Friday, May 29, 2015

BREAKING NEWS !!! STARK DEMS & 7 DEMOCRAT CANTON CITY COUNCIL MEMBERS (ALSO OHIO DEMOCRATIC PARTY) FILE PROTEST TO STARK BOE ON TOM BERNABEI "INDEPENDENT" FILING FOR MAYOR OF CANTON

UPDATED/REVISED AT 09:05 A.M. MONDAY, JUNE 1ST

CORRECTION:

Councilmember-at-Large Jimmy Babcock has advised the SCPR that he DID NOT sign Bernabei's petition as The Report cited fellow councilman Bill Smuckler as saying.  

Accordingly, the SCPR has revised that part of the text of this blog originally referring to the Smuckler report.

It appears now that The Report may have misunderstood Smuckler's statement about Babcock.  

If such is the case, the SCPR certainly apologizes for possibly having misinterpreted Councilman Smuckler's remarks.

STORY FIRST POSTED AT 2:57 P.M. ABOUT 45 MINUTES BEFORE ANY OTHER STARK COUNTY MEDIA OUTLET

WEEKEND UPDATES:

Saturday, 8:00 a.m.

Why weren't Councilpersons Hawk (Ward 1), Babcock (at-large) and Smuckler (at-large) among the Canton City Council protesters to Tom Bernabei's as an "independent" candidacies?

Answer:

Rather obvious, when you think about it.

As pointed out by Member Smuckler in a conversation earlier today with the SCPR; he, and Hawk signed Bernabei's petition.

As to Member Babcock, the SCPR has no answer as to why he did not join in on the Stark Dems' protest.

Smuckler also signed - there being no question about it (the SCPR think) in terms of Board of Elections certification on June 17th - the petition "running as an "independent" of Councilman Richard Hart (at-Large).

Hart, a former Republican, ran and won (somewhat surprisingly) as an "independent" in November, 2013 when Democrat "Expected to Win" Roland K. Burns, III became a media controversial figure over some rental property issues he encountered with Canton government.










Friday, 6:00 p.m

SCPR Blog LINK (March 14, 2014) to prior Bernabei involvement in McTigue as Stark Board of Elections attorney for George T. Maier when Maier's certification as a candidate in 2014 was at issue.

Commissioners video, including Bernabei, of course, on the question of whether or the Stark Commmissioners would appoint McTigue at $8,000 of county taxpayer funds to retain McTigue for Maier



UPDATED:  4:02 PM

CHECK BACK 
FOR CONTINUING UPDATES 
OVER THE WEEKEND



LINK to McTigue website.

SCPR Note:  Initially Bernabei was considering hiring locally prominent attorney Allen Schulman (president of Canton City Council).
  • Reports have persisted that Schulman was being pressured by various local Democrats not to get involved in representing Bernabei because of alleged conflicts in interest in that Schulman as indicated above is president of Canton City Council and as such works Healy who is the Democratic Party nominee (endorsed by the Ohio Democratic Party in the Healy/Perez [Canton treasurer]) for Canton mayor in the upcoming November general election).
  • Schulman denies that anyone connected with the Healy campaign or the Stark/Ohio Democratic Parties put pressure on him not to represent Bernabei, and, moreover:
    • Schulman says that had there been such pressure that would have prompted him to take on representing Bernabei.
    • Schulman says that he decided not to take on representing Bernabei in deference to Don McTigue whom he thinks is the foremost lawyer in all of Ohio on Ohio election law.
A copy of a press release from Chairman Phil Giavasis is the first post on this SCPR "breaking news" blog reporting the filing of a protest with the Stark County Board of Elections seven of twelve members of Canton City Council, the Stark County Democratic Party and the Ohio Democratic Party.

Part of the protest is supported by excerpts from the following Stark County Political Report videotaped interview with Bernabei conducted on Wednesday, May 6, 2015.



Readers can click on the "Click here to view the filing" to go to Dropbox to see the actual filing, or, immediately following the press release the SCPR has uploaded the document to Google Docs which makes the filing document available in pdf format immediately below the press release.



A copy of the actual filing.

IS MASSILLON READY FOR SCOTT GRABER AS MAYOR?




On May 5th Massillon voters almost took "a flyer" in terms of taking a risk on who is going to be mayor of Massillon.



While the SCPR thinks that Mayor Kathy Catazaro-Perry has been (be kind now, Martin) "less than satisfactory" as the mayor of Massillon since taking office on January 1, 2012; she is a known quantity.

Had J. David Ress picked up 43 votes in the final total votes cast for mayor in his head-to-head with Catazaro-Perry, he would be the odds-on-favorite to become Massillon's chief executive.

And he is an unknown quantity.

For he has no government chief executive experience whatsoever.  In fact, he has never held any government position; elected or unelected.

That Ress came so close to taking her out, makes it seem as if Massillon is ready to jettison Mayor Kathy.

Let's say for the sake of argument that in November there is a three-way race for the Massillon mayoralty assuming for the moment at both former mayor (for 24 years) Francis H. Cicchinelli, Jr., and Massillon gadfly Scott Graber (both last registered as Democrats) get certified to run as "independents" for Massillon's top administrative job.


And let's take the matter one step further.

We know what to expect from Cicchinelli as mayor.

We know what to expect from Catazaro-Perry as mayor.

Nobody knew what to expect from J. David Ress as mayor, but many Massillon Democrats were willing to take that risk apparently because they did not like what the known quantity was dishing out.

Let's say that the "take a risk" factor persists and grows in the general election.

Are Massillonians ready for this?

MAYOR SCOTT R. GRABER!!!

In recent days, Mister Graber has copied The Stark County Political Report on a series of his e-mails to a State of Ohio official.

The SCPR thinks the e-mail exchanges show that Graber has - to put the best face on it - a major problem with his thinking processes and seemingly plays pretty loose if not unethically in making representations that most folks would think are untenable.

