Thursday, January 28, 2016


Revised and Updated:  Friday, 9:55 a.m.

It is a sad state of affairs for Stark County political subdivision government when the top nominees for the SCPR "Bottom 10 List" (List) are judges.



Democrat Eddie Elum of the Massillon Municipal Court.

Republican Dixie Park of the Stark County Probate Court.

The Report thinks that a case for this periodic report updating of "The Bottom 10 List" for either to be #1.

The SCPR thinks that Judge Elum has been "a loose canon" for quite of few years but nobody figured this out until he finally ran afoul of Ohio's Disciplinary Counsel in October, 2012.  (LINK to Ohio Supreme Court decision, The Report urges readers to take in the opinion which is only some 10 pages long, double spaced)

Now there is a second disciplinary complaint pending against Elum,   (LINK to SCPR blog going into a detailed analysis of the complaint)

The differences between Elum and the SCPR started in March, 2010.

For a full appreciation of how "over-the-top" Elum got, readers really ought to go back and read The Report's blog of March 16, 2010 (LINK).

Recently, prominent Stark County-based criminal defense attorney Jeff Jakmides (filed as a write-in Republican candidate to run against Democrat prosecutor John Ferrero in November) wrote a glowing letter to the editor of The Canton Repository/Massillon Independent.  (LINK)

The Report refers to Jakmides letter for two reasons.

First, there is no doubt about it, there is a good side to Elum.

But the SCPR thinks he has no business whatsoever being a judge because he has repeatedly demonstrated that he lacks judicial temperament.

Though Jakmides said it in a jesting context,  he - as far as the SCPR is concerned - hit the nail on the head in saying that Elum ought to be wearing a frock rather than a judicial robe.

It is curious that Jakmides slides right over Elum's ethical problems as a judge but holds Park's feet to the fire.

Nothing like consistency, no?

One more thing:  Does Jakmides as an attorney appear before Elum?



Second, Jakmides praising Elum is a segue into a discussion of Stark County Probate Court judge Dixie Park who in the opinion of The Report - as a judge - is "nip and tuck" competitive to Elum as being Stark County's worst elected official.

For Jakmides who had a client who was unconstitutionally jailed by Park has quite a different take on Park.

Understandable, of course.

However, there are undoubtedly those who,  like Jakmides re:  Elum, think "the world of Park at a personal level.

For anyone to think well of either as a judge is beyond understanding!

Unfortunately, there are those judges who think that putting on a robe makes them "God Almighty! 

Stark County has to misfortune to have two such judges.

Park like Elum is a repeat offender on poor judiciary conduct, to wit:  (LINK)

And the SCPR thinks she currently is on another bad trip in terms of poor judicial judgment.

Besides Jakmides, another Park detractor is Stark County civic activist and attorney Craig T. Conley.

Let's be clear about it.  The SCPR thinks that Conley does have "axes to grind" with Park in the manner which she has handled more than one case that he is legal counsel on.

However, The Report thinks that they are "understandable and justifiable" exceptions to the arbitrary, capricious and unfair way yours truly believes he has treated his clients in getting at Conley because of his zealous "don't worry about offending the judge" advocacy for his clients.

It is obvious to the SCPR that Judge Park does not personally like Craig T. Conley.

And she is not alone.  Being the firebrand that he is, there are a number of Stark County public officials who do not cotton to Conley's personality.  Call Judge Frank Forchione and ask him what he thinks of Conley (hint:  LINK).

Notwithstanding his abrasiveness and directness, Conley is a valuable to the Stark County public resources in the quest to keep elected public officials (especially judges) accountable.

There are many Stark County attorneys and perhaps even a few of her judicial peers who have a dim view of Park on her judgeship qualities.

But, of course, they do not have the courage of a Craig T. Conley.

