Monday, November 30, 2015



Trustee-elect Todd Bosley
Factually Incorrect
Trustee Mike Lynch Statement

Trustee-elect Bosley
Factually Incorrect
Trustee Mike Lynch Statement

Trustee-elect Bosley
Nimishillen Trustees
Inquire with Stark Prosecutor
Signage Issue

On November 4, 2003, one Todd Bosley burst onto the Stark County political scene in Nimishillen Township.

Astoundingly, he defeated then incumbent Nimishillen Township trustee and fellow Democrat Arthur Lynch by some 21 percentage points.

And three years later almost to the day he pulled another stunning political upset, to wit:

The incumbent Stark County commissioner son of then longtime 16th Congressional District (which at the time included all of Stark County) Ralph Regula; namely Richard, went down to defeat to Bosley in the general election of 2006.

The SCPR has been expecting that since Bosley lost in 2010 in an Ohio 50th District House of Representative race to then Representative Todd Snitchler for Bosley to find a way back into Stark County politics.

By The Report's calculation, Bosley did not seek re-election as commissioner because he had created political conditions that made it impossible to be re-elected.

In December, 2008, he teamed up with fellow commissioners Tom Harmon (Democrat; now a councilman-at-large-elect for Canton City Council) and Jane Vignos (a Republican, not currently holding any elective office) to "impose" a 1/2 cent sales tax on Stark Countians in order to repair Stark County's broken 9-1-1 system and to provide additional millions in revenues for Stark County's general fund.

In November, 2009, Stark County civic activist and local attorney Craig T. Conley was the brains behind a successful effort to repeal the "imposed" tax.

From then on it was apparent to the SCPR that Bosley couldn't be elected to anything in Stark County.

But The Report did not think for a nanosecond that Bosley would not bide his time until an opportunity arose for him to resurface in Stark County government and politics.

That opportunity surfaced his year when Nimshillen Township trustee Lou Johnson decided not to seek re-election.

The result:

An important point to this blog focus on.

Trustee Mike Lynch is the son of Arthur Lynch whom Bosley defeated (see above) in 2003 as the first step in Bosley's rise in Stark County government and politics.

Bosley was elected on November 3rd.

By November 12th, he was presenting himself at a trustee-elect at a regular meeting of the present Board of Nimishillen Township Trustees as part of a group of Nimishillen residents concerned about a flooding problem and how it might be compounded by a proposed economic development project at Broadway and Peach.  (LINK to file to see all the comments on the flooding issue made at the meeting)

And Bosley was back to the next regular meeting of the trustees (changed to the 24th from November 26th due to Thanksgiving).

The occasion this time?

Actually two of them.

Both directed at Trustee Lynch.

First, Bosley went after Lynch for having said that Bosley had cost Nimishillen Township some $500,000 over a flooding issue back in 2003.

Second, he asked for an investigation of whether or not Lynch was in compliance with Nimishillen Township zoning regulations on getting permits for business signage.
(SCPR Note:  Bosley provided the SCPR with audio files of exchanges between himself and Lynch presumably with the other two trustees being present on what Bosley represents as being the core of his participation in the November 24th meeting)

A summary of the accompanying audio file:
  • Says that he (Bosley) came to the 11/24/2015 meeting to talk with Lynch.
  • However, first he addresses the entire board in assuring them that he and his fellows who have been engaged with the trustees on the Broadway/Peach vicinity flooding problem are not attacking the trustees but rather want to work with the trustees to deal with residents’ concerns about what development at Broadway/Peach might do in terms of contributing to a flooding problem in the area.
  • Bosley then gets right to the point with Trustee Lynch as to a comment Lynch made about him (Bosley included an audio tape of Lynch’s actual comment) at the November 12th trustees meeting after Bosley had left the meeting, to wit:
    • (Paraphrase: Bosley as a Nimishillen trustee was along with fellow trustees defendant in lawsuit regarding a flood in the township that ended up costing Nimishillen taxpayers $500,000)
  • Bosley pointed out to Lynch that the flood which was the subject of the lawsuit occurred in July, 2003 and that he (Bosley) was not elected until November, 2003.
  • Moreover, Bosley stated that he was a tenant of a property owned by the plaintiffs in the lawsuit and that in accordance with instructions from the Stark County prosecutor’s office completely and totally excused himself from any involvement whatsoever in the resolution of the litigation.
  • Lynch apologizes to Bosley for getting his facts wrong about Bosley being a trustee when the lawsuit was filed (Lynch’s father Arthur was) and about the suit costing Nimishillen taxpayers $500,000.
  • Without citing the actual amount of the settlement, Bosley shared that it was for the plaintiffs legal expenses which he says was considerably less than $500,000
Actual audio file:  (Bosley's summary of Lynch's statement)

 Actual audio file:   (Bosley's response to the Mike Lynch statement)

  • Bosley asks for a township investigation of whether or not Trustee Mike Lynch in the running of a Nimshillen Township pizza shop got a zoning permit for having the sign which sits in front of the business.
  • Lynch said he could not remember when he last obtained a permit.
  • Bosley says that the township zoning department expected that Lynch was going to obtain the permit about a year ago but that Lynch never followed through with getting the permit.
  • Bosley asks that the Nimishillen Board of Trustees contact the Stark County prosecutor’s office with questions as to:
    • Whether or not the sign issue fits within the Nimishillen Township zoning regulations,
    • Whether or not it is an unfair advantage for anybody who sits on the board to make a decision regarding the sign complying with the township’s zoning regulation,
    • Should there be assessed fees for the time that the sign has been in front of the pizza shop,
    • Should the permits be back dated,
    • Should they be charged just like the citizens have been,
  • If so, Bosley asks that the Board write the Ohio Ethics Commission about the matter,
Actual audio of Bosley asking Nimishillen Board of Trustee to inquire of Stark County prosecutor's office:

The foregoing has shades of the waves that Bosley created as a trustee for the period 2004 through 20006 with respect to then fellow Democratic trustee Russ Goffus (LINK to a prior SCPR blog).

