LATEST UPDATE: SUNDAY 10:45 A.M. DEALING WITH SPECIAL INTEREST GROUPS ('UNIONS') IN CANTON POLITICS
The following blog is the most comprehensive resource that Canton voters have to go to in order to help them determine whether to vote for challenging "independent" candidate Thomas M. Bernabei (currently a sitting Stark County commissioner) or incumbent Democratic mayor William J. Healy, II who is seeking a third term.
It is regrettable that a WHBC official chose to attempt to interfere with the SCPR's quest to film this public event to provide the Canton public with an additional tool (i.e. the facial expression and the animation factors) upon which to assess the candidates and make their respective choices of whom to vote for.
At one time the SCPR had what appeared to The Report to be a mutually respectful relationship with WHBC's Ron Ponder (Points to Ponder).
However, there were from nearly the outset that Ponder was not as respectful as appearances might suggest.
Ponder would constantly tell yours truly how accessible that The Report was to take his call to appear on his daily broadcast.
At first, The Report took this to be a genuine appreciation of yours truly's availability and that may have been the case initially.
However, over time The Report took the reference to taking on a quality of one taking for granted which as we all know as human beings can end up being disrespectful.
One of the forums in which the SCPR would appear on Points to Ponder were his election night broadcasts. All went well until election night of 2013 when yours truly was placed on the "in the waiting line" never to make an appearance but at the very end of the broadcast and then only on the prompting of a Points to Ponder producer.
One of the characteristics of The Report that makes yours truly a refreshing voice to day-in, day-out Stark Countians is that Martin Olson is beholden to nobody.
The Report has been pleased to contribute to WHBC's Points to Ponder but will not abide being treated disrespectfully.
Yours truly is quite content in writing The Stark County Political Report and has never and will never solicit being featured in any other Stark County media.
Out of the 2013 event experience, it appears to yours truly that WHBC/Ponder disrespect had set in and thereore uncharacteristically The Report became inaccessible to Ponder.
The Report did care one iota about appearing on Points to Ponder and accordingly was not of a mind to share with Ponder why the turnabout on accessibility.
By happenstance, yours truly did come upon Ponder while passing by the WHBC facility while making way to cover a Stark County commissioner "public" event.
A conversation ensued in which yours truly did share with Ponder why the sudden shift in accessibility.
The Report thought the matter was closed after that conversation.
However, it does cross the mind that the WHBC official's attempt to stifle SCPR videotaping of last Thursday's "public" event was perhaps comeuppance at the hand of Ponder who may have been acting as an agent for Candidate Healy.
The SCPR has included in this blog May 11, 2015 video of Mayor Healy and his attempt to stop The Report recording of Healy's "full" reaction to the announcement that Bernabei had filed with the Stark County Board of Elections as an "independent" candidate for mayor of Canton.
In sum, the Healy demand was "turn the camera off."
Which, of course, the SCPR's response was in essence "go pound salt, Mr. Mayor!"
Healy, being what the SCPR has written as being one of the most consummately political persons that yours truly has met his 73 years of living, has tried to manipulate by "sweetness" and "antagonism" his coverage by The Report.
His incessant manipulating has gotten so flagrant that The Report long ago was reluctant to interview the mayor because the SCPR is not a conduit for propagandists at work.
However, of course, The Report never puts up self-serving video without pointing out the propaganda nature of the presentation and commenting critically thereon.
The May 11th video is a proud moment indeed in the annals of SCPR blogging.
But Healy of course is one of a list of Stark County officials who have tried to finesse or bully the SCPR.
The list includes Stark County prosecutor John Ferrero, former Stark County Democratic Party chairman Randy Gonzalez, the Stark County Board of Elections (Braden, Cline (Republicans); Maier and Ferruccio (Democrats) and the Stark County Republican Party through its chairman Jeff Matthews and Massillon Municipal Court judge Eddie Elum among others.
Yours truly at age 73 with a vast amount of experience dealing with politicians cannot knowingly be worked by the politicos and they know it and they do not like it one iota.
On occasion a politico's agenda matches a purpose of the SCPR but The Report is careful to identify when such is the case so that the politico does not think he got one over on The Report.