The Report has looked over the latest series papers filed in the case "In re:  Kathleen Conley Testamentary Trust," (case number 195704) to wit:
  • LINK #1 - "alleged" ex parte filing of exceptions to account,
  • LINK #2 -  Craig T. Conley's Motion to Strike,
    • SCPR Note:  In the motion, Conley also alleges that James Conley's filing in unethical in both context of his filing it and Park accepting it)
Conley, in effect, is saying that Park once again (see graphic above) has placed herself as a judge "outside-the-rule-of-law" in accepting for filing and acting up via a court order what he assets to have been an ex parte filing.

Apparently, there is a family fight going on in the cited case.

Park's problem it seems is that she is acting on a ex parte pleading submitted to her by one James M. Conley, an attorney and  a relative of Craig's and a mediator in the Massillon Municipal Court, and as such, reports to Judge Elum as one of two judges he is accountable to.  (James Conley recently wrote a letter to the editor complimentary of Elum but had no disclaimer attached to it, hmm? [LINK])

How ironic this is given the subject matter of this blog, no?

So Conley filed a motion to strike on the basis that:
  • He, Craig Conley, as attorney for the trustee (a relative of Craig and James Conley) was not served with the document by James Conley and therefore the pleading was one that he only happened upon by happenstance,
How unfair is that?

For a judge to act on a document that a party to the case only accidentally became privy to.

Look at this copy of an order issued by Park that refers to Conley's motion to strike.

Does this order deal with the motion to strike in terms of citing a basis in law for denying the motion?

Apparently, the judge thinks that running through a chronology of pleadings filed in the case, she effectively as a matter of law deals with the motion.


The Report thinks that In re:  Conley is indicative of the all too many times that Judge Park ignores the law and does what she will do even if it means she gets reversed by higher courts of Ohio.

For the few times that cases are appealed and get reversed, one must ask:  how many rulings by Park are not grounded in law but rather  in her arbitrary, capricious and therefore unreasonable discretion as a judge?

Readers should now be able to clearly see how the SCPR has comes to be "on the horns of a dilemma."

Between Elum and Park, who is Stark County's absolutely worst elected official on this 28th day of January, 2016?

The Report says to readers:  "pick-em!"

This is truly a "six of one; half-a-dozen" conundrum!!!

Wednesday, January 27, 2016


Unlike any other Stark County media outlet, The Stark County Political Report allows subjects of blogs complete and unfettered space to respond.

On Monday, The Report named Dan "Jeff" Peters in his individual capacity of an elected councilman on the North Canton City Council (Council) and the collective representative of Council as its president as #3 on "The Bottom 10 List" of Stark County Political Subdivision Elected officials (LINK).

Today, to demonstrate The Report's commitment to making available readers differing views on topics of SCPR blogs, Peters' response in full is presented below.

Yours truly commends Peters for taking the time and effort respond.

From time-to-time, The Report does get reaction to a given blog.

The only requirement for space on the SCPR is for the responder to do either an "on camera" response or as President Peters did in this instance write out his reaction.

Yes, the SCPR does have an opinion of how Stark County government, public officials and public figures handle themselves.

And The Report goes to great length (more than most editorialists) to provide evidence supporting that opinion.

Fox News likes to trumpet itself as being "Fair and Balanced."

The SCPR does not think so.

With The Stark County Political Report the expression "fair and balanced" is not a rhetorical and/or marketing ploy.  For this blog is completely non-commercial and blogs like this one demonstrates in spades The Report's fairness.

In the blog, The Report did not name the "citizen" who yours truly thinks is the target of  Council in its consideration of whether not to tighten up it video taping rules of Council meetings.

The Reason?

The Report thinks that the mere mention of the citizen's name sends some Council members and the law director into a frenzy and they respond to nearly each and every action he has with North Canton government in a paranoic manner.

The Report believes that those members of Council and Director Fox have worked hard to condition the general North Canton public to do "a turn off" when the unnamed citizen's name becomes known.

Such is unbecoming of any government official at any level of government including, of course, Stark County's North Canton government.

The SCPR has done a number of blogs criticizing the citizen in his unskillful, seemingly "baiting" way he has interacted with Council over the last 15 years or so.