 It seems to yours truly that since the SCPR began on March 12, 2008, there have been no end to the scintillating Stark County political/governmental stories which have graced these pages in greater detail and insight than any other Stark County media outlet.

So buckle up Nimishillen Township.

Todd Bosley is back and it looks like he will be creating waves galore as a Nimishillen Township trustee!

Thursday, November 26, 2015


Wednesday, November 25, 2015


As readers of The Stark County Political Report knows, one of yours truly's favorite elected officials is Canton City Council Ward 8 councilman Edmond J. Mack.

Just a few days ago, The Report—in the latest quarterly update—again named Mack to the SCPR's Top 10 List of Stark County Political Subdivision Elected Officials (LINK).

So it was just a bit disconcerting to get this e-mail yesterday, to wit:

Martin, here's a heads up for you. 

(You must verify yourself). [SCPR Note:  "Of course!  The Report always does].

I understand a few months ago Mr. Edmund Mack had a meeting with a few of the Stark County Democratic Party Leaders and discussed the following. 

That he was soon to be made a partner in his law firm and when that happened he would be tendering his resignation as Councilor of Ward 8 in Canton. 

He asked that in his place they appoint Dr. Peter Ferguson to fill the vacancy. 

Good luck on getting to the bottom of this. 

May you and your family have a very safe and Happy Thanksgiving.

 "You must verify yourself?"

The SCPR does print anything that yours truly either has confirmed with a (the) principal or other sources and is convinced of the accuracy of the story.

And that is exactly with The Report did with Councilman Mack.

His response:

Edmond J. Mack <>  Nov 24 at 11:07 PM
To:  Martin Olson

Thanks for the note, Martin.

Mostly true, but not the entire story.  I began discussions with firm management regarding joining the partnership in January.  Initially, the discussions were that I would not run for re-election this year in light of my joining the partnership at the end of this year.  As a result, I had discussions with several persons about running for my position this past spring in my place, including Dr. Ferguson.  However, after further discussions, the firm and I both agreed that is best if I stay on council for at least another term.  Hence, I ran for re-election.  I do not intend on resigning mid-term.

In light of my practice, I expect that my service on council will not last forever, and that my time on City Council will be limited.  However, I really do enjoy trying to help this City improve.  I am becoming increasingly encouraged by our new Mayor’s leadership.  I am going to try to do as much as I can while I am here.

Hope all is well, and to see you soon.  In the interim, I hope you, your wife, and your daughters have a great Thanksgiving.

Edmond  (Enlarged portion of text for emphasis)

As the SCPR sees this matter, it is terrific news that Councilman Mack will be staying on for at least one more term.

Mayor-elect Thomas M. Bernabei and Cantonians-at-large need Mack's presence on council for Canton to successfully make a transition from a "politics as the usual fare" administration to one in which politics is minimized.

As yours truly has written, it has been difficult to wrap one's mind around Mack's support of now lame duck mayor William J. Healy, II in Healy's endeavor to win a third term.

The SCPR sees Edmond J. Mack much more in the mode of a Thomas M. Bernabei (a no-nonsense, "Let's Do What is Best for Our Constituents" elected official) than the 24/7 politically calculating William J. Healy, II.

The Report is encouraged that Mack is beginning to see Bernabei ("I am increasingly encouraged by our new Mayor's leadership") as the SCPR has seen him going back the five years he has served as a highly effective Stark County commissioner.

Bernabei and Mack are among the brightest, most energetic and dedicated to the public good elected officials that Canton/Stark County has to offer.

Mack is fully capable of vetting in an incisive way any Bernabei administration proposals that come down the pike.

And The Report is confident that he will do so and thereby be a key council official in maintaining a legislative/executive check and balance that will ensure that Canton government makes wise decisions going forward.

Thomas Bernabei is almost 70 years old.

While Bernabei shows no signs whatsoever of slowing down, Cantonians need to be looking for leadership from a younger generation in four years.

From what has seen of Mack, he is exactly what a doctor of politics would order as a follow-on to one term of Bernabei as mayor.

Understandably, Lee Plakas (Mack's boss) recognizes Edmond's enormous talent and skill and wants his full attention focused on the Plakas Law Firm agenda.

As The Report sees Mack, he possesses the wherewithal to be both a sterling partner in the Plakas firm and a highly effective Canton government official.

Accordingly and hopefully, Plakas will see what a vital part there is in someone of Mack's abilities has to play in providing younger generation leadership to the executive function of Canton and will find a way to structure Mack's professional obligations so that he can also be possible successor to Bernabei four years hence.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015



Stark Treasuer
Alex Zumbar


Stark Auditor
Alan Zumbar

Explain to Stark Commissioners
Plan to Collect More Real Property Taxes

Alliance Republican Alex Zumbar has been an enormous success as Stark County treasurer.

As a Republican appointed as county treasurer by the "organized" Stark County Democratic Party via its central committee on October 31, 2011, he has to be like a festering sore to the likes for former Dems' chairman Randy Gonzalez (chairman presiding over the Zumbar appointment).

SCPR Note:  Most Stark Countians know the circumstances under which the Dems were compelled to appoint a Republican as a successor to the Dems original appointee; namely, Gary D. Zeigler (1999).  But for those who do not, here is a LINK to the SCPR blog of November 1, 2011 wherein The Report provides an exhaustive background on the reasons why.

With his initial term under his belt, Zumbar will be running for re-election in 2016.

The question is:  Will the Dems' try to unseat him this time around?

The SCPR thinks not.

But we shall see. The filing deadline in December 16th.

Republicans and good government Stark Countians were overjoyed to see Zumbar sworn in as a consequence of the unprecedented Stark Dems' action.