The purpose for the SCPR zealously guarding its "independence" so that the Stark County voting public has a resource - agree or disagree with The Report's opinion - (the SCPR is Op-ed but a lot of objective data and factual material to support the opinion) upon which to assess Stark County's politicos.
All the the foregoing is an inside look at makes the SCPR tick and yours truly has been pleased to bring this blog to Stark Countians as an independent assessment tool that tells it like yours truly sees it no matter how powerful or influential the subject of an given blog may be.
Yours truly will continue to write this blog as Stark County's spunky independent voice.
So when a Kathy Catazaro-Perry, a Kirk Schuring (on and off), a Stephen Slesnick (on and off; mostly off), a Scott Oelslager (on and off; mostly off) and others refuse to undergo video tape recording of their comments about various "affect Stark Countians" issues; such should be an a "Voter Beware" sign.
What do these folks have to hide?
Yours truly believes that they know they cannot control the questions being asked of them and consequently are not willing to allow Stark Countians to get a candid look at who they really are as politicos.
The SCPR is known to allow subjects of blogs a full and complete opportunity to take exception to The Report's blogs be it on video, by e-mail, faxed material or whatever.
Accordingly, it always comes back to what do they have to hide?
To come full circle and comment on the WHBC effort to deny Cantonians the opportunity TO SEE the facial expressions and animations of the candidates, The Report thinks Stark Countians should be shaken in their confidence in Stark County's primary audio outlet's portrayal of itself as being a thorough source of information upon which voters can rely in coming to a decision on how they will vote on any given issue on office race.
WHBC's attempted denial was not a short at the SCPR.
At the end of the day, yours truly thinks that its qualms with the SCPR whatever they may or may not in reality be, is a slap in the face of Cantonians who are in the process of determining their vote in the all important race which is about the future success or failure of Canton government.
There is an apology in order.
But it is not to the SCPR which had the gumption to persist.
Rather an apology should me made by the WHBC hierarchy and Mr. Ponder to the Canton public for having had the inclination to deny an important resource for voter consideration in their decision as to whom is to be Canton's next mayor.
Finally, yours truly shares with the SCPR readership this touching e-mail that The Report received yesterday, to wit:
NOTE: The SCPR is going over in detail every square inch of the video recorded on Healy/Bernabei for Mayor of Canton Debate of yesterday.
The scrutiny is being done in order to provide Cantonians with the most comprehensive analysis of the debate upon which to base their vote in voting that is going on now and which will of course culminates on election day: November 3, 2015.
This blog is a "work in progress" and when completed will include an analysis of each and every question asked yesterday.
THE DRAMA BEFORE THE DEBATE
It was an interesting morning for The Stark County Political Report.
Yours truly ran into Ron Ponder, Points to Ponder, WHBC prior to yesterday's WHBC & Canton Area ~ Ohio League of Women Voters® (LWV) sponsored Canton mayoralty debate and we exchanged few comments about the outcome of the Massillon mayoralty Catazaro-Perry, Brunckhart, Cicchinelli "forum discussion" on Wednesday evening at the historic Lincoln Theater in downtown Massillon.
Ponder shared that the SCPR analysis that Brunkhart was the most impressive of the three had been communicated to him by others.
Not a peep from Ponder that the SCPR's camera was not going to be allowed to videotape the public event held at the McKinley Grand starting at 10:00 a.m.
Later on The Report was to learn that Ponder had sent out an e-mail (the SCPR was not on the e-mail list) stating that among the ground rules was a prohibition on video.
How he proposed to enforce that rule in a public domain setting is a puzzle, wrapped in a conundrum, wrapped in an enigma.
The Report entered the room which was set up for the debate and began setting up to record.
Whereupon yours truly remonstrated that this was a public event and therefore in the public domain and The Report was going to proceed with videotaping the debate notwithstanding the Official's injunction.
The Official responded (paraphrase) that The Report's camera view would then be blocked.
To which The Report responded with words to the effect "well, that's going to be an interesting interplay because the SCPR is going to videotape this event which clearly a public event.
Yours truly went on to say that undoubtedly Stark Countians would be highly interested in learning about WHBC's attempt to block the SCPR videotaping.
WHBC likes to bill itself as being a media beacon of informing the Stark County public about public issues and candidates who run for public office.
By the SCPR's count there were some 50 or so Canton/Stark County citizens in attendance at the event which during his radio program Ponder egged on to express their presence.