This citizen could if he would be much more respectful of Council and North Canton government officials and still be effective in his endeavor to hold North Canton government accountable to the North Canton public.

In being picky, picky, picky and, at times, personally pejorative, the citizen detracts from his unparalleled knowledge of North Canton government and his, at times, profound insight into processes and substance of North Canton government which need correcting.

As readers know, yours truly highly encourages citizen participation in "our" government and is loathe to criticize inartful interaction.  However, this citizen is no rookie and should know better.  And The Report thinks he has the raw skills to reign himself and thereby enhance his credibility.

The great lament is that the citizen may have become his own worst enemy in providing his detractors with material to smear him with.

And "smear" is exactly what The Report thinks some members of council and Director Fox are up to.

To repeat, what an outrage for any government official to attempt to do to an citizen who seeks to engage government.

Agree or disagree, but to derogate is absolutely "over-the-pale" and, as said before,  is irresponsible governance.

The overriding point of Monday's blog was to highlight Council's proposed unnecessary curtailment of democratic-republican values   In this case, a citizen and/or media holding Council accountable via video in showing Council-in-action..

Yours truly would have written the blog no matter whose democratic-republican liberty might be at stake.

However, President Peters focuses on the citizen's name and such is the basis for The Report having gone into in "an depth way" the reason why yesterday's blog did not use citizen's name.

Here is Peters' response in full:

... <>  Jan 26 at 9:41 AM


Martin, attached is a picture of Mr Osborne and the placement of his stationary tripod. As you can see, he has removed a chair in the center of the front row and placed his camera in its place and is standing behind it so he can scan the room to capture multiple officials speaking during council proceedings.

The proposed legislation we discussed last night in no way discourages taking video of council proceedings. As a matter of fact, I encourage anyone who wants to attend a council meeting, to please do so!  As you state clearly, you have been able to tape meetings that you attend unabated, and this is because you are careful not to infringe on others who wish to attend and witness the proceedings without distraction/obstruction.

As far as your assertion that I am "singling out" Mr Osborne, you are partially correct. The fact that it happened to be Mr Osborne that placed his tripod front and center and stood behind it, one can reasonably conclude that his actions demanded that we install policy/procedures so that moving forward we won't have this happen again. 

SCPR Note:  The Report inserts at this point of Peters' e-mail a copy of the photo and the photo accompanying text message he sent Osborne.

As a side note, I want to thank you for producing such an entertaining opinion blog. Although your opinions as it pertains to me are usually way off base, it does give me and my family something to talk about. I use you and your blog sometimes as a "teachable moment" for my daughters. I tell them that you can never make everyone happy and not everyone is going to like you, but to always strive to do what's right and never be afraid to make your voice heard. For that, we are eternally grateful! Keep on keeping on, Martin!!

Warmest regards,

Daniel J Peters
NC city council President

Tuesday, January 26, 2016



Talk about an undeserved "positive" promotion on the SCPR "Bottom 10 List" (List) of Stark County Political Subdivision Elected Officials, that exactly how one ought to take Massillon clerk of courts Johnnie A. Maier, Jr. moving from #3 on the last update (August 28, 2015, LINK) to #4 this time around.

However, there is a logjam these days as several officials on the List appear to be scrambling to reach the top spot of #1 and thereby be known throughout the county as being Stark absolutely worst elected public official.

Maier, Jr., who The Report thinks is the political/power politician heir to Tammany Hall power broker Boss Tweed, Ohio House of Representatives arm twister Vern Riffe, Jr., could easily be #1 but for the supervening competition.

Up until his appearance at Massillon City Council on December 14, 2015 for the purpose justifying his clerk of courts budget, it was difficult to tie Maier's performance in as clerk of courts as being suspect in terms of quality.

Before the 14th, the SCPR tabbing of Maier, Jr. as one of Stark's worst elected officials was for The Report's belief that his being clerk of courts is a mere cover for his true vocation that being "the" premier Stark County Democratic Party power broker.

But with this, even his job performance is suspect, to wit:  (from the SCPR 12/15/2015 blog), to wit:
In one self-tribute, Maier, Jr. talks about benefiting Massillon taxpayers some $600,000 over 16 years and over $1M in another "how great I am" encomium.

Kind of like Canton soon-to-be ex-mayor William J. Healy, II blaming others (including former mayor Janet Creighton and the Ohio General Assembly) for Canton's financial difficulties going back 4, 5, 8 years and even decades  (e.g. prior Republican mayors) in casting the blame of his failures on others.
If The Report had the time and resources, the over-the-top self-laudation is a red flag that one ought to be looking deep into his management of the clerk of courts office.

As folks like Maier, Jr. are wont to do, their rhetorical excesses (a la Donald Trump?) prompt the discerning into wanting to check "what is behind the curtain."

So Maier, Jr. should not take much cheer that he actually moved a notch away because of "the logjam factor" from being Stark County's absolute worst Stark County elected official.

For The Report thinks he has done a whole lot of damage to the political infrastructure of Massillon and across Stark County from his perch of being the elected clerk of courts of Massillon.

Monday, January 25, 2016


# 5

Because North Canton's city council is scheduled at tonight's "Committee of the Whole Meeting" to take up discussion of an ordinance designed to suppress media/citizen coverage of council meetings, the SCPR in this blog's update of the #3 position in the "Bottom 10 List"  (List) of Stark County Political Subdivision Elected Officials skips over the #4 position in order to herald the "negative" promotion of council president Daniel "Jeff" Peters, individually, and, and as being representative of council as a whole, towards, perhaps, one day achieving #1 status and thereby become The Report's absolutely worst elected official/body.

Compared to Alliance City Council, Canton City Council and Massillon City Council;  North Canton has already achieved being Stark County's worst council in terms of its SCPR documented anti-democratic, anti-republican legislation, policies and empowerment of unchecked Law Director Tim Fox (an unelected council appointee) vis-a-vis North Canton's citizenry and the media.

Before proceeding in reading this blog, readers should pause and read the August 2, 2015 SCPR blog wherein Peters/North Canton City Council was ranked at #4 on "The Bottom 10 List."  (LINK)

Not long ago a North Canton citizen began videotaping North Canton council meetings and a selection of sub-council meetings (e.g. North Canton Planning Commission on the Montabella cell tower issue, LINK).

The Report recalls overhearing/observing North Canton appointed official Eric Bowles,  Director of the North Canton Department of Permits and Development, censuring the citizen on where and where he could not position in tripoded camera in the west end of and to the front of where the general public sits.

It was obvious to the SCPR at this moment that the citizen videotaping North Canton government proceeding had caught the eye of somebody (likely Law Director Fox) and discussions had taken place among North Canton elected and unelected officials on devising ways and means to disadvantage the citizen's ability capture viewable/hearable footage.

Media types, the SCPR included, at the Planning Commission meeting were positioned in the unused council seats to the immediate south of where the citizen was located.

Initially, The Report took up a position that was within a seat or two of where Law Director Fox located himself as a participant in the meeting.

Yours truly was told by Bowles and readily acquiesced to reposition to a seat or two to the north so that Fox had plenty of room to lay out his paperwork.

During the meeting, when it became obvious that The Report's camera was not positioned to ideally capture charts/graphs/photos and the like, Fox invited yours truly to reposition at the original place where The Report had set up.

Confusing, no?

Not sure if Fox's invitation was done to ingratiate yours truly to him or to give the readership of the SCPR the best vantage point to see the exhibits.

As SCPR readers know, yours truly is Stark County's foremost "independent" minded journalist who asks no favors.

The SCPR never before has been hassled by North Canton officials on yours truly's videotaping of council meetings.

The Report is always super-careful not to be a disruptive factor at any of the many Stark County Political Subdivision meetings/court sessions that the SCPR has covered over the past eight years.

Yours truly has never received any complaint about the manner in which it videotapes these public events.

But the ability of anyone including The Report to obtain quality video of North Canton Council meetings appears to be in jeopardy.