Zumbar started off as #5 on The Stark County Political Report Top 10 List of Stark County Political Subdivision Elected Officials.  On the first quarterly update, he moved up to #4 where he remains in the current update which The Report is publishing beginning last Thursday until the Top 10 List is completed.

Links to the prior blogs detailing why Zumbar deserves include:
Zumbar's latest work in looking out for the interests of Stark County taxpayers is shown in his teaming up with fellow Republican Alan Harold (Stark County auditor) to reduce the number of delinquent taxpayers on the books of Stark County real property assessment logs.

In the following video, Zumbar and Harold describe to the Stark County commissioners the extra-effort that they are going to at a minimal expense to county taxpayers in terms of additional publication costs (about $2,200) in having published on Sunday, November 15th the entire list of delinquent real property taxpayers even though Ohio law only mandates the publication of a list of current year "having gone delinquent" taxpayers.

Zumbar during his time as treasurer (both appointed/elected) has done a terrific job in setting up infrastructure (i.e. more secure physical facilities, procedural safeguards designed to prevent theft of county funds, and more secure policies in handling taxpayer funds) improvements.

An additional task Zumbar has taken on is the creation of and the administration of what is popularly known of as being a "Land Bank" wherein abandoned properties are targeted for demolition with funds provided by state of Ohio funding and local match dollars.

Canton in particular has benefited from the demolition.  But it has taken prodding by Zumbar to keep Healy administration officials on a timely basis of using available funds so that the Stark County does not lose any dollars which are not direct Stark County taxpayer dollars.

As with nearly all those on the SCPR Top 10 List, The Report has had criticisms of certain aspects of Zumbar's administration of the county treasury, to wit (from a prior blog):
  • LINK to blog criticizing Zumbar:
    • in his handling of certain Lank Bank matters,
    • in seemingly injecting Republican politics into his relationship with Canton's Democratic council, and
    • his apparent to the SCPR circumventing of appropriate employment practices in providing jobs to politically connected Republicans and thereby depriving the Stark County public from a fair opportunity to obtain these jobs,
But all-in-all Zumbar is a vast improvement over what preceded him.  Moreover, he continues to make improvements in treasury functions witness the above-described joint project with Auditor Alan Harold to collect delinquent tax dollars.

Accordingly, Zumbar for this quarterly assessment remains at #4 on the hard-to-qualify for SCPR Top 10 List of Stark County Political Subdivison Elected Officials.

Monday, November 23, 2015






As The Stark County Political Report sees it, the future of the city of Canton lies with Ward 8 Councilman Edmond Mack.

On November 3rd, there certainly was a dramatic improvement in the immediate prospects for the Hall of Fame City with the election of Stark County "independent" commissioner Thomas Bernabei (#1 on The Top 10 List of the SCPR's Stark County Political Subdivision of Elected Officials [List]) as mayor of Canton.

As well taken with Mack as the SCPR is, it is hard to understand his staunch support of incumbent Democratic mayor William J. Healy, II for election to a third term.

If, as he says, Mack's support of Healy has been grounded in discouraging Bernabei—a lifelong Democrat—wannabes from bolting the party in what Mack apparently sees as an exercise in political opportunism on Bernabei's part which undermines the stability of our democratic–republican system of government.

On this point, The Report and Mack see things differently.

Yours truly sees the Bernabei move as being a courageous if not sacrificial act to rescue Canton from the clutch of Healy whom The Report sees as one of the most, if not the most, accomplished, oily and self-serving politician that Canton has ever seen.

No doubt about it.  Along the path of his eight years of being mayor, Healy has made some positive contributions to the well being of Canton.

But the SCPR sees such as mostly happenstance which the grandstanding Healy was all to happy to claim credit for but which is mostly attributed to the effective check and balance function of Canton City Council under the leadership of Mack himself, his fellows Mariol, Morris, Fisher, Hawk and Smuckler.

Indications are that council members as a whole going forward will continue to see Canton government as being a strong council model of government vis-a-vis the executive function.

And that should be just fine with Mayor-elect Bernabei.  For he is a doer who wants to improve the quality of government wherever he has served and is not as contrasted to Healy looking for political credit.  Mack and his fellows over time will find Bernabei's style of leadership much more of a partnership type where there are plenty of laurels handed out to council members for concrete achievements with the new mayor content that the quiet intangibles inherent in his leadership style has been a "value added" factor in bringing Canton out of its decades old malaise.

Notwithstanding The Report differences with Mack on our respective takes on Mayor Healy's quality of leadership, yours truly thinks that Edmond J. Mack is his generation's most capable political/government leader for Canton and derivatively for all of Stark County going forward.

Hence his continuing at #3 on the SCPR Top 10 List.

Mack's most impressive contribution in terms of setting a marker for his progressive but stable trek for bring good government to Canton is his work on trying to convince Cantonians to adopt a charter form of government (LINK to prior SCPR blog).

  • a massive $10,000 contributed by Stark County's trade unions under the negative (in terms of the future well being of Canton) leadership of Local #94 Plumbers and Pipefitters business agent David Kirven (who, by the way, lives in North Canton) to a Political Action Committee,
  • in combination with self-serving, protect-my-turf elected officials such as Canton auditor R.A. Mallonn and Canton treasurer Kim Perez,
prevented Mack from being successful in his quest to provide Canton government with one more too meet the increasingly difficult task of effective governance in these times and going forward.

SCPR Note:  After this blog's publication (LINK), Kirven and St. John disappeared from PAC filing documents on the documents being amended to the Stark County Board of Elections.

In time The Report thinks Mack will look back at back at thoroughgoing Democrats such as Kirven, Mallonn and Perez as having been detrimental to Canton's quest to get on a good-government-motivated-productive track to improving the city's footprint.

Mayor-elect Bernabei has not lost his interest in Mack's quest.  But obviously now there are "bigger fish to fry".  In the meantime, The Report trusts that Mack will continue a quiet campaign to win the hearts and minds of nearly all who serve in Canton government and one day again rise with a new charter government effort.