As it turns out, the Official did not attempt to carry out his threat.
It appears to the SCPR that The Report was being singled out by WHBC in its attempt to block the SCPR camera from videotaping the Bernabei/Healy event.
Take a look at this excerpt from the The Repository's online publication:
See the circle with the white triangle included.
Guess what that indicates?
You've got it. A videotape of a 1:00 minute segment of yesterday's debate which yours truly believes to have been recorded by The Repository's Charita Goshay in plain sight of the Official without nary a word of objection from him.
Maybe somewhere in the woodpile there is a William J. Healy, II lurking who was unable to manipulate the SCPR through "being excessively nice," then "being gutter ugly," and everything in between so as to manipulate the SCPR into being the conduit for his political spin of the moment?
Ponder (an oft self-described Republican) did - ironically - endorse Democrat Healy in the May, 2015 Democratic primary election over Canton treasurer Kim Perez.
So there is that connection.
And Ponder/WHBC did provide Healy with an avenue to dictate that The Repository not be allowed to participate as an interlocutor in an earlier proposed debate format in which The Rep and the LWV were to be the main players.
To wrap things up there is this video on Healy of May 11, 2015, a week after Bernabei announced he was running as an "independent" in which he commands yours truly to "turn the camera off!"
Of course, Healy knows the SCPR well enough to know that "Hell would have to freeze over" before that ever happened which we all know is never, ever going to happen.
A third connection to the demand that the SCPR not videotape yesterday's debate, no?
As indicated by the graphic at the open of this blog, it appears that most of those in attendance at the debate see as it pretty much as having been a tie.
And the SCPR would not take great exception to that point of view.
Each candidate had his good and not so good moments that this blog goes into in greater detail later on in this review.
THE QUESTIONING (12 Questions (some "multi-part) Posed)
Rubin is a curious choice for the non-partisan League to send as its representative.
Amy Shriver-Dreussi, the Canton LWV president has a background is much more indicative of the League's non-partisan emphasis.
The Report take on Rubin is that she is a thoroughgoing Democrat who yours truly sees as being in thick with the leadership of the "organized" Stark County Democratic Party which of course is solidly behind Healy and who early on (dropped out later under pressure of a legal challenge) was part of a lawsuit challenging the right of Thomas Bernabei to switch from being a registered Democrat to being a political "independent."
In 2014 she was the party's standard bearer as the Dems' candidate against Republican Scott Oelslager seeking to be reelected to the Ohio Senate, District 29.
But the important point is that she was way short in her questioning acumen as against the standard (she, herself took in as a timer) set by Repository editor page editor Matt Rink and Indie editor Veronica VanDress the night before at the at the Massillon Brunckhart, Catazaro-Perry, Cicchinelli discussion forum.
Well, Ponder was Ponder.
Let's just leave it there.
THE PARTICULARS OF THE DEBATE
The Bernabei Goof Up
The beauty of live political debates is that on occasion there are mis-statements made by candidates.
As everybody in Stark County knows, in the period May 4, 2015 and September 9, 2015 there was a great turmoil among Stark County "organized" Democrats inasmuch as Thomas Bernabei (Canton) and Frank Cicchinelli (Massillon) announced they were terminating their affiliations with the Democratic Party and becoming "independents" so as to be in a position to run for mayor of their respective cities.
One of the core legal attacks on both of them was that the switch was opportunistic in that the "independent" declaration was a workaround of the Democratic Party machinery so that each could appeal to registered Republicans and non-partisans in a general election to have an easier path to election.
During the Stark County Board of Elections hearing, Bernabei testified that he wished he had run in the Democratic primary of May 5, 2015.
The challengers in that process (the SCPR considers Healy as the "real" but unnamed challenger in the lawsuit) jumped all over that statement a proof certain that Bernabei still in his heart of hearts considered himself to be a Democrat.
But the Ohio Supreme Court (LINK) disagreed.
So yesterday when Bernabei described himself has being a Democratic Stark County commissioner among a board which includes two Republicans (Creighton and Regula) Healy can be heard in the following video in an outcry to the effect "see, he admits it."
OPENING STATEMENTS (EXTRACTS)
- I promise to bring to Canton hard work, honesty and integrity.