However, that is nothing new because that is generally the reaction of yours truly when "you've got mail" from Scott R. Graber graces the tramols@att.net email account.

The first e-mail is a copy of an electronic letter Graber sent to Ohio Office of Budget and Management Financial Planning Administrator Sharon Hanrahan, the highly competent, engaging and responsive chairperson of the Massillon Financial Planning and Supervision Commission (MFP&SC, Commission).

Hardly someone would want as mayor, no?

But the Ress near miss on defeating the mayor may be a harbinger that Graber might more a factor in the outcome of the November general election (assuming he and/or Cicchinelli make the ballot) than the SCPR currently expects.

In October, 2013, Mayor Catazaro-Perry succeeded in convincing the State of Ohio Auditor Dave Yost - on the slimmest of grounds (a cash flow problem) - that Massillon be placed is fiscal emergency which brought the MFP&SC in to existence.

The Commission under the guidance of the capable Chairperson Hanrahan has been struggling to get a sustainable plan which seems reasonably certain of succeeding on bringing new revenues into Massillon's financial coffers.

The key has been to get Massillon voters to approve a tax increase.  Two income tax proposals (only one of which was directly tied to a Restoration Plan approved by the MFP&SC) have been overwhelmingly rejected by Massillonians.

A factor (probably not a key one given her close call in the May 5th Democratic primary) in the levy rejections has been the outright opposition (the first attempt) and lukewarm at best attitude of Mayor Catazaro-Perry to the levy initiatives.

The missing ingredient in coming up with "a reasonably certain of implementation" plan?

You've got it!

Massillion's very own "Boy Wonder:  Scott R. Graber," candidate for mayor of Massillon.

Yesterday, he sends out this e-mail:


No legal bar to making "extramunicipals" (non-Massillonians who work in Massillon) pay 3.8% of their income to fund Massillon government with residents working in Massillon paying absolutely zero?

Hmm?

And all on the authority of MFP&SC (also Ohio Budget and Management Financial Planning Administrator) Sharon Hanrahan?

That's what Graber said this past Wednesday in this 3:54 a.m. (how about that!) e-mail:


Here's Graber (an extract) of e-mail to Hanrahan on Tuesday:


Hanrahan's response:


How would Chairperson/Adminstrator Hanrahan react to Graber's assertion as her being legal authority for his proposition that it would be legal to have non-residents working in Massillon pay a 3.8% income tax to support all of Massillon government leaving resident Massillonians working in Massillon free of any income tax whatsoever?


Chairperson Sharon Hanrahan is impressive to the SCPR in her conduct of the MFP&SC proceedings and her willingness to deal with the likes of Graber.

The Report trusts that her experience with Graber will not alter her leadership style which is to say:
  • open, 
  • forthcoming, 
  • respectful, and 
  • responsive to one and all.
It will be interesting to see whether or not she is willing to be communicative with Graber going forward.

Of course, it is her choice to make.

Who would blame her if she were to make Graber an exception to her assumed role of being responsive to all to contact her in her official capacity?

But she may have to consider that these are weird political times and it might be that she as chairperson of the Massillon Financial Planning and Supervision Commission might have to deal with?

Mayor Scott Graber!

Wouldn't that be a trip!!!

Thursday, May 28, 2015

WILL THE HALL OF FAME VILLAGE PROJECT "MERELY" BE ANOTHER "UTICA SHALE" HYPE?



Nobody wanted to be a naysayer last Tuesday when the lords of national, Ohio and Stark County economic development and finance rolled out their bus filled with goodies for everyone at the Pro Football Hall of Fame situs on Fulton Drive in Canton, to wit:
05/19/2015 [Press Release] 
Hall of Fame Village, the visionary project concept announced by the Pro Football Hall of Fame last fall, will have a major economic impact according to the results released this morning from a study conducted by Conventions, Sports & Leisure International (CSL).
HOF Village, the study concluded, will generate $15.3 billion in cumulative net new total economic output within Stark County, home of the Hall of Fame, over the next 25 years.
Additionally, a total of 13,375 new full and part-time jobs will be created within the county during the peak year of the project. (emphasis added)
For if one had critical questions, that "juiced up" bus rolling down the hill from Fawcett Stadium into the parking area of the Pro Football Hall of Fame complex (HOF) would have flattened the questioner so flat as to make that former person making her/his trek to the parked car indistinguishable from the asphalt making up the parking lot.

More than anything else, the overlords of the HOF Village Project need to have sober minded citizens step forward with incisive and meaningful questions.

Only if insightful questions that dig "the devil out of the details" are respectfully entertained and authentically responded to with the HOF Village Project "be - all that it can be."

And the SCPR thinks, since Canton is the site of the HOF and is the county seat of Stark County, every Cantonians and for that matter every Stark Countian (remember 13,995 might be coming to Stark County) should be hoping and praying that Stark County commissioner Thomas Bernabei qualifies on June 17th to run as an "independent" for mayor of Canton.

The Report thinks that Bernabei is the only Stark County political figure and leader who has the capability of striking a balance between asking telling questions and insisting on "makes sense" answers and the obvious hullabaloo and euphoria that is now the order of the day.

The HOF Village Project is something to get excited about.

But as current mayor William J. Healy's handling of the Utica shale (aided ad abetted by the Canton Regional Chamber of Commerce) supposedly coming to and being the economic/financial savior of Canton showed; hype followed up with relatively little in substance (LINK) is the fertile ground upon which citizen cynicism flourishes and abounds.



Canton and Stark County do not need cheerleading; they need "let's roll up our sleeves" and work together to make this thing happen to the advantage of every Canton, Stark County citizen in one fashion or another with a percolating factor to the benefit of citizens statewide and countrywide.