Another disappointment to Mack has to have been the resistance he experienced a year or so ago in his endeavor to put a $10,000 Canton Parks Commission grant to work within Ward 8.

Mack's initiative in conjunction with Parks Commission Director Derek Gordon was a demonstration of leadership on his part.

Moreover, the topped that move with one of the purest form of democratic-republicanism that Canton likely has seen in many a moon in setting up and absorbing citizen input (far and away in opposition) at a St. Mark's Church event.

It had to be a gnawing experience to say the least.  But, having the mature leadership qualities that The Report thinks he possesses; Mack backed off and heeded the wishes of those constituents whom seem to have understood the sentiment of a majority of Ward 8 residents.

While Mayor-elect Bernabei will be the most visible form of leadership in Canton over the next four years, Mack as the de facto, the SCPR thinks, leader of council (Ward 9's Frank Morris [majority leader] and Ward 4's Chris Smith [assistant majority leader] being the de jure leaders) will continue to be a constructive force in Canton government for the reconstruction of a viable local government.

Another leadership marker possessed by Mack is his knack for honing in upon in council's work sessions on critical Canton issues with incisive questioning.

An example of the Mack technique The Report is referring to is to be caught in this video from last Monday's session on the issue of adequately staffing of Canton's fire stations (LINK to underlying SCPR blog):

Over the years that the SCPR has covered Canton City Council, yours truly has taken any many such examinations at the hand of Councilman.

As with any of the SCPR's Top 10 List selections, yours truly does not present Mack as a flawless leader.

But he is mature.

He is thorough.

He is thoughtful.

And consequently he rightfully continues for this quarter his place on the hard-to-place-on-Top 10 List as the SCPR #3 Stark County Political Subdivision Elected Official. 

Friday, November 20, 2015


Today, The Stark County Political Report continues on with its quarterly update of Stark County's "Top 10" Elected Officials List.

Yesterday' #1 (Canton mayor-elect Thomas Bernabei) was a no-brainer as is today's at #2 in Stark County auditor Alan Harold.

Of all of Stark's political subdivision governments, the commissioners (Bernabei's currently held position) and the auditor's office experienced the most dramatic improvements with the 2010 elections.

The replacement or former Democratic county auditor Kim Perez (now Canton's treasurer) with Alan Harold has proved to be a major upgrade in Stark's auditing leadership.

Some political observers think that Perez was unfairly a victim of things going awry in the Stark County's treasury with the revelation that former chief deputy Vince Frustaci has stolen upwards of $3 million from the Stark treasurer's office over period of a number of years immediately preceding being found out in April, 2009.

From a 2011 SCPR blog: (LINK)

Alan Harold from about 2007 on was a Republican political star on the horizon.

In 2008, he entertained notions of running against Stark County Democratic treasurer Gary D. Zeigler but opted out, to wit (also from the 2011 SCPR blog):

An interesting question on Harold is:  Had he run, would he likely have been elected?
  • The SCPR thinks not.  By 2008, Zeigler having been appointed in 1999 to replace certification troubled Democratic treasurer Mark Roach, was firmly ensconced as treasurer as part of the-then (in the opinion The Report) Stark "organized" Dems' "good ole boy network" of the likes of Johnnie A. Maier, Jr, Randy Gonzalez and their ilk.

As indicated in the blurb above, he ran for a spot on the Stark County Educational Service Governing Board in 2009 in a losing effort.

In 2010, Harold was able to exploit the probable public perception Perez in relation to the Stark treasury situation with this result:

Ever since being elected Harold has proved "to be worth his weight in gold" as a Stark County elected official.

Here are two links, to prior SCPR blogs in placing Harold on The Report Top 10 List:
But as always with the SCPR "all is not all roses" with Harold as far as the SCPR is concerned, to wit:

Here are links to blogs in which The Report has been critical of Harold:
  • January 12, 2015 blog in which the SCPR examines the relationship/role of Harold in the real property tax appraisal of the recently rehabbed Onesto Loffs by former Harold employer Steve Coon,
    • SCPR Note:  The Report plans a follow up blog on what Harold has actually done on the appraisal issue,
  • March 18, 2013 blog in which the SCPR delves into Harold's hiring of Republican A.R. "Chip" Conde (a former Creighton as mayor administration official and candidate for mayor, 2011) as one of his top officials in the auditor's office,
All-in-all, the SCPR, by force of naming Harold #2 on The Report's Top 10 List of course is well-taken with Harold.

A particular focus of late the SCPR has been open government and ease of access on the part of Stark County's taxpaying public has been:

  • The auditor's office work with the Stark County Board of Elections, and
  • Harold's work to bring to fruition/implementation for Stark County Republican Ohio treasurer Josh Mandel's laudable work of 
As blogged two days ago, Stark Countians are to see realization of the project on the auditor's website come Monday, November 23rd.

The Report is also fixed on Harold's effort through relatively new hire Seth Peterson to oversee an updating/upgrading of county government's information technology template.

Yours truly has been focused on the Stark County Board of Elections and its having "the latest and greatest" technical capability of disseminating information it possesses in a easily massaged format to the Stark County public.

Here is an e-mail exchange with Peterson:

Re: IT upgrade at Stark County Board of Elections

Seth Peterson <>  Nov 18 at 3:10 PM
To: Martin Olson

We have selected a vendor for campaign finance, with a meeting scheduled for early next month to begin the detail phase of this project. Also, we are in the process of rewriting the election night code and historical data section of the website.

>>> Martin Olson <> 11/17/2015 3:25 PM >>>
Please update me on developments since September 3rd.


(SCPR Note: to see/hear Peterson go to this September 4th blog LINK)

Harold has climbed on the SCPR Top 10 List in large part because of this progressive "let's improve Stark County government efficiency" attitude.

