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.

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