At tonight's Committee of the Whole meeting, North Canton council is set to discuss the advisability of passing this ordinance, to wit (an extract thereof):

If passed, this ordinance seems to have been crafted to single out the citizen videotaping.

The Report:
  • sit at the council designated table presumably as determined by "the President of Council" in front of the public area, 
  • does not use a tripod with the SCPR camera, and 
  • does not take up any more space with the camera in hand than if sitting in the press area without a camera
So presumably the proposed ordinance would not affect the SCPR.

But The Report is of a mind that so long as a citizen's camera setup does not cause a disruption to the meeting being videotaped, that should be the end of the matter.

That the proposed legislation includes with its ambit "apparent" justification for the legislation, for example:
  • [so as to prevent] "creating noise that keeps others from hearing the proceedings,"
  • [so as to save space in requiring video equipment to be] "stationary due to the limited space of Council chambers," and
  • "video cameras, tripods and crew shall be behind public seating" [so as to prevent] "obstructing the view of others" 
indicates that those who have put their heads together and devised this proposal know that they will be charged with singling a certain citizen out and the justifications inclusion  in the proposal is an obvious attempt to mask the law director/council "true" motivation in advancing the legislation.

Such conduct is unbecoming of public officials (elected or unelected) and is the primary reason the SCPR "negatively" promotes President Peters and all of North Canton council to the #3 position of Stark County Bottom 10 List.

Additionally, there is this: (LINK)



Yesterday state Representative Stephen Slesnick seemingly came out of nowhere to land on a #6 placement of the SCPR "Bottom 10 List" (List) of Stark County Political Subdivision Elected Officials.

Today, James N. Walters and as being representative of the Jackson Township trustees, get a SCPR "negative" promotion from #10 on the List to today's #5.

More surprises are in store has the current periodic updating moves towards naming the absolute worst Stark County public official move forward.

One thing that yours truly will say to tantalize the curious is that Sheriff George T. Maier is not the #1 listing in this update.  In fact, because George hasn't done anything flagrant (as far as the SCPR knows) in terms of further politicizing the Stark County sheriff's department, Maier isn't on the List at all in this updating.

Stay tuned over the next week as #4, #3, #2 and #1 are revealed.

But today Walters and the Jackson trustees are front and center.

Recently, the SCPR did a blog recently (LINK) in which The Report revealed in a journalistic scoop of all other Stark County media that the Equal Opportunity Commission (EEOC) of the United States of America has found "probable cause" that the Jackson Township government has unlawfully discriminated against six of its female employees.

In media report after media report over the numerous years that the Jackson trustees have been under fire for Jackson government's questionable "fairness" reputation with its female employees,  Trustee James N. Walters seems to have been the spokesperson for the trustees on the issue on whether or not Jackson Township government (i.e. Jackson Township Police Department [JTPD]) has been violating Title VII of the United States Code.

Subsequent to last week's blog (LINK),  the SCPR has learned that there have been other claims brought against Jackson Township alleging harassment/hostile environment at the JTPD going back at least to 2007.

Take a look at this excerpt from a report filed for the benefit of Jackson Township officialdom.

Walters (a Republican) became a trustee on January 1, 2008.  Pizzino (a Democrat) in 2002 and Hawk (a Republican) was appointed in 2012 and elected in his own right in November, 2013 thus taking office on January 1, 2014.

So in the lead up to running for and getting elected trustee, Walters had to know that major work was in order in terms of riding the JTPD of harassment/hostile environment vis-a-vis the townships female workforce.

In light of media reported turmoil from within the bowels of Jackson's law enforcement agency which appears to be continuing to this very day, it is hard to see how he and his colleague trustees are getting a handle on straightening out the JTPD which appears to be the hotbed of alleged unfair treatment of the township's female employees.

However, local mainstream media does not always give significant Stark County news stories the play they deserve.

As far as the SCPR can determine,  nothing surfaces on a Google search on the Quinn Solutions report in terms of being reported in local media.