He started out as #3.

He is now at #2.

Will he ever get to #1?

Achieving such is a tall order for him.

For the SCPR sees #1 Canton mayor-elect Thomas M. Bernabei as astounding Cantonians with his seeming miracle working over the next four years and leading Canton in a turnaround that few now expect.

Such is a healthy competition for the coveted #1 ranking of the SCPR.

An interesting sidenote to this discussion is a interesting political tidbit the SCPR has come onto.  The Report has learned that prior to Bernabei announcing his run as an "independent" for mayor of Canton, Alan Harold was considering making such a run as a Republican.

Of course, if he had, Bernabei would not have become an independent and it is highly likely William J. Healy, II would have been re-elected mayor of Canton.

Good Luck, though, Alan on your being positioned some day to be the SCPR's #1 Stark County Political Subdivision Elected Official!

Thursday, November 19, 2015






Although fellow commissioner Janet Creighton was a bit over the top in her description of the status of Thomas M. Bernabei in this video take of her comments about his successful effort as a political independent in unseating Canton Democratic incumbent mayor William J. Healy, II on November 3rd; Bernabei's having done so keeps him at the top of the SCPR "Top 10" Stark County Political Subdivision Elected Officials List.

It has been truly amazing to see Bernabei to take on "the powers that be" in the Stark County "organized" Democratic Party in their support of the incumbent Democratic mayor who raised and spent mega bucks to retain office and come out victorious on this past general election day.

The Report recorded two videos of comments by Democratic Canton City Council president Allen Schulman and Ward 7 Democratic councilman John Mariol this past Monday as they opine on the significance of Bernabei's win.

And as the SCPR always does, included in the videos presented herein are Schulman's/Mariol's generous (from The Report's perspective) assessments (which the SCPR does not share in an overall sense) of the work of now lame duck mayor William J. Healy, II as mayor of Canton.



Readers of The Report know that while yours truly recognizes that Healy over his eight years as mayor has had a few successes; the overall SCPR assessment in disagreement with Schulman and Mariol is that Healy has been mostly mouth and relatively little in terms of actually moving Canton out of the a decades long slide downward as a major Ohio metropolitan entity.

With Bernabei's election, the focus now turns to what he can do in terms of providing much more effective leadership that Healy was able to muster in the face of Healy having at his own hand compromised his effectiveness in the context his generating one scrape after another scrape after another scape after another all of which he survived except perhaps allegations that came in the final days of the Bernabei/Healy match up which some think may have cost him the election.

Right now for a number of observers especially Canton City Council, it is wait and see with Bernabei going forward.

But not for the SCPR.

Bernabei started out on the initial SCPR Top 10 List as the #1 Stark County Political Subdivision Elected Official (LINK), continued on as #1 in the first quarterly update (LINK) and continues to be #1 in this second quarterly update.

Bernabei's bold initiative to take on the Stark County Democratic Party political establishment tells one and all in and of itself what this man is made of.

Even in the challenge of seven sitting councilpersons and the Stark Dems' chairman Phil Giavasis acting at the direction of the Stark County Democratic Party Executive Committee (later withdrawn in light of conflict-in-interest concerns) he came out "smelling like a rose" in terms of the regard that a number of Democratic Party testified under oath that have for Canton's former long term law director, city councilman and Healy administration service director and chief-of-staff.

There is no doubt that his biggest challenge will be to turn the heads of those council persons who abide a negative taste for him for his having challenged the party's nominee (Healy) to retain control of the mayor's office.

Already he has met with a group and perhaps the core of the "we are skeptical of Bernabei" crowd of councilpersons in the persons of Councilmen Mariol (D, Ward 7), Mack (D, Ward 8) and Morris (D, 9; also majority leader) a week ago today.

As is to be seen in the Mariol interview above, Bernabei appears to at the very least have the ear of this potential core opposition group to his taking on an executive function as mayor vis-a-vis council.

The SCPR thinks that it will be no time at all before this group and Canton City Council as whole will understand the special leadership skills that Bernabei possesses as an elected official as demonstrated in his five or so years as Stark County commissioner and will forget the talk about Canton being a "strong council form of government" implying that Bernabei is in for a rocky road in terms of his making a mark with his brand of leadership.

Being a successful mayor of a city that been in a long decline in reversing that decline in the face of a projected $3 million deficit in the first year of his administration is an undertaking unlike he has ever undertaken.

Bernabei with fellow Republican commissioner Janet Creighton, both elected in November, 2010 did foster a turnaround of the fiscal soundness of Stark County government and a concomitant trust in county government in the face of a Stark County treasury crisis that surfaced in April, 2009.

By October, 2011 the county crisis was ended and the effective Bernabei/Creighton leadership was the reason for the speedy and dramatic turnaround.

Will Bernabei be able form a partnership with Canton City Council that will result in a Canton turnaround in terms of "heading in a positive trajectory" within such a short space of time?

The Report thinks so.

But time will tell.

For his past effective service as Stark County commissioner and for his taking on the daunting task of working with a skeptical council in quest of a similar turnaround in Canton, Thomas M. Bernabei remains in this quarterly evaluation The Stark County Political Report's #1 Stark County Political Subdivision Elected Official.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015


(Graphic Background:  Mandel's



He is lagging behind Alliance (LINK).

And he is lagging behind Washington Township (LINK).

But, Stark County auditor Alan Harold (a Republican, first elected in 2010, LINK to Stark Co. auditor website) tells the SCPR that this coming Monday, November 23, 2015 (Thanksgiving Week, no less), Stark Countians will be able to check out the Checkbook of Stark County units of government.

It probably hasn't been that long in calendar days, but it seems to The Report that Harold has been hyping the introduction of Republican Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel's forever.

Not only has Harold been a laggard, but also has been nearly all of Stark County Political Subdivision government, to wit:  (a map published by Mandel's office)

As mentioned above, only Alliance and Washington Township in Stark County have been on board Mandel's train steaming towards Ohio government accountability as early adopters.

Here is a video of Harold reporting to Stark County commissioners at the regular weekly meeting of November 10th as to the status of Stark County's entry into the September, 2015 Mandel initiated accountability project:

One to wonder what is taking Stark's other 16—other than Washington Township—townships, municipalities, villages and school districts (18, including R.G. Drage) so long to get up and running with accountability to the respective Stark County constituents, no?

Citizens, who are constituents of the above-listed political subdivisions, should be badgering local officials to get off their collective duffs and follow the lead of Alliancy city officials, Washington Township officials and, indeed, Auditor Harold in equipping the them, the citizens, to monitor how these officials are spending citizen tax dollars!

Tuesday, November 17, 2015









One of these days there is likely going to be a major, major, major catastrophe for some unsuspecting Canton family.

A 9-1-1 call will be made.

There is a fire station around the corner.

But—believe it or not—it is closed!

And consequently the response comes from across town some 8 minutes farther away than the "around the corner" station, and, guess what?

A loved one dies BECAUSE OF the delay!!!

It wasn't catastrophic, but Canton citizen activist Lee Cote last night described the recent occurrence of potentially disastrous delay situation during the Public Speaks portion of the Canton City Council meeting last night.

The SCPR thinks there continues to be and has been a whole lot of politiking going on in the context of Canton's safety director (Andrea Perry, since September, 2013 ), Canton's fire chief (Stephen Rich) and various members of Canton City Council finger pointing at one another in terms of:  who is to blame?

As far as the SCPR can tell, the blame lies somewhere between the safety director and the fire department with the most likely culprit being the Healy administration in an endeavor to make it to the end of the year and in not adequately staffing the CFD keep Canton finances "in the black" for Fiscal Year 2015.

First there is this "internal" memo which it appears "inadvertently" showed up in Ward 1 councilman Greg Hawk's council mailbox.

Second there is this reaction from Ward 8 Councilman Edmond Mack at the October 5, 2015 meeting of Canton City Council: (extracted by the SCPR from the minutes of the meeting, here is a LINK to the entire discussion within the meeting minutes)

MEMBER MACK:  [Mack recognized by President of Council Allen Schulman]

Yes, thank you, Mr. President. 

As a Ward, City Councilperson, there’s several things that are unique about my Ward. Just like all of your Wards, that are very important to me and my constituents. 

One of those things is the fire station that we have, located in the City of Canton, Northern Canton on Vernon and 47 , Station 10. I was very, very upset and frustrated when I saw the same email all of you received this Sunday from Chief Rich, dated October 1 that reads, in part 

“The following plan will be put in place at the Canton Fire Department in the near future. The Engine Company from Station 10, located at 47 and Vernon Ave. NW, will be relocated to Station 4, which is located at 25 Street and Cleveland Ave. NW”. 

Not knowing precisely what that means, fortunately on social media I saw a post from a President of a Neighborhood Association that reads, “The Fire Chief has decided to make some changes...” 

And it continues, “Friends on the north end of town lost Station 10, sort of. The Station 10 building at 47 and Vernon NW will no longer be staffed.” 

That I would learn that something like this was even being contemplated in a weekend memorandum and on social media is simply astounding. 

How the Chief, or whomever, could make a decision like this without consulting the Councilperson, consulting the community...and working through the broader strategy...because when we talk about the importance of Station 10, certainly it’s important to Ward 8, but it’s also important in terms of our city’s overall strategy. 

As we annex farther north, as we should be doing, that station is the station that services these new areas of annexation, or at least potentially can be. 

This is very upsetting, to say the least, and Safety Director Perry, I’m hoping you can explain exactly what’s going on here.

Third, there is Safety Director Andrea Perry's response:

SAFETY DIRECTOR PERRY: Sure.  Mr. President, to the Councilman.  

First of all, thank you for asking that question and let me be very clear.  

We’ve not changed our processes at this point, relative to ho fire stations are operating.  They’re still in rotation that they’ve been in for some on for a period of time.  

Let me first say this, what you saw on Facebook was some information that was shared that wasn’t for public information, just yet.  Chief Rich is, with his management team, always looking at various ways in which to allocate and reallocate his resources within the department.  So, let me firs say ... that what he and the Union set out to do. 

They had a meeting, they sat down, they did some analysis relative to the decline, as well as the shift, thedeclining population, the shifts in the population. 

They looked at other analysis as far have the oil and gas industry that’s in, so you gotta take he railroad system into consideration. So, there are many factors that they took into consideration. 

They had an internal meeting. They sat down and met with the Union, and their next step was, they would actually brought all of this to the Administration, which never got an opportunity to
happen because it was shared prior to the being able to happen. 

Once that information would have been shared with the Administration, we would have come to this body, to Council, for your (Inaudible), you comments, and your approval, to then implement what changes we were considering. 

At that point we would have gone to...once we talked to everybody in Council, everybody’s on the same page, at that point we would have went to the public. 
[SCPR note:  color change to emphasize Perry's commitment to consult with council before making any changes]

So, I apologize. None of that information should have been sent out or shared, but we are in the day of social media and that’s what transpired.

MEMBER MACK: Mr. President


MEMBER MACK: Then, just so it’s clear in my mind, and I’ll ask it very directly. Has a final decision been made to close Station 10?

SAFETY DIRECTOR PERRY: Mr. President. To Councilman Mack. There have been no decisions to close anything at this point. 

MEMBER MACK: Then I thank you, Safety Director. I very much appreciate that response. What I would ask, as any discussions are going forward, in which a closure of Station 10 is even being considered, I would ask that I have an opportunity to be included and I think that is what you were contemplating. Just for purposes of the record, I certainly would want to have my views expressed on that.

SAFETY DIRECTOR PERRY: Mr. President. To Councilman Mack. That we would come to every member of this Council with relative to your various Wards and Community is (Inaudible). 

