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. 

No comments: