forwarded Message -----
    From: Martin Olson <>

    To: LOU GIAVASIS ... 

    Sent: Monday, September 21, 2015 5:42 PM

    Subject: Are you in hot water with the DEMS because you attended Bernabei's CBC fundraiser?


    An e-mail I received from a reader:

    Seems like many Democrats were upset that Louis Giavasis was at the fundraiser for Tom Bernabei and that those Democrats conveyed there [sic] disgust to his brother Phil Giavasis.  Time will tell if Lou switches sides now.

    Your reaction?

    Here it is September 23rd and no answer.

    In the past, both have been quick to respond to SCPR inquiries.

    The "silence" is interesting, no?

    Some folks take "silence" to be an admission of the points presented.

    The SCPR would not be surprised for it to come out in due course that Lou has recanted his Bernabei support.

    If that happens, it will be too late.

    There is no doubt that there is division in the Canton branch of the Stark County Democratic Party that the SCPR thinks will peel off enough normal "solid for the Democratic candidate - whomever she/he may be" (which, in this case, would be William J. Healy, II) when coupled with the substantial number of Democrats who are personally devoted to Bernabei (e.g. form Canton Municipal Court/Stark Co. Court of Common Pleas judge Harry Klide) no matter what his political identity might be to carry Bernabei to a substantial victory.

    Readers should keep in mind however that Healy has demonstrated that he is a political person who is "the envy of the proverbial cat of nine lives" and one ought to and The Report does hereby acknowledge that his one chance at re-election is "to pull a proverbial 'rabbit out of the hat'."

    It would be a mistake to foreclose any possibility at all that Healy's demonstrated "I am survivor" history might once again save the day for him.

    If Healy loses as the SCPR expects him to, he has only himself to blame.

    The mayor has left a long trail of strewn political bodies on his political pathway in his divide and conquer political way of being.

    Moveover, the SCPR sees him as being arrogantly contemptuous of any who disagree with him or whom he counts as not being politically significant.

    In mistreating Louis P. Giavasis and others along that pathway, he planted the seeds of his own political destruction in fostering the development of "a house divided" within the Canton branch of the Stark County Democratic Party.

    To say it one more time - especially in politics - "what goes around, comes around."

    Consequently, William J. Healy, II is now scrambling to put "Humpty-Dumpty [the fractured Canton branch of the Stark County Democratic Party] back together again!"

    Tuesday, September 22, 2015


    The focus of today's blog in this ongoing series on the battle that has and is likely to continue between the Canton City Schools (CCS) and the Stark County Educational Service Center (ESC) is Canton City Schools treasurer Jeff Gruber.

    Gruber, is one of the main persons at the center of the controversy:

    • of the longstanding refusal of the CCS to pay some $230,000
      • resolved for the time being with the CCS BOE 3 to 2 agreeing to pay same as a "moral obligation 
    • to the ESC as reimbursement for the employment on the ESC payroll though actually working for the CSS of CCS superintendent Adrian Allison's wife Kristea 
    Readers of this part 3 should read parts 1 and 2 in order to be up-to-date of the basic framework of the controversy.  Here are the links.
    The thread this the SCPR analyzes are the relationships Gruber seems to have with:
    • the "organized" Stark County Democratic Party,
    • some of the party's most powerful leaders (including unionist and CCS BOE president John Rinaldi, Jr.)
    • CCS superintendent Adrian Allison,
    • BOE members Rinaldi and Grimsley, and
    • Republican Stark County auditor Alan Harold
    The folks that The Report talks to all say that Gruber is "one-Hell-of-a-treasurer" and financial man through all his steps in the public employment fiscal world.

    Here is what the SCPR wrote about him back in 2014 in the run up to his race against sitting Republican Stark County auditor Alan Harold.

    While Gruber may be an excellent X's and O's fiscal man, he is a clumsy as one can get as a politician.

    It is his political stumbling, bumbling from his days at R. G. Drage to the current controversy with the CCS which his detractors use to make an assessment that notwithstanding his skills as a financial man, he is more trouble than he is worth in an overall sense.

    The Report had a telephone conversation with Gruber when he took out petitions to run against Harold back in 2014 and believe me yours truly has had some bewildering conversations with candidates for public office but this one stands out as the most bizarre.
    Democrat Gruber gave no substantive reason why he thought Harold should be replaced as county auditor.  What came out of the conversation was that he was running at the behest of one of his chief political supporters; namely, former longtime Democratic Canton Municipal Court clerk of courts, former Stark County commissioner and now virtually assured to be a Canton councilman-at-large Tom Harmon.

