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!

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