Nobody has stepped forward to admit it, but the SCPR thinks the last minute filing by Thomas Bernabei to run against Healy for mayor was prompted by pressure being applied by private sector movers and shakers who have to be more than a tad nervous with Healy being in place at Canton City Hall over the next "critical" four years as the HOF Village Project gets underway.


While the shale oil phenomenon and wild predictions by Mayor Healy and the brain trust that runs the Canton Regional Chamber of Commerce (Chamber) has pretty much been a bust - as compared to the initial hyped predictions - for Canton and Stark County, the HOF Village Project need not be.

Interesting enough, the Chamber has this event planned for June 10th, to wit:


The Report can hear it already:  that is to say, the excuse making, if not, a continuing the hype - "phenomenal success is just around the corner" jargon.

Officials (public and private sector) should learn a lesson from the Utica experience and back off the euphoria on the HOF Village Project and let real numbers as they evolve "do the talking."

And as the SCPR sees it, there is an essential need for:
  • sober minded, 
  • inquiring and requiring answers to questions that "make sense"
    • thinking, and acting public and private sector officials 
to be in place to ensure that the public can have confidence that the job numbers claimed (13,775) or better will be achieved.

Now that the party is over (May 19, 2015); the real work begins.

And it needs to be productive as it is claimed it will be or it will result in the general Stark County public becoming a consummately cynical public which is a hole that it is nearly impossible to dig out of.

Indeed, the HOF Village Project COULD BE the the cure to all that ails Stark County and her county seat Canton.

But question remains:  Will it turn out to be "all it could be?"

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

#1 - THE SCPR "BOTTOM 10" (I.E. WORST) STARK COUNTY POLITICAL SUBDIVISION ELECTED OFFICIALS



This blog is the tenth in a series of 10 blogs until today's blog which is the one all of Stark County has been waiting for as  The Stark County Political Report names the absolutely worst Stark County political subdivision "elected" official.

Indeed, we have reached the end point of the list most viewed of any series that the SCPR has ever done in the blogs' seven plus years of existence.

To those elected officials who have captured the SCPR's attention enough to have made the list: CONGRATULATIONS!

For those readers who are just catching up with the list, here are links to these previous selectees:
To be sure, there are some pretty bad "un-elected" ones, but the SCPR's focus in this series is of the "elected" variety.

The Report has asked readers to weigh-in as to whom will achieve the dubious distinction of being Stark County's worst from among the list of county, village, city and board of education officials who have convinced their respective constituents to vote for them.

Interestingly enough, three respondents to yours truly's request that readers send their guess to has successfully figured out the name of the official who today is blessed with the unveiling of being the absolutely worst - in the opinion of SCPR - Stark County political subdivision elected official.

To boot, a high level Stark County "elected" official whispered that official's name into the ear of yours truly and BINGO! that official hit the jackpot as to whom #1 is.

For those elected officials who missed out on this quarterly in making the bottom ten list of Stark County political subdivision officials - just you wait.  For come August 1 or thereabouts, the SCPR will be out with an updated list.

Judge Dixie Park of the Stark County Court of Common Pleas - Probate Division, is this first quarterly edition's absolutely worst Stark County "elected" public official.

It your name is Barbara Lockhart, a everyday Stark County citizen who had the misfortune to appear before Judge Park in October, 2013, you have to believe that the SCPR is "right on the mark," in selecting Park as Stark County's worst.

For in October of 2013 Ms. Lockhart lost - for some 10 days - what we all hold near and dear:  "our personal liberty."

She lost it in Judge Park unconstitutionally denying to her  a citizens due process of law rights, so said the Fifth District Court of Appeals on August 14, 2014.


All Stark Countians who read the SCPR should read the two blogs that The Report devoted to the legal travesty visited on Ms. Lockhart by Dixilene Park.
To the SCPR, it is more than a tad ironic that on September 18th immediately past Judge Park was the speaker at the University of Mount Union (Alliance, Ohio) in celebration of the University's annual Constitution Day celebration.

And there is more "unconstitutional" administering of justice by Judge Park:


Are you ready for more on Judge Park and her seeming inability to apply the law correctly? (LINK to underlying blog)



And perhaps still another reversal on due process of law constitutional grounds by the Fifth District Court of Appeals in the offing?  (LINK to blog with details)


As her highly questionable competence as a judge were not enough, it appears that what is hoped for a non-partisan judge may be missing from Judge Park.

From a July 21, 2014 SCPR blog:


To top things off, the SCPR has information from folks in a position to know who say that Judge Park:
  • is impossible to work for in that she is known to have fired good quality employees on the whim of an emotional outburst, and
  • seemingly has a list of favored/disfavored attorneys who get rewarded/punished depending, of course, on which list they are on.
Here's a real zinger.

The Report is told by Stark County Republican Party insiders that Judge Park is actively campaigning for - get this - Judge Sheila Farmer's seat on the Fifth District Court of Appeals.

Mind you, a court that has reversed her twice and may soon do so again.

Judge Farmer is retiring with the end of her current term next year.

It is unclear to The Report, but seems (according to reports) that Park has sought at the very least Farmer's neutrality in what will be an intra-party fight for the Republican nomination for the seat.

When the SCPR asks around about the prospect of Judge Dixie Park on the Fifth District Court of Appeals, the response is surprisingly favorable as compared to her remaining probate judge.

"Well," it is typically said, "she would be one of six (the entire court) or one of three (an empaneled court) and presumably can do less damage there than she has done in the probate court."

To which the SCPR answers:  How about her being on NO Stark County court!

And The Report has reason to believe that Judge Park's past is about to catch up with her and her days as a judge at any level of the judiciary are numbered.

We can only hope, no?

For all the foregoing reasons (and more which The Report cut short to make this blog readable in terms of length), Judge Dixilene Park far and away over otherwise richly deserving competitors deserves the dubious distinction of being a runaway choice for the worst elected public official in all of Stark County!!!