- Is Canton better off than before I became mayor,
- [Bernabei] is going to try to convince you Canton needs new leadership,
- He is going to challenge my honesty and integrity, character and work ethic ... don't be fooled by the Bernabei deception
The SCPR has combed through the debate to find those parts that emphasize the differences between challenger and "independent" candidate Tom Bernabei and incumbent eight year Democratic mayor William J. Healy, II seeking a third term.
Canton's Budget Priorities After Police/Fire
- Initially does not answer Rubin's focus on "other priorities" after police and fire and instead talks about:
- balancing the budget,
- safety being a top priority,
- blames State of Ohio funding cuts as causing Canton fiscal problems,
- defends diminishing year-to-year carryover in order to hire police and and fire personnel,
- On Rubin's repeat of the focus of her question, Healy
- says "other priorities" are pretty much set ... there is not a whole lot of wiggle room,
- Also does not address Rubin's question head on,
- Rubin fails to keep him on track,
- Consequently he branches off onto talking about:
- the Budget being a critical factor and that with no money no goals, no dreams, nothing can be achieved,
- chastises Healy administration for spending down from $4.2 million (21 months) ago in carryover money to a projected $500,000 for fiscal year 2016,
- cites difficulty in meeting payroll in fire which could lead to the closing of two additional fire stations,
- says that Healy has misrepresented that Canton is in best financial condition in decades,
- says income tax receipts are down $1 million over 2014,
- says income tax receipts are projected to be down another $1 millon over 2015,
- says Canton in facing a $3 million deficit in 2016,
How to Deal with Projected Deficit in 2016
- Again there is no direct response to the question posed,
- Instead Healy diverts to:
- how the 2008 recession and the state cuts caused a financial problem and,
- his putting the safety of Cantonians over having a $2 million dollar carryover
- Note: No taking to task for failure to answer he baseline question by Ponder
- No response on what he would do as mayor to deal with projected deficit,
- Talks about deficit possibly causing a reduction in police and fire in 2016,
- Chides he mayor for not answering Ponder's baseline question,
- Where's Bernabei's plan to deal with the problems he identifies?
$350,000 HAS BEEN SPENT FOR THE CREATION OF A COMPREHENSIVE PLAN:
HOW WOULD THE PLAN BE IMPLEMENTED?
WOULD YOU SUPPORT A COMPREHENSIVE PLAN?
WHICH ASPECT WOULD YOU EMPHASIZE OR PRIORITIZE?
- Says he has attended one of the community meetings which explain the comprehensive plan,
- He as mayor is committed to implementing the plan,
- However, he has concerns about the financial feasibility of the plan, but as a first step consistent with the small part of the $125 millon that it is thought to fully implement the plan over 10 years Bernabei would start with
- the creation of a Plan Office staffed with a director
- Has been committed to the plan going back to the days of his first administration but the recession's adverse effect on city finances prohibited going forward on the plan,
- The most import aspect of the plan is that it provides a vision of what Canton can become and in implementation will lock future councils and the mayor's office (whomever may fill these positions) into continued implementation of the plan,
- Implementing the plan in three phases which will touch on a number of areas of the city (Hall of Fame, Downtown Canton, ... ) is the most important aspect of the plan,
- His administration is already working with area major corporations and 10 major northeast Ohio banks to find private funding to put into the overall funding of the plan,
ON FINANCING THE COMPREHENSIVE PLAN
Is Either Candidate Considering Raising Taxes or Local Gov't Fees to Finances the Comprehensive Plan?
- He is going to ask the entire community (including corporations and banks) to invest in funding the plan,
- He projects possibly raising $250 million over 10 years but that the last stop on the revenue raising plan is on the doorstep of Canton residents,
- SCPR Note: It is interesting that the talk is that $125 million over 10 years is the amount that will be needed to implement the plan and yet Healy in a fashion the SCPR finds typical of him ups the ante in tossing out the figure of $250 million,
- Though committed to the plan, Bernabei again cautions on the financial viability of implementing the plan to even being skeptical that financing can be found in present Canton government finances to fund the creation of a comprehensive plan office with a director,
- Pretty much repeats what he said in the initial reported response above and then branches off Ponder's core question into talking about how the plan is about the future of Canton,
- SCPR Note: The Report wishes Ponder persisted on and focused on whether or not the candidates had a specific plan for financing in mind.