MEMBER MACK: Thank you Safety Director and thank you Mr. President

In order for Canton to staff all stations, Chief Rich last night showed a slide in which it was shown that to get to the ideal 170 fire persons level, council would have to infused over $1 million in additional funding into CFD opersations

With 148 fire persons currently on staff, here are the response times:

Quite drop off from what the response times were back in 1996, to wit:

FOURTH, this video of the essence of the exchange between Mack and Fire Department officials last night at council's pre-regular-meeting work session;

FIFTH, this video which includes comments by Ward 1 Councilman Greg Hawk who is chair of Canton council's finance committee.

SIXTH, this video which includes Division Chief Akbar BenneNtt's description of the coming need to expand the scope of CPD operations and the attendant need to add personnel,

SEVENTH, this video which contains the comments on the work session by Chief Rich and Division Chief Akbar Bennett,
  • Note:  Bennett casts the problem of CFD coverage in terms of council support

EIGHTH, this SCPR video interview with Councilman Mack at the conclusion of last night's council meeting.

The SCPR commends Councilman Mack for his persistence in getting definitive answers from the administration and the CFD leadership.

Such is critical to Cantonians in terms of their personal safety and the safety of the loved ones.

For if this staffing problem is not solved and solved soon, it is only a matter of time that as headline such as this hits area media:


Mack and other councilpersons are doing all they can do to prevent the materialization of such a headline.

Is the CFD leadership?

Is the Healy administration?

Monday, November 16, 2015


(Extract:  Headline Cleveland.Com OpEd, highlighting added)

As the SCPR recently scanned the online versions of some of Ohio's better newspapers, yours truly happened upon a headline (LINK) pictured in the graphic above.

Recent Ohio governors, both Republican and Democratic, has played big time political in who heads of the Ohio Department of Education.

The formality is that the State Board of Education (S-BOE) makes the appointment of Ohio's superintendent of education.  BUT the governor appoints 8 members of that 19 member board.  And who thinks that of the 11 elected members, the governor cannot find at least two politically beholden political party loyalists to do the governor's bidding?

This is what the Plain Dealer editorial board, in part, had to say about outgoing Superintendent Richard Ross:
But he will be better remembered for being one of the most political state school superintendents in recent memory. Politicizing the job has not been in the best interests of Ohio students in either traditional public or charter schools. 
The Plain Dealer went on describe the in-place political realities which will make it impossible for an "independent-minded" candidate to surface as Ohio's new superintendent of schools, to wit:
Yet the partisan infighting over who will be the next school superintendent has already begun, auguring poorly for a new dynamic.
State school board President Tom Gunlock, a Republican, could have tried to unify the often split board, which is divided along party lines. Instead, he created an eight-member search committee  that is heavily weighted to Kasich loyalists, including four board members appointed by Kasich, a representative from the governor's office and two Republican legislators. The lone Democrat on the committee is elected Ohio school board member Roslyn Painter-Goffi of Strongsville.
Stark County has had a direct experience in political jockeying that has take place with the S-BOE.

A thoroughgoing liberal Democrat was pushed forward into the presidency of the S-BOE by then Democratic governor Ted Strickland in the persona of Lake Township's Debbie Cain (elected on November 3rd to the Lake BOE from whence she came).

The SCPR knows the public side of Debbie Cain going back the better part of 20 years and has been truly astounded to see this mediocre at best official rise to the presidency of the S-BOE.

How did she do it?

In the opinion of the SCPR, playing the role of the political hack.

For The Plain Dealer to fantasize about Ohio realizing a truly independent person as the state superintendent of education is just that:  a fantasy.

Ain't never, ever going to happen!

Anytime The Report sees the word "independent" in the media, like a powerful magnet drawing metal filings unto itself, the eyes become riveted upon any article containing the word in its headline.

For there is no higher political value for the well-being of our democratic-republican than political independence.

Most Americans agree that political independence "in theory" is a good thing.

Closely related to the notion of "independence" is the mythological "I just want a fair opportunity."

But "where the rubber meets the road" in the ebb and flow of everyday life, all too many Americans demonstrate that we do not "really" want you, I or anybody else "to call it as one sees it,"  that is to say:  free of domination of an outside the self influence center.

Moreover, large numbers of us work feverishly "to get a leg up" on our fellows through political alliances as contradistinct from showing what we can do given a fair opportunity.

One of the prime reasons The Stark County Political Report exists is yours truly's commitment to fostering political independence and the corollary of fighting for everyday citizens having a fair opportunity to achieve their life's ambitions.

There is no Stark County media which is remotely close to the political independence of the SCPR.

How has The Report achieved its unparalleled degree of political independence?
  • No advertising whatsoever,
  • No remunerative work for those whom the SCPR covers,
  • No Republican or Democratic bias, (e.g. former Local #94 Pipefitters president Dan Fonte early on describing the SCPR as "an equal opportunity critic"),
  • No interest whatsoever of being in the good graces of the likes of WHBC, The Repository and other media outlets,
  • No kowtowing to power/manipulative politicians,
But "independent" judgment in all of life is a characteristic and value which serves as a prime vehicle of individual-improvement, family improvement and community improvement at the local, state and national levels.

Pure and simple:  "independence" is a mythology which permeates all of life as is a milieu in which there is a level playing field provided by political parties, governments and other key institutions of American life in which aspiring, motivated citizens can have a fair opportunity "to be all that they can be."

The one place where political independence should show substantial implementation should be in the Declaration of Independence United States of America, no?

Even in America, it is like pulling teeth to get the most meagre measure independence—especially in our political life—put into action.  And fair opportunity?  Such is largely a pipe dream and therefore mythological in terms of actual fair opportunity.

For an up close and personal look on the "independence front," let's look at a few examples of Stark County government and politics in the context independence being a factor as contrasted to the Kool-Aid drinkers in our midst.