Tuesday, May 26, 2015

#2 - THE SCPR "BOTTOM 10" (I.E. WORST) STARK COUNTY POLITICAL SUBDIVISION ELECTED OFFICIALS



VIDEO

ENCORE PRESENTATION

COUNCILWOMAN-AT-LARGE
MARCIA KIESLING
ON THE
HEALTHCARE INSURANCE ISSUE

This blog is the ninth in a series of 10 blogs until the tenth one in which The Stark County Political Report will name the absolutely worst Stark County political subdivision "elected" official.

Indeed, we have reached the midpoint of the list most viewed of any series that the SCPR has ever done in the blogs' seven plus years of existence.

To those elected officials who have captured the SCPR's attention enough to have made the list: CONGRATULATIONS!

For those readers who are just catching up with the list, here are links to these previous selectees:
To be sure, there are some pretty bad "un-elected" ones, but the SCPR's focus in this series is of the "elected" variety.

The Report has asked readers to weigh-in as to whom will achieve the dubious distinction of being Stark County's worst from among the list of county, village, city and board of education officials who have convinced their respective constituents to vote for them.

Interestingly enough, two respondents to yours truly's request that readers send their guess to tramols@att.net has successfully figured out the name of the official who will be blessed in a few days with the unveiling of the absolutely worst - in the opinion of SCPR - Stark County political subdivision elected official.

To boot, in recent days a high level Stark County "elected" official whispered that officials name into the ear of yours truly and BINGO! that official hit the jackpot as to whom #1 is.

So tomorrow is "a really BIG DEAL" for some high blessed Stark County elected official.

It is not everyday that one gets designated as the "absolutely worst" Stark County elected official.

A bad as the SCPR thinks #10 through #2 are for good government, there was no question from the get-go who #1 was going to be.

Today, though, The Report names "a really tough lady" (in her own estimate, just ask her) who is a member of the North Canton City Council as the penultimate worst Stark County elected official.

Indeed!  None other than Ms. "Stark County Republicanism Personified" Marcia Kiesling.

An early in the life of the SCPR tête-à-tête between yours truly and Kiesling was her making the point how tough she is.

Such is a compliment to The Report inasmuch as it communicates how much on edge the likes of Kiesling are when they have to face the SCPR camera with questions about their obvious "my way or the highway" anti-citizen attitudes.

As The Stark County Political Report sees her, she has the distinction of being the most anti-democratic-republican councilperson in all of Stark County in the context being an elected representative in relationship to her citywide constituents.

A good part of the "anti-citizen-participation-in-your-government" attitude of North Canton government (from council's perspective) emanates, the SCPR believes, from the tone set by Councilwoman-at-Large Kiesling.

Undoubtedly, it was a mere co-incidence that the first words out of the mouth Law Director Tim Fox shortly after moving from Ward 3 councilman to being director:
  • whom the SCPR thinks was a primary person along with Councilman Jeff Peters in making Fox North Canton's lawyer
    • with the understanding that he take on the role of knuckling down on the likes of the Concerned Citizens of North Canton and
      • their efforts to make North Canton government:
        • accessible,
        • accountable,
        • communicative,
        • responsive, and
        • transparent
was to tell Martin Olson how tough he is.

Hmm?

Think maybe Councilwoman Kiesling might have had a hand in that?

She was anything but tough when it came out that she, political bedfellow Stephanie Werren (Ward 3 originally appointed successor to Tim Fox; she also a Republican as is Fox), Peters (a Republican, Ward 2) and John Snyder (a Republican and former Ward 4 councilman) on the legal opinion of Fox elected for a time after the November, 2012 vote to maintain North Canton taxpayer paid for healthcare insurance benefits in the face of North Cantonians having voted in November, 2012 to take away such benefits by an overwhelming majority.




The Report's recollection is that immediately after her SCPR videotaped comments, a highly emotional Marcia Kiesling had to exit the meeting for a short period to collect herself.

Tough?

In addition to the health care insurance debacle, Kiesling, the SCPR thinks, is "up to her eyeballs" in North Canton Council's failure to control Director Fox.

There are a score of issues on which it appears to the SCPR Fox is decidedly antagonistic to facilitating citizen participation in North Canton government.  However, The Report does not think for a nanosecond that he is "on a lark of his own."

The Report believes that he has his marching orders from the likes of Kiesling, Peters and Werren.  For the rest of council, it seems they lack the gumption to contend with Kiesling, Peters and Werren to rein Fox in.

A particularly vexing problem for the Concerned Citizens of North Canton has been to get compliance with many of their public records requests.  And, in a manner set out in the request. (LINK to Citizen Miriam Baughman on public records)



To reiterate, here is a long list (a partial one at that) of North Canton government's  (principally city council) abrasive relationship with its citizens and today's selectee; namely, Councilwoman-at-Large Marcia Kiesling, the SCPR believes, has been a major player each step of the way.


As indicated above, the SCPR thinks that Kiesling is politically tight with Law Director Fox and a chief enabler of his arrogance.

Take a look at this photo of Fox huddled up with Kiesling, Snyder at the November 4th "day before election" Election Commission hearing.   McCleaster (an at-large opponent of Kieslings in 2013 and the object of her Ohio Elections Commission ethics complaint says:
That exact moment was to be a last minute negotiations between parties and Law Director Fox interjected himself in a way (as we have always maintained) that he was assisting Kiesling and Snyder with their respective cases.

And this is what the SCPR had to write at the time:


Hmm?

Merely there as an observer?

Notwithstanding Kiesling's Ohio Election Commission "success," except on the issue of Kiesling's council attendance record; McCleaster came very close the next day in becoming a fellow council member.


The SCPR figures that this time around (the 2015 elections), he will succeed.

It is not likely that Kiesling will be his political victim, but who knows; stranger things have happened.

Such would be a measure of poetic justice.