    Consequently, the results were quite predictable.

    So it is no surprise that Harold has become one of Gruber's chief political detractors.

    Harold, the quintessential corporate-favoring Republican versus Gruber,the equally quintessential unionist-favoring Democrat.

    While Harold does not question Gruber's competence as a fiscal man, he does question why it took so long (some two years) for Gruber and his supporters (now, unionists Rinaldi, Jr and Grimsley) to get the Allison employment reimbursement matter brought to a head?

    A likely answer?

    Gruber was lobby internally within the CCS-BOE for a vote "not to pay" the ESC for accommodating the Allisons and the CCS-BOE on creating a structure whereby Krista could in the techno-legal sense could to work for the CCS as an employee of the ESC and thereby satisfy "the-letter-of-the-law."

    Of course, the SCPR's position is that the ESC set a bad example in working this arrangement as the arrangement was surely a violation of "the-spirit-of-the-law-of-Ohio" that kin may not work for kin.

    On appearances Gruber's refusal to pay seems to be admirable, no?

    Something that Auditor Harold has been apt to do (e.g. the Gary Zeigler matter and, at least for a day re:  George T. Maier) in his "letter-of-the-law" posture as auditor.

    However, the SCPR believes that Gruber's refusal has more to do with historical political-esque entanglements with ESC leadership than being a "no-ifs-buts-or-wherefores" treasurer.

    In the end, The Report believes Gruber lost what was an intensely t political battle with internal CCS BOE factors and prior indirect ESC factors at play over whether or the CCS BOE would do what it eventually did and approve the Allison reimbursement of some $230,000 as "a moral obligation."

    Is stuff like this which turns everyday citizens off about government.

    Way too often the battles which make the headlines of media involve a personal political agenda and the the overall public interest!

    Monday, September 21, 2015


    UPDATED:  08:15 AM





    More times than not, when elected officials have no political opposition, they are quick to take on a tone of arrogance and start looking after themselves rather than the government/people they were elected to serve.

    That is where The Stark County Political Report thinks Massillon auditor Jayne Ferrero and Massillon treasurer Maude Slagle (both Democrats) are as they approach the November 3rd election with no political opposition.

    Slagle was appointed initially as treasurer by the Stark County Central Committee (city of Massillon members) in early 2013.

    She is the wife or former Councilman-at-Large Larry Slagle.

    Insofar as the SCPR is concerned political arrogance is in full play as Ferrero and Slagle have shown how petty they can be on an issue that might cause them some extra work but the absence of which may well cause a lot more work for Massillon's department heads and therefore as a net factor Mactor in the operation of Massillon government may result in department heads and workers in those departments having less time to serve the citizens of Massillon.

    As far as the SCPR is concerned "attitude is everything" when it comes to government service, whether or the part of elected officials or appointed officials, and when any of these officials place their individual welfare over that of those they serve then they should be held accountable.

    And that is exactly what several Massillon councilpersons have endeavored to do with Slagle and Ferrero but, due to the reality that only one department head (Fire Chief Tom Burgasser) had "the courage of this convictions" to step forward (August 31st work session of council) and object to the insistence by Slagle and Ferrero that Massillon's petty cash fund be terminated, it appears that the effort of those councilpersons will have been in vain as council likely will - accordingly (i.e. other department heads not stepping forward) - tonight pass legislation to eliminate Massillon petty cash fund.

    So rather than someone like Burgasser having a $100 petty cash balance to take from to let's say purchase stamps and to document with a receipt for accountability purposes, with the elimination of the petty cash fund he will have to:
    • make a trip to city hall and the treasurer's office,
    • get a purchase order for a roll of stamps,
    • go to the post office and purchase he stamps "out of his own money,"
    • have the city treasurer issue him a check for his personal outlay
    All because Maude Slagle and Jayne Ferrero don't want to be troubled with the little extra work (less than the procedure outlined above) in handling petty cash transactions?