- It appears that neither does which The Report thinks that the talk about implementing a comprehensive plan is "pie in the sky" and great for campaign rhetoric but if it fails to get implemented only adds to the alienation of local citizens from Canton government,
Candidates Plans for Upgrading Streets and Roadways in Canton's Neighborhoods?
- As mayor he will put together a team of streets and roadways evaluation team to determine the cost of a plan to upgrade and to develop a priority list of dealing with a overall plan of upgrade,
- Once the cost is known, Bernabei like he did as a Stark County commissioner with the 1/2 Sales Tax increase passed by Stark Countians in November, 2011 will seek to educate Canton voters on the financial need to do the upgrading and thereby convince them to provide the financing,
- Claims that every time a debate question is put to Bernabei involving city of Canton improvements his response is more taxes on the people of Canton,
- He says he can do the needed improvements in alternative ways (e.g. $325 million spent by his administration to improve major Canton roadway arteries of which less that 25% came from Canton government finances) and would only go to Canton taxpayers as a last resort,
- SCPR Note: Does work on major arteries which brings federal and state funding qualify as a valid response to fixing streets and roadways in Cantons Ward neighborhood?
- Again, a failure of the questioner to follow up with on that very point, no?
ABANDONED NEIGHBORHOOD HOMES
How are Candidates Going to Deal With Canton's 3,500 Abandoned Homes?
- Cites that there were 4,200 abandoned homes in Canton when he took office and claims that there are now 2,800 is a huge improvement in cleaning up Canton's neighborhoods over his eight years in office,
- Again, Healy suggests that demolition of abandoned homes can be accomplished without the infusion of additional revenues paid by Cantonians and he presents the notion that implementation of the comprehensive plan will accelerate the demolition,
- SCPR Note: Neither Ponder nor Rubin bring up the recent controversy involving Stark County treasurer Alex Zumbar and the Healy administration on the failure of Canton to fully utilize at a proper pace the use of Stark County Land Bank funding of demolition projects which endangers the Land Bank losing the "from other resources" funding,
- A case of he questioners not having adequately done their homework?
- As member of the quasi-governmental Stark County Land Bank (SCLB) board, Bernabei proposes that he as mayor will continue to work with the SCLB to obtain state funds (Moving Ohio Forward) to continue demolition,
- Doesn't specifically mention the need for local match funds to receive Moving Ohio Foward funding via the SCLB but implies such,
- Says that neighborhood deterioration is due to the lack of sufficient numbers of housing code enforcement officers and claims that Canton is down to one such officer as a reduction from three to one by the Healy administration,
- He promises as mayor to increase the number of officers to four or five,
- Moreover, he is in favor of council's proposal to raise the landlord per property registration fee to $80 per rental unit as a way to raise revenues for code enforcement and thereby cut down on the number of Canton residents which get abandoned,
- Blames Bernabei in part as law director of Canton in the 80s and 90s for failing to see to it that landlords who were not complying with Canton's building code were compelled to do so through Canton Law Department action,
What is the Primary Safety Issue and How Would You Address it?
- Safety is the #1 issue for local government,
- As mayor is job is to empower and enable the profession safety officers (e.g. police chief; fire chief) to do their jobs,
- Is interest in adding to the police force size (currently at 168 officers) contingent on what the budget review process reveals if he takes over as mayor in terms of the financial sustainability of adding officers,
- Reviews safety enhancing programs, equipment and the like that has been added by the Healy administration in order to make Canton a safer place,
- Talks about reducing the Healy administration success in reducing the number of supervisors to out-in-the-field officers (i.e. a 25% improvement)
- Points out that when Healy took office in 2008 there were 178 officers in the Canton Police Department whereas there are now 168 officers,
- Says that crime rate today in Canton is no lower than it was in 2009,
- Implies that the Healy administration has implemented nothing extra special in terms of having a safer Canton inasmuch as he cites that Canton is a part of the general decrease in crime across the nation,
HEALY REBUTTAL TO BERNABEI REBUTTAL:
- Reiterates that in reducing the ratio of supervisors to officers out-in-the field his administration has actually boosted the number of "boots on the ground" and therefore is entitled to claim an increase in safety force presence on the streets of Canton,
Are More Fire Stations to be Closed?