For her apparent lead in being a Tim Fox enabler/director which in effect seems close to making the law director "the be all" in North Canton government and appears to entail a concomitant derogation of citizen participation in that government and thereby making North Canton City Council the very worst in all of Stark County; Macia Kiesling is well deserving of being #2, joining #7 - Daniel "Jeff Peters" (council president) on the SCPR 10 Worst Stark County Elected Officials list.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

#3 - THE SCPR "BOTTOM 10" (I.E. WORST) STARK COUNTY POLITICAL SUBDIVISION ELECTED OFFICIALS

UPDATED AT NOON, 05/23/2015



This blog is the eighth in a series of 10 blogs until the tenth one in which The Stark County Political Report will name the absolutely worst Stark County political subdivision "elected" official.

Indeed, we have reached the midpoint of the list most viewed of any series that the SCPR has ever done in the blogs' seven plus years of existence.

To those elected officials who have captured the SCPR's attention enough to have made the list: CONGRATULATIONS!

For those readers who are just catching up with the list, here are links to these previous selectees:
To be sure, there are some pretty bad "un-elected" ones, but the SCPR's focus in this series is of the "elected" variety.

The Report has asked readers to weigh-in as to whom will achieve the dubious distinction of being Stark County's worst from among the list of county, village, city and board of education officials who have convinced their respective constituents to vote for them.

Interestingly enough, two respondents to yours truly's request that readers send their guess to tramols@att.net has successfully figured out the name of the official who will be blessed in a few days with the unveiling of the absolutely worst - in the opinion of SCPR - Stark County political subdivision elected official.

To boot, in recent days a high level Stark County "elected" official whispered that officials name into the ear of yours truly and BINGO! that official hit the jackpot as to whom #1 is.

Today's selection is "bigger than life itself" (at least in his own mind) Johnnie A. Maier, Jr.

His day job is as the elected clerk of courts for the Massillon Municipal Courts, having been first elected in November as sort of a refugee camp since he was term-limited out of the Ohio House of Representatives (a limit of 10 consecutive years) first in the 49th, then the 56th and lastly in the 50th Ohio House District (all of which were in his terms pretty much the same geographic area except in the beginning he has Democratic candidate friendly city of Massillon in his district.


Had it not been for Ash running into legal troubles, there is a decent chance that Maier, Jr. would have been lost in "the sea of political oblivion."

And as a consequence of his being a political non-entity, the SCPR thinks, Stark County's political and governance structure historically and currently would have been/be of  a much higher quality

From a November 5, 2008, SCPR blog:


Among his most significant early supporters was the-then Democratic Perry Township trustee Gayle Jackson who became a Stark County commissioner in the election of November, 1992.

That is the timeframe that he would have picked up with his current chief deputy R. Shane Jackson and together they have sought to create a Massillon political juggernaut which now has tenacles spreading throughout Stark County.

Shane Jackson is and has been for quite a few years political director of the Stark County Democratic Party.

Maier, Jr. is a former Stark Dems chairman (2004 through 2009) who currently serves as a executive vice president.

It appears that these two specialize in being cowardly "behind the scenes" political operators.

A number of years ago a blog entitled The Massillon Review (begun in March, 2010) appeared on the Stark County political horizon.

Since then:
  • it has been off, 
  • then on again, 
  • then off again, and
  • now, since right before the May, 2015 primary election, on again
There seems to be a correspondence between the publication of the blog and the political needs of the Maier/Jackson/Eddie Elum sponsored (directed?) mayor of Massillon Kathy Catazaro-Perry.

The SCPR believes that this "anonymously published blog" is the work of principal Shane Jackson with support and encouragement of Maier, Jr.

If The Report's take on authorship is correct, one has to wonder what the time of day and what the locale is when the blogs are put together?

Maybe The Massillon Review will address those questions in forthcoming blogs?

The most distressing thing about the Maier/Jackson political operations to Stark Countians is the tenacles thing.

Johnnie himself will tell you what a great clerk of courts he has been.  On the court's website, he calls himself the Honorable Johnnie A. Maier, Jr.



In a technical/mechanical sense, there may be some credence to his claim.

But The Report has had reports that quite of number of employees feel quite intimidated by him and that he has groused a number of them.

Moreover, The Report thinks that being clerk is more like being a sidelight for him and that his primary interest and function is creating a political empire across the county witness his all-out, consummate effort to get his brother George T. Maier elected sheriff.

Accordingly, it is Maier's political effect, if any, from his elected-official- base that catches the SCPR's attention.

The Report is highly skeptical that Maier, Jr. can do all that he is doing in Massillon and Stark County, Stark County political subdivsion circles without same somehow overlapping with the timeframe one within which he performs in adminstrative duties as the Massillon clerk of courts.

As stated in yesterday's blog on Mayor Kathy Catazaro-Perry, it is common knowledge among Massillon's officialdom that there appears to be a well worn pathway between the mayor's office and the clerk of courts.

Now does Maier, Jr. mean to tell us that those back-and-forth trips are exclusively about court business with the mayor's office (Judge Eddie Elum's wife Margaret is Catazaro-Perry's top administrative official) and there is nary a word or consideration of the political aspects of being mayor of Massillon?

Clearly, that is the implication.

And it may be true.

But who is going to believe it?

Maier, Jr. remains highly involved in Stark Countywide political operations and in the opinion of The Stark County Political Report has had a significant hand in those elected officials who are included in the following graphic attaining office.


Many of the pictured elected officials could easily make future SCPR quarterly updates as being among Stark County's top 10 worst elected officials.

What a legacy, no?

So for what appears to be (i.e. the perception of) to a number of Massillonian and Stark County political observers his blurring of the lines between his being clerk of courts and his countywide political activity, The Report thinks he is deserving of being  #3 on the SCPR 10 Worst Stark County Political Subdivision Elected Official list.