Here is an extract report from The Repository on a Jackson Township trustees meeting of February 28, 2012:

No mention of an EEOC complaint having been filed with the Ohio Civil Rights Commission.

Interesting, no?

An EEOC complaint was filed by Ms. Marketich against the Jackson trustees on February 13, 2012, to wit:

The EEOC complaint was on the heels of a Fraternal Order of Police, Ohio Labor Council filing of an Unfair Labor Practice in October, 2011 with the State Employees Relations Board as noted in the The Rep's report, to wit:

Apparently, the referenced settlement resulted in both the EEOC/Ohio Civil Rights Commission and SERB complainants being dropped.  Note that in the settlement agreement Jackson Township denies any violations of Ohio's prohibited gender discrimination laws.

The entire episode cost Jackson Township taxpayers about $14,000.

And who knows what else in terms of confidence on the part of the township's female employees in the fairness of this Stark County local government entity.

Accordingly, it is fitting and proper that Walters, in his individual capacity as a trustee and as the foremost personification of board conduct in handling the JTPD be elevated on the List of Stark County "Bottom 10" Stark County Political Subdivision Elected Officials from #10 to #5.

Could Trustee Walters and derivatively the board make it to #1, the absolute worst ranking?

Stay tuned readers.

There is little doubt in The Report's thinking that Walters and this board of trustees do not have  their collective ear to the ground when it comes to managing Jackson Township government.

Witness the fight that is going on between the trustees and area residents over a rezone approved by the trustees for condominium development at the southeast corner of Hills & Dales and Brunnerdale where developer Don DeVille wants to construct a combination of apartments and condominium units.

Hence, this:

 Again, is #1 status in the offing?

"With God [err Jackson Township government], all things are possible."

Saturday, January 23, 2016


With this periodic updating of the SCPR "Bottom 10 List"  (List) of Stark County Political Subdivision Elected Officials, The Report makes up for a huge oversight in not including state Representative Stephen Slesnick.

In hindsight, it seems to yours truly that it was a blunder of extraordinary proportions in not including Slesnick.

But mind you, the competition for one of the ten slots on the SCPR "Bottom 10 List" is about as "knock down and drag out" as it gets.

Undoubtedly, Slesnick as a person is a splendid human being.

But as an "elected" public official, he perfectly matches the expression as being as "worthless as tits on a boar hog."

It was a stunner for those of us who follow Stark County politics closely when Slesnick in the 2008 Democratic primary came out as the Democrats' nominee for the general election.

This blog is an ironic twist in that The Report found space for Slesnick on "The Bottom 10 List" because it was vacated by Canton councilman Jimmy Babcock who yesterday was "promoted" to being #7 on the List.

The Report thinks there is a marked similarity between the two in terms of both being a "wallflower" type as an elected official and both trading on prominent (political [Babcock], business [Slesnick]) family Canton-based names in successfully running for public office.

But one shouldn't make too much of the Slesnick 2008 Dems' primary win.

Twenty-nine percent (29%) of the vote!

That is hardly and "ass-kicking" unless one embraces the mathematical skills of one Johnnie A. Maier, Jr. who touts Kathy Catazaro-Perry being re-elected as mayor of Massillon in a three-way race in which she gained a plurality of 40%.

Had the race been a two person race, let's say the top two vote getters (Slesnick/Rinaldi), the SCPR is reasonably sure that Rinaldi would have won by a wide margin and Stark County voters would never have heard from Stephen Slesnick in political circles again.

The Report's view is that Rinaldi would have made a far more effective elected representative of the constituents of the 52nd and now the 49th Ohio House District.

Having won the primary, Slesnick was appointed by the Ohio House Democratic Caucus to replace William J. Healy, II on March 11th who, of course, we know took office as mayor of Canton on January 1, 2008.

And running in a heavily Democratic district, it was "sit back and relax time" for Slesnick from 2008 on out, to wit:

As far as the SCPR is concerned "sit back as relax" is exactly what Slesnick as done.