If so, What are they?
How are the Closing Decisions to be Made?
Does the Community Participate in Those Decisions?
- "There was no announcement of closings [of additional fire stations, beyond the two already closed],"
- "The fire chief was [in a memo he put out] the way [the fire department] does rotations" as a proposal,
- Will reconsider fire department staffing anew in 2016 as new budget is formulated,
- Cites Fire Chief Stephen Rich's memo of October 1, 2015 to wit:
- In order to match department payroll obligations to budget dollars allocated,
- Rich proposed [according to Bernabei] closing fire stations in Ward 3, 6 and 8 on a more frequent basis,
- Cites the derogation of the number of Canton firepersons from 163 in 2008 to 150 presently and even further reductions in 2016 to 146 (through attrition) because of a projected fiscal year 2016 $3 million budget deficit,
- Proposes reopening stations in order to generate more ambulance runs which provides revenues to cover shortfall in fire department finances,
- There is reduced need in Canton for higher staffed fire stations due to trend downward in the number of fires and other emergency services in Canton,
- Ambulance service demand is rising but half is attributable to folks wanting a free ride to the hospital,
Candidate: How Do You Propose to Do Economic Development?
- Have effective leadership from the mayor on down which is built upon:
- a mayor of leadership,
- personal credibility, and
- Have a mayor who is not focused on labor aspects of economic development,
- Have an administration that delivers faster local government services (e.g. approvals of plan development),
- Noted that Canton's Building Department under Healy could not deliver on the Onesto Lofts development project fast enough and had to contract with Stark County to deliver those services,
- Have mayor who can work with all players involved in Canton's economic redevelopment,
- Restructure the Community Improvement Corporation (CC) in terms of the properties it hold,
- Noted that Healy had to be removed from the Board of the CIC because of credit card misuse,
- More or less agreed with Bernabei on the importance of Canton mayor in the city economic development, but
- Touted that he has been a working economic development mayor who has been instrumental in bring better than a thousand new jobs to Canton, while
- Noting that as Stark County commission, Bernabei helped the Veterans Service Commission move Canton income tax paying jobs out of the Stark County Office Building to a site outside Canton proper,
- Cited a failure of Healy as mayor to complete a proposed merger of the Stark County Building Department into the Canton Building Department which resulted in 8 to 10 jobs being added to the merged entity,
- Justified the Veterans Service Commission (VSC) move outside Canton on the overriding need of those veterans serviced by the VSC to have easy access to the VSC,
- Noted that the site of relocation had to be done quickly because of a timetable set by the receiving entity,
- Explains that electrical and plumbing licensing requirements were not going to be met in proposed merger and that there was no way he was going to agree to put Canton Building Department employees in a Belden Village site,
- Made of point of saying that his administration focuses on hiring union labor in Canton's economic development projects,
- SCPR Note: About a dozen or so union members were present at yesterday's event. Mayor Healy's main hope in getting re-elected The Report thinks in large part upon campaign finances and campaign workers provided by "organized" labor.
LEADERSHIPHALL OF FAME (HOF) VILLAGE PROJECT
Definition of Leadership and Whether or Not Mayor Healy is Providing that Leadership?
Definition of Leadership and Whether or Not Mayor Healy is Providing that Leadership?