    At the August 31st council work session Slagle could be heard to say:  (paraphrases)
    • "I wouldn't have to be here if it weren't for Tom Burgasser,"
    • [the fire department] "shouldn't be buying coffee,"
      • SCPR Note:  the MFD is a 24/7 "protect Massillonians operation, no?"
    • [petty cash fund] "more reason for people to steal money from the city,"
      • SCPR Note: Does Treasurer Slagle mean to say that Mayor Catazaro-Perry has "untrustworthy" people in charge of Massillon's department of government?
    • "That's a lot of work."  (converting what should have been a purchase from a city budget line item from a petty cash purchase to the budget line item account),
    These are the same public officials who put up "a big stink" in opposition when council as part of its constructing a Restoration Plan for the Massillon Financial Planning and Supervision Commission wanted as a symbol of local official participation in the recovery to include a 10% cut in pay of most of Massillon's elected officials.

    Ferrero and Slagle were the primary objectors.

    The Report's take on Ferrero and Slagle is that their attitude is primarily:  "it's mostly about me."

    Such, when the general public hears about it, is a concrete example of government official actions which cause the voting/taxpaying public to shake their collective heads in disgust.

    There were reports some time ago that Jayne Ferrero was not going to run for another term.

    Had she decided not to, current Ward current Republican Ward 6 councilman Ed Lewis was poised to jump into the auditor’s race.

    Unfortunately, for Massillonians, the SCRP thinks, Ferrero decided to run for reelection.

    Like on the “petty cash” matter, The Report’s impression of her is that she has previously taken on the role of being the “tail wagging the dog” on overall Massillon government operations; to speak in metaphorical terms.

    And, of course, to name names as only the SCPR, as a media outlet in reporting on Stark County political subdivision officials' conduct, does, Slagle and Ferrero only need look at themselves and their "me first" attitude as being a contributing causative factor in the public's growing disenchantment with government at all levels.

    Republican Councilman at Large Milan Chovan spent 2/3rds of a day working on a petty cash policy which would ensure accountability while allowing department heads to more efficiently use their time in serving Massillon's citizens.

    It appears to the SCPR that Slagle and Ferrero were subtly trying to put a veneer on this whole matter as doing what the State of Ohio Auditor (SOA) is requiring.

    "Not at all," is The Report's take.

    All the SOA is about is that there must be a written petty cash policy whatever it is; not that petty cash must be eliminated as a tool for conducting the people's business.

    How disingenuous of Ferrero and Slagle, no?

    Republican Councilwoman Nancy Halter (Ward 2) tried along with Chovan and several other councilpersons (in favor of accommodating department heads in their efficiency quest), but in the end the lack of public support caused her and Chovan to give up the fight.

    Consequently, Democratic chairperson of council's Rules and Courts committee plans to proceed tonight to do the bidding of the overworked and underpaid Slagle and Ferrero.

    Normally this kind of pettiness is not something the SCPR much gets into.

    But yours truly thinks this is “over-the-top” stuff by a couple of public officials who actually think that they are public officials for their own benefit.

    A SCPR “shame on you” Treasurer Maude Slagle and Auditor Jayne Ferrero for putting yourselves above the public interest!

    Thursday, September 17, 2015


    On Monday evening a massive - for a political campaign fundraiser - turnout (in the hundreds) of a mash of Democrats, Republicans and "independents" at a Thomas Bernabei for Mayor fundraiser at the Canton Brewing Company told you everything you need to know in terms of who is going to win the November 3, 2015 election between Bernabei and eight year incumbent Democratic mayor William J. Healy, II.

    Not only was the turnout impressive in terms of numbers, but it included some of Stark County's most influential citizens.


    Most notably Tim Timken of The Timken Company.

    Another notable presence was that of newly appointed by the Stark County Democratic Party Central Committee a mere week ago (September 10th) as Stark County clerk of courts; namely, Louis Giavasis:  the brother of Stark County Democratic Party chairman Phil Giavasis.

    And there were many, many, many other political and government notables (Democrats, Republicans and "independents") attending the event.

    Louis Giavasis supporting Bernabei over Healy is an example of "the chickens coming home to roost" or "what goes around, comes around" on Healy's treatment of various Stark County political and government figures over his eight years of mayor.

    Giavasis tells a story of how dastardly he was treated by Healy when he once applied to be the Healy administration service director.

    Of course, Bernabei himself, Healy's first service director and chief of staff was fired by the mayor in January, 2009 about one year after taking office.

    The Canton Brewing Company (as shown above) is about four "within walking distance" blocks away from the 8th floor of Canton City Hall and the mayor's office and one has to wonder whether or not Bernabei will do a memorial walk from 120 3rd St NW to Canton City Hall as he newly sworn in mayor of Canton on January 1, 2016 in recognition that the fundraiser at the Canton Brewing Company was a clear indicator that he would be elected mayor on November 3rd.