Of course Stark County's "great" political hero should be Canton Mayor-elect Thomas M. Bernabei!

Here's a guy who is:
  • more or less, financially independent (although certainly no financial Donald Trump and is $4.5BB [LINK]), to wit:
  • and certainly an Ohio Supreme Court certified political independent, to wit:

  • and as those who work for him know, he abides no employee on the basis of their political connections,
  • and, of course, there is Bernabei's famous "standing up to Mayor William J. Healy, II during his term (January, 2008—January, 2009) as Healy's service director/chief-of-staff and telling the mayor, in effect, that he was "out-there-somewhere,"
Can you imagine Canton Municipal Court Clerk of Courts Phil Giavasis (Stark Dems' chairman) dealing in a disciplinary fashion, if need be, with his chief deputy clerk Kody Gonzalez?  Or in Gonzalez playing the devil's advocate role with Giavasis?

The mythology with Kody is that he has pulled himself by the boot straps and in meteoric fashion has sling-shot his way to being second-in-command at the clerk's office (LINK) over other long standing Canton Municipal Court employees solely on his unparalleled merit based qualities.

So what if he is the son of Stark County Democratic political party power Randy Gonzalez?

Randy protests that he had never lifted a finger to help son Kody.  

The Report does not believe him, but, even if his assertion is true the obvious answer is that as a political kingpin in the Stark County Democratic Party, Randy did not have to lift a finger for the likes of Stark County recorder Rick Campbell (a dutiful organization Democrat) picked Kody from out-of-nowhere (Kody having been laboring in the trenches of an obscure teaching position).

Campbell asserts that Kody spontaneously luminesced extraordinary competence and therefore merited being picked out of relative obscurity to catapult into being #2 in the recorder's office as Campbell's chief deputy.

One of the big belly laughs that the SCPR has ever had is when Campbell married former Stark County commissioner Gayle Jackson's daughter Lisa, who, therefore, under Ohio law could no longer work for Campbell became a candidate for the top administrator for Plain Township government.

Belly laugh?


A concern came out (LINK) from on-high within the "organized" Stark County Democratic Party whether or not Lisa could get a fair shake in being considered for the job?

Give me, us a break!

My God!  The woman is a Jackson.  Daughter of former Stark County commissioner Gayle Jackson.  Sister of Stark County Dems' political director Shane Jackson who is the "right hand man" of former Stark Dems' chairman Johnnie A. Maier, Jr  (Massillon clerk of courts) who tells one and all that Gayle Jackson is the greatest Stark County commissioner ever!

A fair shake?

"Ya got to be kidding!"

Who got the job as Plain Township under the dutiful Stark County Dems' politico Louis Giavasis (himself an appointee of the "organized" Stark County Democratic Party as Stark County clerk of courts passed through from his brother Phil to intermediary appointee [subsequently elected] Nancy Reinbold)?

Of course, "on her own merits:"  Lisa Jackson Campbell.

Aren't these folks too much!

Not to pick on the Democrats.

Stark Republicans are every bit the equal of the Dems when they have the opportunity in providing their favorites with "a leg up" to get public jobs without the Stark County general public getting so much as a smell of having a fair opportunity to land a plum Stark County political subdivision job.

Stark County chief administrator Brant Luther (LINK, who recently got a huge, huge, huge raise) and Budget Director Chris Nichols as being Republican examples of "the inside job."

While, in Luther's case, there was a publication to the public at large noticing that the chief administrator's job was open to general public application; the SCPR does not think for one second that anybody but Luther was going to get that job.

But it is progress from the Gonzalez situation (where no publication was done) that at least the Stark County commissioners advertised the chief administrators job.

Luther's political pedigree is such, to wit:
  • Republican commissioner Janet Creighton's chief honcho when she was Stark County auditor,
  • One of Republican judge Dixie Park's top officials for a time, and
  • One of the Republican dominated Stark County Family Court's top officials,
that there is no way that anybody was going to get the chief administrator's job over Luther.

And what did the commissioners do with the budget director job?

They went back to the chief administrator applicant pool.

It is obvious that they were impressed with Chris Nichols (who doubles as a Canton Township trustee) and did not publish specifically to the general public for the budget director job and merely went to Nichols.

Now let's get this out of the way.

The SCPR thinks that all of the foregoing (Gonzalez, Jackson, Luther and Nichols) are at least doing a competent job for Stark County political subdivision taxpayers (a couple of them, perhaps, exemplary).

But that is no answer at all to the "inside job" criticism.

Presumably, anybody hired for these jobs would have been thoroughly vetted by those doing the hiring and also would be thought of, after the fact of hiring, to at least being competent if not exemplary.

The fact of the matter is that political connection and loyalty means everything in getting Stark County political subdivision jobs and that the general public does not get "a fair opportunity" to gain employment in many, if not most, Stark County political subdivision jobs.

So if one is beholden to the likes of the Democratic Party and the Republican Party and their elected loyalists, what chance is there that any given employee can do what Thomas Bernabei did in telling William J. Healy, II to go take a hike and then parlay his "actual" independence into "political" independence to ultimatly make Healy the ultimate-manipulative-politico pay the price for being the personification of "the inside job?"

Answer:  practically none!

Bernabei is an anomaly in the American/Ohio/Stark County political structure because of the stranglehold that the "organized" political parties have on the institutions of American, Ohio and Stark County government which (i.e. the stranglehold) they use to pretty much freeze out everyday, "independent" of political party loyalties, citizens.

To say it again.

The Cleveland Plain Dealer's editorial board in calling for an "independent" state superintendent of education is fantasizing and one way or another Republican Governor John Kasich will appoint one of his political hacks as superintendent.

For in the American, Ohio and Stark County government/political scheme of things political independence and fair opportunities are by and large rhetorical political catchphrases which have very little expression and implementation in our two-main-political-party structure.