The Stark County Political Report has been saying since it was unveiled in Mayor William J. Healy, II's 2014 State of the City address that the proposed Canton's Citywide Comprehensive Plan (Plan) smacked of one more cog in the wheel of his personal political plan to get re-elected mayor for a third term.
Take a look at this video: (1:19)
Facetiously speaking, The Report thinks the $325,000 of Canton taxpayer money approved by Canton City Council on April 28, 2014 should appear somewhere in Healy's periodically required campaign finance reports. It won't, of course, because it has the indicia of being a purely governmental act of Canton's council notwithstanding a reasonable expectation at its authorization by council of having a probable beneficial effect on the mayor's re-election drive.
Councilmen Morris, Babcock, Hart and Smuckler voted no on the administration's initiative.
SCPR video recorded reactions to the Plan at the time include that of:
Ward 9 Councilman Frank Morris (2:36)
Councilman at Large Bill Smuckler (3:26)
But there was no skepticism with Mayor Healy about the benefit of the Plan to Canton and by implication for his re-election chances.
Note Healy's stammering and stuttering for the first 20 seconds of so of the video:
This [the Canton Citywide Comprehensive Plan] is another thing that, this is, this is the other best, no; this is next most important, this is the most important thing, no; this is another really, really important thing; there are so many things happening that are so important that I want to say that it's the most important but again I want to say that it's so important that we do this.Important for what purpose?
To help re-elect William J. Healy, II to his third term as mayor, no?
It could be that what Healy thought was so important back in April, 2014 may turn out to be a political liability in the upcoming general election on November 3rd as he faces the biggest survival challenge of his Canton political career which goes back to 2002/2003.
It is looking more and more that even if the Canton Citywide Comprehensive Plan survives in some form, William J. Healy, II is unlikely to be in the political/government mix of seeing it implemented.
So his enthusiasm of April, 2014 may prove on November 3, 2015 to being a case of "the best laid plans of mice of men" going amok.
This particular blog is prompted by a report on the part of Allison Matas of The Repository yesterday on the proceedings of a Canton Planning Commission (Commission) work session suggesting to the SCPR that:
- Healy's is at work being his consummately political self in the background through Canton Planning Commission members to massage commission deliberations on the plan to put it in a form that fits better with his re-election effort,
- The Plan is not a comprehensive plan at all, perhaps, therefore, not worthy of Canton having plowed $325,000 of taxpayer money into its creation, development and "less than comprehensive" [i.e. "strategic" in the minds of Commission members] implementation in terms of having a structure in place to - over time - completely remake Canton as we now know it,
SCPR Note: It appears that Chief of Staff Fonda Williams
was sitting in for member Healy at yesterdays' meeting.
So it had to be devastating to the deep thinkers in the Healy campaign to have been thwarted by Canton Law Department Thomas Burns in his saying:
Following a second work session with a wide-ranging discussion about land use, funding distribution and the creation of more city jobs, Assistant Law Director Thomas Burns instructed the Canton City Planning Commission that its job is to review the draft document and make a recommendation to Canton City Council about whether it should be adopted. The group doesn’t have the authority, he said, to change what the plan is called or rewrite it. (from Matas report)More and more it is appearing to the SCPR a la his setback in the Commission proceedings of yesterday that Mayor Healy's master political manipulation skills are waning with only 30 days left in the campaign.
The Report does think that "all is not lost" with the work done on the Plan as incomplete as it is.
A Mayor Thomas M. Bernabei has the leadership skills "to make silk out of a sow's ear."
Wouldn't it be a heavy, heavy irony for the Healy fired chief-of-staff and service director (January, 2009) to pick up with what The Report thinks was designed for the personal political benefit of Healy into part of a truly comprehensive plan that authentically gets Canton moving in the right direction!!!