    Somewhat similar to what the SCPR did in Bernabei's Stark County commissioner colleague Janet Creighton's race against then incumbent Democratic commissioner Steven Meeks (a former Jackson Township trustee and official in Democratic governor Ted Strickland's administration) in November, 2010, today The Report predicts that the newly "independent" (as validated by the Ohio Supreme Court on Wednesay, September 9th) Bernabei will handily defeat William J. Healy, II in the upcoming general election of November 3, 2015 some 48 days.

    Creighton won by a wide margin and predicted early on by the SCPR and Thomas Bernabei will too.

    There is no doubt that Healy who was at the zenith of his reign as mayor on March 18th as he gave his State of the City message on the theme "Could You Have Imagined?" in which he details his perception of Healy administration accomplishments during his nearly eight years as mayor has to be absolutely stunned at the turn of events in the remainder of 2015.

    In a twist on Healy's State of the City theme, Could He Have Imagined on March 18th that:
    • There would some anxious moments among Healy supporters whether or not the mayor would survive Canton treasurer Kim Perez's challenge in the Democratic primary election of May 5th?
    • The day before, May 4th, that Tom Bernabei would decide to abandon his Democratic Party identity to challenge him in November's general election?
    Sources are telling the SCPR that Healy is lashing out at his past Democratic Party supporters and campaign donors promising recrimination and retaliation on the chance that survives the Bernabei challenge and is re-elected mayor.

    Recently the Fraternal Order of Police endorsed Bernabei for mayor and The Report is told that Healy was heard to be screaming out in rage on learning that he did not gain the endorsement.

    There are those who think Healy recriminated against the Canton firefighters union in the aftermath of the union having endorsed Republican A.R. "Chip" Conde in the 2011 mayor's race in terms of curtailing the scope of fire and EMS coverage in Canton under the guise of fragile city finances.

    The result of Healy's intimidating conduct is likely to be that in the secrecy of the ballot booth many of the Democrat recipients of the threats (and their family and friends) will be marking an "X" by the name of Thomas M. Bernabei for mayor of Canton.

    Beyond the Healy intimidation, many Democrats fondly remember Bernabei from his days as the long time law director of Canton and will bolt the party in favor of his candidacy on election day.

    And don't you think they will be prevailing on family of friends to vote for him also?

    And, of course, nearly every voting Canton Republican (as scarce as they are compared to registered Democrats, but they vote in higher numbers than Democrats) will be choosing Bernabei.

    And The Report has not even gotten to registered "non-partisan" voters.  Who do you think these folks might be voting for?

    Isn't "the jig up" for Healy?

    As the SCPR has written frequently, William J. Healy, II undoubtedly is the envy of the proverbial cat of nine lives in terms of his survived self-inflicted:
    1. crisis, 
    2. after crisis, 
    3. after crisis, 
    4. after crisis,
    5. after crisis,
    6. after crisis,
    7. after crisis,
    8. after crisis,
    9. after crisis, and
    10. after crisis, seemingly without end.
    As readers of the SCPR know, yours truly has conjectured in previous blogs that Bernabei's switch from being a staunch Democrat for all of his adult political life to becoming an "independent" on May 4th has more depth to it than the reported "Bernabei was turned off by the Healy/Perez Debate" days before the May 5th primary election.

    That "Tim" Timken, Jr. showed up a Bernabei's event is plenty of indication to the SCPR that yours truly is on to something as to "the real reason" Bernabei made the switch.  Folks like Timken usually operate behind the scenes.

    His coming forth publicly surely is evidence that corporate movers and shakers of Canton and indeed Stark County are a significant factor in Bernabei deciding to take Healy on in the general election, no?
      The SCPR thinks that Cantonians have finally had enough of Healy and as in the biblical Old Testament, to wit:  (Daniel 5:25-27)

      25"Now this is the inscription that was written out: 'MENE, MENE, TEKEL, UPHARSIN.' 26"This is the interpretation of the message: 'MENE '-- God has numbered your kingdom and put an end to it. 27"'TEKEL '-- you have been weighed on the scales and found deficient.…

      In the secular world, the voters of Canton are the authority on whether or not Healy will continue as mayor.

      And the SCPR thinks that the Canton Brewing Company event is the equivalent "handwriting on the wall" for one William J. Healy, II!

      Accordingly, the SCPR predicts that "independent" Thomas M. Bernabei will be elected mayor of Canton on November 3, 2015.

      Wednesday, September 16, 2015


      The "silver lining" of this SCPR series for Stark County board of education voters is to see for themselves the ugly underbelly of "politics at play" in the oversight (the board members themselves) and administration (superintendents and their staffs) of our taxpayer funded public schools.

      First, readers of this blog need to - in order to get the full breath and scope of The Report's dissection of boards of education and school administration - make sure they have read previous blogs.

      Here are links to those blogs:
      And let the SCPR credit Stark County auditor Alan Harold for pushing to get the story out about the unseemly way that:
      • the Canton City Schools (CCS) Board of Education, in the corporate sense (meaning majority voting pattern),
      • the Stark County Educational Service Center Governing Board, in the corporate sense (ESC, which includes yours truly's spouse),
      • the upper level management of the CCS (with a focus on the treasurer and superintendent), and
      • the upper level management of the ESC with a focus on the legal and superintendent aspects of the regional service center
      appear to The Stark County Political Report to have handled what yours truly has tabbed as being "the Allison matter."

      But make no mistake about it, the CCS/ESC debacle is only "the icing on the cake" of what The Report thinks has been a decades and decades long deficiency in oversight functioning of the ESC board, the 17 local boards of education and the respective administrations; especially in the superintendent to superintendent connection between local school districts and the county level superintendents going back many years.

      Yours truly first started out as a community engaged citizen in the early 1980s in attending and engaging Lake Local School District and Lake Board of Trustees members.

      Accordingly, as far as Stark County schools are concerned, yours truly goes back to the Herm Sims administration of the Stark County level of school administration.

      Additionally, yours truly has the huge advantage of having been married to Mary for 49 years now who is:
      • a 35 year retired teacher as an elementary school teacher in the Akron Public School system,
      • a ten year long consultant with the former Carson-Dellosa education publishing company,
      • one of Ohio's very first board certified teachers by the National Board Professional Standard - Early Childhood Generalist,
      • an adjunct professor of Early Childhood Education at the University of Akron,
      • a member of the Lake Board of Education (1991 - 1995, elected again in 2006)
      • a member of the Stark County Education Service Center in 2007 and is unopposed for an additional four years in the election upcoming on November 3rd,
      The Olsons have had three daughters graduate from the Lake Local School District and go on to achieve advanced professional degrees from various universities both in Ohio and across the nation.

      In today's blog, the focus is the insights that the SCPR has garnered since the early 1980s base on the foregoing recitation so as to be in a position to credibly assess the state of boardmanship and superintendency in the Stark County school system.

      One of the SCPR's latest treatments of Stark County school systems has to do with the situation in the Canton Local School District in which there has been in place in the opinion of The Report a board of education that is in lock step with the recently retired superintendent.

      Readers of this series would do well by themselves to read the blogs on the Canton Local situation to get a sense of how The Report covers local school boardmanship, the links:

      Moreover, there are other Stark County local school districts which have come under the scrutiny of the SCPR and in future blogs yours truly will refresh those coverages so as to underscore The Report's continuing interest in the quality of Stark County educational leadership from the superintendents' standpoint and from the board of education membership standpoint.

      Over decades of exposure to and involvement with local boards of education and the county level board of education (now, education service centers), yours truly has one overwhelming take-away on the functioning of boards of education vis-a-vis superintendents, to wit:

      Superintendents of education, though not elected by the public to anything, are every bit the politician of those folks from Stark County's cities, villages, townships and, of course, boards of education who do have to account to the public in the American process of getting elected by majority/plurality of registered voters in their respective districts.

      Moreover, by and large, many if not most of these superintendents cultivate a political relationship with individual members of board of educations designed to dampen member zeal for pursuing incisive questioning of the recommendations of superintendents to ensure that the recommendations are in the public interest as opposed to any parochial interest (e.g. the superintendents' ease of operation, teacher unions, undue athletic prominence, et cetera).

      In this ongoing series, sparked by the CCS/ESC controversy, the SCPR will be sharing with the Stark County public how "education sausage" is made among and between superintendents of local school districts, their respective boards of education as they interact with educational officials at the county level.

      The Report has already had input from everyday Stark Countians with stories of how their superintendents and boards of education have not given "the public interest" the first priority it must have inasmuch as public education is financed by the Stark County taxpaying public.

      Readers can add to this series by sending your anecdotal "education at the local lever story" to