Wednesday, December 2, 2015


UPDATED:  11:55 AM (Manson video)


Massillon City Council
Looking Back,
Looking Forward

Nancy Halter
Milan Chovan
Ed Lewis
Paul Manson

Katherine Catazaro-Perry re-elected as mayor of Massillon with a "plurality" vote of 40.68% on Tuesday, November 3, 2015.

So 6 out 10 Massillon voters rejected her as their choice for continuing on.

  • "great" mathematician,
  • "great" political pundit, and
  • "great" spin artist,
Johnnie A. Maier, Jr., on election night at the Stark County Board of Election, said within the hearing of yours truly that Mayor Kathy had administered—his language, not the SCPR's—"an ass kicking."

That's the coarse language of a man who bills himself on his Massillon taxpayer provided website as being the Honorable Johnnie A. Maier, Jr.

Interesting, no? [40% of the vote being the equivalent of an "ass-kicking]

And, of course, for anybody who can add  2+ 2, patently inaccurate.

Undoubtedly, Maier, Jr uttered the obvious mischaracterization of the Catazaro-Perry plurality margin for a  tortured/twisted "in-your-face" aside to yours truly.

All that the absurd "ass kicking" spin did was to underscore the sensitivity that Maier, Jr., as the behind-the-scenes principal political glue holding the first Catazaro-Perry administration together, feels in face of frequent SCPR criticisms of the failure of the Maier, Jr. proxy to be an effective mayor.

To most Massillonians, that is to say that 60% of those voting; the figurehead mayor had failed them in providing quality basic government services.

Only Maier, Jr. can do the mental gymnastics to make the result other than what it really was.

A no-confidence vote interpretation is a rational interpretation of the vote as published by the Stark County Board of Elections as the final unofficial returns.

Had Frank Cicchinelli understood that Massillonians did not want to remedy the deficiencies of the present by going back to the past, Lee Brunckhart today would be mayor-elect of Massillon.

In the 2011 elections in which the Maier, Jr. stand-in defeated defeated long time fellow Democrat mayor Francis H. Cicchinelli, Jr. in the Democratic primary; Maier, Jr. and his clerk of courts sidekick (i.e. chief deputy clerk) and Stark County Democratic Party political director R. Shane Jackson apparently were so excited about defeating Cicchinelli that they forgot to tend the political store when it came to Massillon's council elections in the general election of 2011.

Largely, due to the hard political organization work of stalwart Massillon Republican Nancy Halter; astonishingly enough the Republicans:
  • Lewis [Ward 6], 
  • Peters [Ward 5], 
  • Halter [Ward 2], 
  • Cunningham-Hedderly [Ward 1], and 
  • Chovan [at-large]
took control of Massillon City Council.

You talk about having "political" egg on one's face, that's exactly how Maier, Jr. and Jackson (supposed Stark County Democratic political gurus) came out of the 2011 council elections.

While other Stark County political operative cognoscenti types did not literally laugh in Maier, Jr. and Jackson's faces; they certainly had to be smiling inwardly.

Ever since their humiliation in 2011, Maier, Jr. and Jackson have been fighting to regain control of council.

Looking at the results from November, 2013 (5 to 4 Democrat advantage),

and this past November 3rd (6 to 3 Dem margin), it "appears" they recovered quickly, no?

But hold on at least a New York minute!

What's the saying?

"Appearances can be deceiving?"

By any measure Catazaro-Perry had a rough time of it at the hand of council (the SCPR thinks because of her belligerence towards council) certainly for the first two years of Republican control which The Report thinks continued unabated through her last two years notwithstanding the Dems' being in the majority and the council president (a tie-breaker in case of a council tie vote) being a Democrat (Glenn Gamber succeeded by former Ward 4 councilman Tony Townsend).

Only Townsend, his successor Shaddrick Stinson and Ward 3 councilwoman Andrea Scassa seemed to escape the mayor's more or less nonstop ire.

One would think with a 6 to 3 majority coming out of the November 3rd election that Mayor Kathy can muster a 5 to 4 majority on controversial issues, no?

Not as the SCPR figures how the vote will go on matters that Catazaro-Perry needs to go her way on critical votes.

For sure, Dave Irwin and Linda Litman figure to dutifully line up for the mayor. 

What a step-down these two are from Nancy Halter and Michelle Del Rio-Keller, no?

Moreover, Andrea Scassa might well provide a third vote more times than not.

Beyond that?

It is hard to see Mayor Kathy getting beyond three votes on truly controversial issues that come before council.

So for all the effort of the Maier, Jr. Massillon Political Machine (MMPM) over the past four years, the plurality/minority-vote-mayor gains, perhaps, one vote?


All of which goes to say that the SCPR finds it hard to see how a second Catazaro-Perry administration fares better than her first.

And, if the March, 2016 Massillon Income Tax increase issue gets defeated once again; it appears that her administration will turnout to be in an absolute political nightmare for the mayor, her MMPM allies, and, most importantly, a governance horror for the everyday citizens of Massillonians.

Can you imagine the political bloodletting that will ensue between the mayor and council as expense cutting issues on basic city services are fought over?

The SCPR did talk with Councilpersons Halter (not returning to the 2016—17 council), Chovan, Lewis and Manson after Monday night's abbreviated special council meeting and the much longer work session to get a sense of their respective takes on the present council that concludes its term this month and the prospects for the future.

It appears to the SCPR that newly elected Councilman Ed Lewis, IV, as a councilman-at-large, (formerly Ward 6 councilman) has positioned himself to run for mayor of Massillon in 2019.

Lewis would not confirm on camera that he is preparing himself over the next two terms as councilman-at-large to run for mayor.

However, The Report has it from a highly reliable Massillon Republican source that such is exactly what Lewis plans.

Can you imagine the political paranoia that will be raging through the Catazaro-Perry/Maier, Jr./Jackson circles over the next four years?

Isn't it very hard to see the 40% voter approved Mayor Kathy Catazaro-Perry redeeming herself over the next four years?

It has been a very long time (1987, Delbert Demmer) since a Republican has been mayor of Massillon.

Maier, Jr's ultimate political legacy could be that his proxy fails once again and Republican Ed Lewis, IV becomes mayor of Massillon on January 1, 2020 breaking a 33 run of a Democrat mayor holding the office?

Here are the SCPR interview videos of  Councilpersons Halter, Chovan, Lewis and Manson from Monday evening.





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