Friday, May 22, 2015

#4 - THE SCPR "BOTTOM 10" (I.E. WORST) STARK COUNTY POLITICAL SUBDIVISION ELECTED OFFICIALS


UPDATE:  11.57 AM


ENCORE
VIDEO

MAYOR KATHY CATAZARO-PERRY
MAKES "RACISM & SEXISM"
CHARGES
AGAINST
MASSLLON CITY COUNCIL

This blog is the seventh in a series of 10 blogs until the tenth one in which The Stark County Political Report will name the absolutely worst Stark County political subdivision "elected" official.

Indeed, we have reached the midpoint of the list most viewed of any series that the SCPR has ever done in the blogs' seven plus years of existence.

To those elected officials who have captured the SCPR's attention enough to have made the list: CONGRATULATIONS!

For those readers who are just catching up with the list, here are links to these previous selectees:
To be sure, there are some pretty bad "un-elected" ones, but the SCPR's focus in this series is of the "elected" variety.

The Report has asked readers to weigh-in as to whom will achieve the dubious distinction of being Stark County's worst from among the list of county, village, city and board of education officials who have convinced their respective constituents to vote for them.

Interestingly enough, two respondents to yours truly's request that readers send their guess to tramols@att.net has successfully figured out the name of the official who will be blessed in a few days with the unveiling of the absolutely worst - in the opinion of SCPR - Stark County political subdivision elected official.

To boot, in recent days a high level Stark County "elected" official whispered that officials name into the ear of yours truly and BINGO! that official hit the jackpot as to whom #1 is.

The "winner" is NOT a member of the Maier Massillon Political Machine (MMPM).

We all just heard a sigh of relief - didn't we? - from Kathy, Johnnie, Jr., Phil, George, and the like.

Today, "Mayor Kathy" (the affectionate title applied to her by her ardent supporters) Catazaro-Perry is the yours truly's choice for the #4 spot on the SCPR 10 Worst "Elected" [Stark County political sudivision] Officials list.

Having achieved the #4 position the list, Catazaro-Perry has to be the envy of the rest of the elected officials within the bevy of those who comprise what the SCPR calls the Maier Massillon Political Machine (MMPM).

But the remaining aspirants still have hope that one if not three of them can attain #3 on the list.

Numbers 2 and 1 are reserved for others.

So tomorrow, those remaining MMPM elected officials should be up bright and early to learn whether or not one of them attains a more prominent place on the bottom 10 list of Stark County worst elected officials list than Mayor Kathy.

The Report is betting that one of them will best Mayor Kathy.

Recently, the SCPR had a conversation with a Stark County political subdivision elected official who wanted to go on, and on, and on about Mayor Catazaro-Perry's "good works" out in the Stark County high society where Noblesse Oblige is a mandatory quality and characteristic in order to part of high society.

And God Bless the mayor for her good works for the less fortunate among us.

But that does not "an effective mayor" make her.

As the SCPR has written from the time that talk started about her running for mayor, she was not and continues not to be up to being mayor.

And that pains The Report to say.

For the SCPR is one of Stark County's foremost advocates for women taking their place as every bit the equals of men as leaders in Stark County government, elected and unelected.

Unfortunately, Catazaro-Perry does not bring her own qualities to bear on being mayor of Massillon.


Perhaps, if she were to, she might find out that the wizards she relies on are not all that wizardly.

It is well known that there is a well-worn pathway between the Mayor's office and that of Clerk of Courts Johnnie A. Maier, Jr. (the Massillon Municipal Court) and his protege and chief deputy R. Shane Jackson.

The common understanding is that Mayor Kathy not make any chief executive officer of Massillon decision without it passing muster with Maier, Jr. and Jackson.

Therein lies her problem.

It could be (noting her touted "good works" effectiveness) that buried deep within the mayor there are qualities that if released would make her an effective mayor that would place her in the annals of being one of the all time great mayors of Massillon.

Someone has convinced Mayor Kathy that she is not up to the task of being her own person as Massillon's mayor.

From day one as mayor (January 1, 2012), she has adopted a combative relationship with Massillon City Council which continues to this day as evidenced by the rejection of the Massillon Financial Planning and Supervision Commission (MFP&SC) of the joint proposal (Restoration Plan) signed onto by herself and council to bring Massillon out of fiscal emergency status imposed on the city by the State of Ohio Auditor (SOA) on the initiative of the mayor herself.

With last Tuesday's MFP&SC rejection (which Catazaro-Perry joined in) of the Restoration Plan, the SCPR thinks that it is becoming "bigger than life itself" that Massillon departments of government will soon be ordered by the MFP&SC to make 15% across-the-board cuts.

This for a city that barely qualified to be placed in fiscal emergency in the first place.

There are six criteria, one of which an Ohio government entity has to meet in order to have the dubious distinction as being designated as being in fiscal emergency.

Massillon qualified on the basis of having a cash flow problem.

Much of the deficit in cash flow, the SCPR thinks, was bogus in terms of being based on "real" numbers and therefore the current "in the black" status pretty much as occurred on the correction of errant data.

The Report thinks that the idea of Catazaro-Perry pushing and pushing for the SOA determination had to do with the mayor's advisers (Maier, Jr., Jackson and perhaps Judge Eddie Elum [who apparently does not have enough to keep him busy as judge]) understanding the dynamic what the immediately preceding paragraph of this blog outlines.

Understanding same, The Report believes, gave birth to  "a political Aha! moment" among the mayor's deep thinkers.

Why not capitalize on the cash flow problem created by former Mayor Frank Cicchinelli's administration by insisting on a SOA determination of fiscal emergency and thereby set up a easily resolved in not self-resolving remedy and make Mayor Kathy appear to be a financial miracle worker?

Unfortunately, for everyday Massillonians the fix is not as easily fixed as the deep thinkers might have thought.

Since Massillon has not had new tax infusion revenues (except for a small Parks and Recreation levy) since 1976, it seems that it has been discovered by the MFP&SC that the revenue stream going forward will not sustain absolutely needed increased projected expenditures due to:
  • an ever present inflation factor (though low, it is real), 
  • an aging vehicle fleet, 
  • being way behind in road and street repairs,
  • an inadequate safety forces manning factor, and
  • other "lurking" infrastructure problems
One way or another Massillonians will have to pass an increase in revenues by an income tax increase or property tax increase.

Hence, the political gambit (in one buys into the SCPR take on what the mayor and her "Kitchen Cabinet" concocted in the deep recesses of their ruminations) may well come back to haunt the mayor.

Once "the genie is let out of the bottle," getting it back in "ain't" so easy.

That's what political manipulators for personal political benefit do to the unsuspecting public all across America.

And that's the dilemma the SCPR thinks the easily used Mayor Kathy Catazaro-Perry (not originally a Massillonian) by the hand of two of her politically calculating chief advisers (Maier, a resident of Tuscarawas Township; Jackson a resident of Perry Township) have put Massillonians into.

It is one thing if politicians "get hoisted by their own petard."

One can even take a delight when that happens to them.

But for day-in, day-out Massillonians to get caught up in what the SCPR thinks is at its heart an instance of political gamesmanship is truly outrageous.

Such is why many politicians are held in utter disdain by workaday Americans.

There are other  basès on which the SCPR could rest in making Mayor Kathy Catazaro-Perry #4 on the the list of the worst elected political subdivision officials in Stark County government.

One that Mayor Kathy should never be permitted to forget is the Massillon City Council meeting in which she accused council of being racist and sexist for questioning the fiscal viability in hiring Dwan St. John as a member of Mayor Kathy's administration.



Talking about sexism, the SCPR has a hunch that many Massillon/Stark County women would likely find it gender-insulting for a woman mayor to have rely in two or three key male advisers to seemingly guide all her executive decisions for the city of Massillon.

If such is sexism, of course, it would be because the men advisers think they have prop up a female mayor who they apparently think is not up to being mayor on her own.

But the "fiscal emergency status" thing seems to The Report to be what yours truly thinks was politically contrived set up designed over the longer term to make Kathy look good for re-election" scheme is in and of itself ground enough to to justify the #4 designation.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

BREAKING NEWS!!! CICCHINELLI & BERNABEI "LAWYERED UP" FOR FIGHT TO BE ON NOVEMBER BALLOT AS "INDEPENDENT."

UPDATED:  05/21/2015 at 5:15 p.m.

HEALY PREPARES FOR FIGHT, TOO!

Tom Bernabei retains Allen Schulman to represent him and William J. Healy, II retains Lee Plakas to represent him on the issue of whether or not Bernabei is certifiable as an "independent" candidate for mayor of Canton versus Democrat Healy.

Stark County Board of Elections to meet on June 17, 2015 at 08:30 a.m. to decide the question.


REPUBLICATION:  Originally published Wednesday afternoon at about 5:00 p.m.

UPDATED:  05/21/2015 AT 3:30 p.m.



WHEN IS CATAZARO-PERRY 
GOING TO GET LAWYERED UP?

BOE (MATTHEWS & MULLANE) RESPONSE



CONLEY'S LETTER TO BOARD OF ELECTIONS



The Stark County Political Report spoke former Massillon mayor (24 years) Frank Cicchinelli a couple of days ago about what he has in mind in terms of qualifying for certification on June 17th by the Stark County Board of Elections (SC-BOE) as an "independent" candidate for mayor against the woman (Kathy Catazaro-Perry) who defeated in the Democratic primary election of 2011 then easily defeated Republican Lee Brunckhart in the ensuing November election.

In the 2011 primary election, Cicchinelli did not campaign as he knew he should have.

Catazaro-Perry was then and remains the candidate of the Maier Massillon Political Machine put together by and run by former Stark County Democratic Party chairman Johnnie A. Maier, Jr. who is currently the Massillon Municipal Court clerk of courts.

Cicchinelli tells the SCPR that if he makes the ballot which he says he is confident he will, in the 2015 general election his primary opponent and her backers will see a much different Francis H. Cicchinelli, Jr. than they saw in 2011.

The politics of his getting certified by the BOE may be the toughest part of his fight according to his attorney Craig T. Conley.

Conley a well known civic activist who gave the MMPM fits in their successful fight to get Johnnie's brother George T. Maier on the November, 2014 general election ballot which in won by a narrow margin against Republican Larry Dordea in what was a banner election year for statewide Republicans even in Stark County.

The SCPR has not seen ticket-splitting of the likes of the 2014 general election for many, many of a moon.

Not only did Maier pull a rabbit out of the hat in what should have been a Dordea victory, but so did Democrat Chryssa Hartnett in defeating Kasich's man (in the sense that Republican governor John Kasich appointed him in the first place in 2013 to replace retired Stark Court of Common Pleas judge V. Lee Sinclair [a Republican himself]) Curtis Werren.

Werren's race was markedly closer than Dordea's.  However, with his direct line to the governor who certainly was willing to and did try to help in Stark County proper, Werren's loss (and maybe Dordea's too) how utterly ineffective the organized Stark County Republican Party under the leadership of Board of Elections director Jeff Matthews is.


It is anybody's guess as how the Republican's BOE members Braden and Cline will vote on the Cicchinelli certification question.

Does anyone think that Dems' members Ferruccio and Sherer, Jr. would dare vote for certifying Cicchinelli if it became obvious to them that doing so would be politically incorrect?


In the contesting of certification of George T. Maier to qualify to be on the November, 2014 general election ballot, the MMPM's mantra was "let the voters decide."

Just call the SCPR cynical about the MMPM, but The Report has this sneaking suspicion that Johnnie A. Maier, Jr. et al will not be encouraging Dem BOE members Ferruccio and Sherer, Jr. to vote for Cicchinelli's certification.

Look for the "let the voters decide" refrain to be missing from lips of the Maier faction of the Stark County Democratic Party on the Cicchinelli certification question.

If the Republicans do vote to certify Cicchinelli, it is near certain that Republican secretary of state Jon Husted will break a tie for certification.

Otherwise, Conley will have to win for Cicchinelli on the legal front.

And he says that Cicchinelli has the case law in his favor.

#5 - THE SCPR "BOTTOM 10" (I.E. WORST) STARK COUNTY POLITICAL SUBDIVISION ELECTED OFFICIALS

UPDATED:  2:40 PM



This blog is the sixth in a series of 10 blogs until the tenth one in which The Stark County Political Report will name the absolutely worst Stark County political subdivision "elected" official.

Indeed, we have reached the midpoint of the list most viewed of any series that the SCPR has ever done in the blogs' seven plus years of existence.

To those elected officials who have captured the SCPR's attention enough to have made the list: CONGRATULATIONS!

For those readers who are just catching up with the list, here are links to the previous three selectees:
To be sure, there are some pretty bad "un-elected" ones, but the SCPR's focus in this series is of the "elected" variety.

The Report has asked readers to weigh-in as to whom will achieve the dubious distinction of being Stark County's worst from among the list of county, village, city and board of education officials who have convinced their respective constituents to vote for them.

Interestingly enough, one respondent to yours truly's request that readers send their guess to tramols@att.net has successfully figured out the name of the official who will be blessed in a few days with the unveiling of the absolutely worst - in the opinion of SCPR - Stark County political subdivision elected official.

For those readers who want to join the elite group of successful guessers, here is a clue:

The "winner" is NOT a member of the Maier Massillon Political Machine (MMPM).

We all just heard a sigh of relief - didn't we? - from Kathy, Johnnie, Jr., Phil, George, and the like.

However, some of those devotees to the MMPM need to keep their fingers crossed in hopes that they will place somewhere in the remaining four slots.

Remember, none of them made the top spot.  Sorry guys!

Better luck in the next quarterly report.

Today's honoree is Stark County's top escape artist who over his 7-1/2 years as mayor of Canton has survived one self-inflicted scrape after another, and another seemingly on into infinity; namely, William J. Healy, II.

In order to accomplish his Houdini-esque feats, he has had to be Stark County's slickest politician ever, no?

When one looks at his campaign finance reports, it is interesting to see some of the names that appear on his latest list of contributors, to wit:


And Healy's to them:


The SCPR has a high regard for Councilpersons Mack and Mariol, especially Mack and his power of discernment, and therefore find it interesting that Healy has apparently convinced them that he - the mayor - is the real deal and is on way to solving Canton's many problems.

The Mack and Mariol justifications for having helped Healy defeat Kim Perez in the recently concluded Democratic primary are of the "hope and a prayer" variety to the SCPR.

As the SCPR understands Mack's and Mariol's rationale in connecting with the Healy mayoralty campaign is that they feared that Perez as mayor would undo all the work that Canton City Council has invested in the rebuilding of Canton.

While councilpersons ought to work with the executive branch for the betterment of Canton, making financial contributions to Healy's campaign is tantamount - the SCPR thinks - to an endorsement with the way Healy has been or, if not that but rather going forward, will administer the city.

Sorry guys, I don't see Healy as anything other than being a "smoke and mirrors" mayor as long as he is in office using political manipulation as his preferred tool

Of course, when they threw their lot in with Healy they did not know that Tom Bernabei's "independent" candidacy was coming.

If Bernabei makes it to the ballot, are they going to be sticking with Healy?

Stay tuned on that one.

Another thing to note about Healy's campaign finance reports is the erosion of Stark County Democratic officials and public figures contributions from his 2014 Annual Campaign Finance Report.

Go back and review the 2015 pre-primary list published above.

Now look at the 2014 report:



Quite an erosion, no?

In the 2015 report about 60% of the contributors were from outside Canton and approximately 25% were from outside Ohio.


Interesting, no?

The SCPR holds the distinction of having totally frustrated Hizzhonor in being unaffected by his "carrot and stick" approach to politics.

Healy has ignored, yelled at and sweet talked yours truly; all to no avail in his quest to influence what appears in these pages about his comings and goings as mayor of the Stark County county seat.

The latest episode in the rocky relationship going back to the beginnings of his administration occurred at Canton City Council meeting of May 11th.

Here's the video.

The way the SCPR assesses his turning ugly on the 11th has to do with his realization that "the [being mayor] gig is up" if his former service director and chief of staff (his very first one) Tom Bernabei makes it to November's ballot as an "independent."

Who knows, the guy might be back to sweet talking next week?

Rather than bore readers with a recitation of all his self-inflicted political injuries, here are a few links to blogs the SCPR has done since January, 2007 about the mayor.

What's worse for Stark Countians living within the boundary of Canton is that despite his many, many, many "spins" about the good things happening in the Hall of Fame City during his tenure as mayor, it appears to the SCPR that at best is stagnant if not continuing to slide.

There are pockets of Canton which have a poverty rate in the range of 40% which has persisted if not increased during William J. Healy, II's reign as the city's chief executive officer.

The streets and roadways are an absolute mess.

Demolition of abandoned residents lag.

Healy plays with Canton's crime rate numbers as if he were playing volleyball with them.

The mayor loves to take folks aside and say something like this:  "I can't tell you the specifics because negotiations are at a sensitive stage, but we are on the cusp of a REALLY BIG economic development job producing deal."

And nothing or very little materializes.

Healy has had nearly eight years to right the Ship of State Canton, but has failed to do so.


Accordingly, he is richly deserving of being ranked #5 on the SCPR 10 Stark County Worst Elected Officials list.