- Defines leadership as being exemplified by "somebody who gets results,"
- Says that Healy administration has improved Canton in every measurable category over his eight years as mayor,
- He says he shares the leadership function with Canton City Council and implied that he does hog the credit and cast failure on others as charged by Bernabei,
- Defines leadership as #1 having credibility,
- Sharing credit and accepting blame,
- Notes that Healy takes credit for creating jobs in Canton and fails to include the likes of David Baker (Hall of Fame), Steve Coons (Coons Restoration) and others,
- Notes that Healy ignores of the loss of 800 jobs (Timken, 400 jobs (in the near future - Nationwide Insurance) as well as other job losses and does not accept the blame for these losses,
- Notes that Healy claims job growth and economic development gains and yet Canton income taxes are down $1 million this year with another projected $1 million loss next year,
- On the proposed Charter Commission,
- Notes that Healy has come out against the commission though he is running to be a member of the commission,
- Notes that Healy says Canton in best financial condition ever and yet he is telling the fire department to cut costs,
- Sums up Healy administration as lacking credibility as evidenced by the divergence of what Mayor Healy says are the good times which Bernabei says is contradicted by the financial and economic realities in place in Canton,
- Says, due to a corporate structural split in Timken operations, jobs did move out of Canton but the Cantonians employed in those jobs did not lose those jobs,
- Says that despite the Bernabei cited job losses, during his administration there has been a net gain in jobs,
Explain Your Role in the Development of this Project and the Role of the City in Its Future Development
- Claims that he has been working on this project for nearly two of years,
- Cites the fact that Canton has agreed to contribute $5 million,
- Describes how the city has worked with David Baker of the HOF and Stuart Lichter (a developer) who respectively suggested that a hotel and convention center be considered to be part of the project,
- Images the five sitting at the table when the HOF Village Project concept was finalized during the summer of 2015 as being:
- David Baker,
- David Kirven of the Trade Unions,
- Stuart Lichter,
- Adrian Allen, superintendent of Canton City Schools, and
- Ta-Da! Of course, Canton mayor William J. Healy, II
- SCPR Note: This is a case of yours truly injecting a little humor inasmuch as The Report has over the eight years of this blog as described ad nauseam Healy's seeming insatiable ego which seems to be a main theme of his opponent Thomas Bernabei,
- SCPR Note: It is curious to yours truly that when the festivities celebrating the HOF Village Project took place guess who was among the missing luminaries?
- You've got it! William J. Healy, II
- Says that he sat down for hours trying to bring Canton together on the HOF Village Project,
- Describes the HOF Village Project as "true public/private partnership,"
- Says that project is going to be "the biggest development project in the city's history creating 13,000 new jobs and having an economic impact of over $15 Billion, that's leadership folks!"
- Supportive of the HOF Village Project,
- Denies that Canton government and Healy were not the visionary factor instrumental in putting the HOF Village concept together but rather credit David Baker,
- Does say that due the fact that the HOF is within the corporate limits of the city that Canton government has a central role in the ongoing development of the project and will continue to have it in a Bernabei administration,
- Questions the extent to which downtown Canton will benefit from the lofty numbers (13,000 jobs, $15 Billon) the mayor is implying will be a direct benefit to Canton,
- Cautions that unless measures are taken to ensure that downtown Canton benefits from the HOF Village Project it could become a Belden Village phenomenon whereby it becomes a barrier to the core of Canton future economic development,
- Asks for plan from the Healy administration to ensure that the core of Canton benefits from the money (cash and, of course, the wages of Canton government workers) Canton invests in the HOF Project,
- Claims that HOF Village Project will create tax revenues for Canton,
- Says discussion that Bernabei probably is not aware of include creating direct links from the HOF complex to downtown Canton,
- Presents a picture of Canton having invested $5 million of scarce Canton income tax dollars which would require $1 Billion in direct economic development benefit for Canton to recover its initial investment,
- Indignantly charges back at Bernabei that the $5 million is for the benefit of Canton City Schools and not for the NFL in the reconstruction of the formerly named Fawcett Stadium that is in great need of repair,
- SCPR Note: Bernabei is to be complimented for raising questions of whether or not Canton is being wise and productive in light of its financial difficulties in questioning $5 million pledge. Healy's reaction is typical in the The Report's experience of how the mayor uses emotion-charge (e.g. for our kids) rhetorical devises to ward off analyses of his programs, practices and policies as mayor of Canton. The Report sees Healy's indignancy at the Bernabei critique to be typical of this politically manipulative mayor. As readers of the SCPR know, for nearly eight years yours truly has excoriated this mayor for being a highly politically manipulative leader who seemingly does whatever he needs to to keep his out-of-control ego in tact. About a week ago, a Stark County official initiated a two hour conversation on the topic that not nearly enough capital has been allocated to the HOF project and that Canton may be left holding the bag on completing the first phase stadium renovation on the possibility that developers pull out of the overall project if it should appear that the $500 million that is needed to complete the project is not likely to be in the offing. It is difficult to have a rational conversation with a man who is forever protecting his own emotional-ladened ego, no?
RE: BERNABEI'S STATEMENT THAT HE IS TIRED OF THE ROLE OF "SPECIAL INTEREST" POLITICS INFLUENCING STARK CO ELECTIONS
How to Reduce "Union" (SCPR interpretation of 'Special Interest') Influence in Canton Politics?
- Claims that though having been elected as a Democratic Party affiliated commission in 2012, he has worked with formerly fellow Democrat Pete Ferguson (succeeded by Republican commissioner Richard Regula  and Republican Janet Creighton (defeated in November, 2007 for mayor of Canton by Healy) in a bipartisan way in filling Stark County government positions,
- Also strongly implies that such as not been the case with Healy and further implies, the SCPR thinks - reading between the lines - that Healy is the captive of:
- the Stark County Democratic Party
- unions, and
- political cronyism,
- in filling Canton government positions,
- And that he plans to do what he has done as a commissioner in the context of being a "independent" politically aligned person as mayor of Canton,
- says that Bernabei and his fellow commissioners solved problems by raising taxes and by implication that Canton does so by tightening its fiscal belt,
- says that Canton posts all of its positions online, and
- that his administration is about promoting local business and labor.
SCPR Note: The Report thinks that both are a bit over the top in suggesting that they do hiring on merit alone. Yours truly thinks that politics (Republican in the case of the commissioners; Democratic/Union in the case of Healy) play a large role in the hiring process notwithstanding whether or not a given position is "posted."
The SCPR does think that Healy has a retaliatory and recriminatory streak in him that requires anyone who works for him to be an out-and-out loyalist.
It is clear to The Report that Healy is working hand-in-hand with union interests to defeat Ward 8 Democrat Edmond Macks Charter Government Initiative. Unions fear that over time reforms will be introduced into Canton's structure of government to cut down on union clout in terms of the contracting power of the executive branch of government and in the ability of city council to place union favoring language in its legislative proposals hence the opposition.
- Election is about leadership which he says Healy cannot provided because he has demonstrated that Canton voters cannot have confidence in his:
- work ethic,
- integrity, and
- honesty and therefore cannot
- trust him,
- Says that Healy contradicts himself in:
- on the one hand talking about increasing numbers of jobs and implied attendant economic growth and then
- on the other ignoring the 2014 fiscal year decline of Canton income tax revenue of $1 million in revenue (projected, Bernabei also says by Canton deputy auditor Gary Young to be the case for 2015) which results in the closing of fire stations and the like,
- explaining where the $125 millon needed to fund the Canton Citywide Comprehensive is going to come from,
- Which, Bernabei says goes to Healy lacking credibility and honesty that Bernabei maintains he himself will bring to Canton government,
- "Don't be fooled by Bernabei's" asserting that he Healy lacks integrity and honesty,
- Suggests that Bernabei's dwelling on the ethical is a "smokescreen" designed to hide the Healy administration's accomplishments over his nearly eight years in office which is to say that he believes Canton is better off in 2015 than it was when he took office in 2008, to wit:
- Canton is safer,
- Canton now has a comprehensive plan the implementation of which bodes well for the future of Canton which what the Bernabei/Healy match is really all about,
- Canton's economy continues to grow referencing his assertion that:
- He has worked hard on the Hall of Fame Village Project which he claims will bring 13,000 new jobs to Stark County and economic development growth of $15 Billion which he asserts is why he is endorsed by various political interest political action lobbying groups, leading Democratic Party politicians and seven Canton City Council members,
FINAL SCPR POLITICAL ANALYSIS COMMENT:
There you have it Canton voters.
A comprehensive look at the two candidates for mayor of Canton.
Questions each and every voters needs to answer for her/himself.
Is Canton better off under Healy's leadership in October, 2015 as compared to January 1, 2008? If yes, isn't he entitled to another four years to carry his action plan into implementation?
Does Healy lack the credibility, integrity and honesty qualities as a politicized leader as contended by Candidate Bernabei for voters to risk putting the future of Canton in his hands going forward over the next four years? If yes, doesn't it make sense to turn to Bernabei as a proven man of character to guide Canton's future.
For many voters, the answers to the foregoing questions will be mixed.
It will be interesting to see the outcome of their determinations come November 3, 2015 about 11:00 p.m., no?
The SCPR invites readers to "Google" Stark County Political Report Bernabei and Stark County Political Report Healy for blogs done on both candidates done of course in different settings.