The Report went to Slesnick page on the Ohio House of Representative website on which Slesnick "puts his best foot forward" in self-promotion at, of course, taxpayer expense (like all state representative and senators do) and this is the best Slesnick can say about himself so far for the 2015-2016 term of the current Ohio House session (LINK to website):

Slesnick is one of the relatively few Stark County-based elected officials who will not talk to the SCPR.

And, of course, with the camera on face, how could he plausibly argue that he has been an effective representative.

His answer would likely be that as a Democrat he is a member of a decidedly minority political party in the House and therefore gets stymied at every turn by the Republicans.

A SCPR response would be:  "Representative Slesnick you have needed to get creative and innovative in overcoming the 'I grant you' Republican roadblock, what have you done in this regard"?

The evidence is clearly that he hasn't been creative, innovative and therefore not productive.

If he were to survive the Democratic primary on March 15th and the general election against the Republican nominee in November, what kind of situation would Slesnick once again likely face?

Answer:  Being the lone Democrat in a board of commissioners composed of Republicans Janet Creighton and Richard Regula.

While Regula will have a Democratic opponent on the horizon in the general election (John Mariol, Ward 7 Canton councilman), it would be the upset of upsets were Mariol to win.

Accordingly, a Commissioner Stephen Slesnick would likely be a continuing candidate for being among Stark County Political Subdivision's "Bottom 10" Elected Officials.

And it could happen.

Slesnick once again is nested among a group of Democrats seeking to replace Bernabei.

As one Stark County political observer cautioned yours truly:  "Don't count Slesnick out!"

The Report does not.  Indeed, the could win in "ass-kicking" fashion a la the Johnnie A. Maier, Jr. math model with - let's say - 29% percent of the vote.  It could be that "29" is his lucky number, no?

However, it appears that former Commissioner Pete Ferguson will be the likely survivor in the Dems' primary.

Naturally, The Report likes to have fodder for future blogs.


Go Slesnick!  Go Slesnick!!  Go Slesnick!!!

Friday, January 22, 2016


Not much on legislative substance, but the best by far compared to any other  Canton City Council councilman in style - in terms of his personal appearance, such is Councilman at Large Jimmy Babcock, so the SCPR thinks.

Babcock's lack of legislative heft does not seem to bother Canton's electorate as they keep electing him to office.

He was re-elected in November over a man of real substance that being "independent" Councilman Richard Hart.

The son of a former and now deceased mayor and long term councilwoman, Babcock in the opinion of the SCPR owes his electability to being their son; not for anything he does or produces as a city councilman.

Whereas Hart was an "independent" minded councilman, Babcock seems to The Report to depend on Canton treasurer Kim Perez for his "among the living" prop ups.

He worked for Perez when he (Perez) was Stark County auditor and bristles with indignation should anybody suggests that Stark County was the better off for Perez having been defeated in the November, 2012 general election.

Perez ran in the Democratic primary in May for mayor against incumbent Democratic mayor Willima J. Healy, II probably because the smallish in terms of numbers of employees Canton treasurer's office was not big enough for Perez's monumental political significance ego.

The only politician/officer holder that challenges Councilman Babcock for his Madison Avenue-esque attire in Stark County commissioner Janet Creighton.

While they may be competitive in whom between them is the absolutely best attired Stark County politician week-in, week-out in their public appearances, it is "no-contest" in favor of Creighton when it comes to comparative substantive contributions to the well-being Canton and Stark County.

Creighton (a Republican) for one thing deserves accolades:
  • for teaming up with her former commissioner colleague and then Democrat (now "independent") Thomas M. Bernabei (now mayor of Canton; she being a former mayor [2004 through 2007]) 
    • on their being elected Stark County commissioner in November, 2010 
for their collective bringing the county out of fiscal crisis after the county had a really, really bad time of it 2009 through 2011.

While she has not yet merited a place on the SCPR coveted "Top 10 List," she certainly has made significant contributions to the improvement of Stark County government both in substance and process.

Babcock:  What is his legislative claim to fame?

Nada!  Absolutely nothing!!

Except, perhaps, for being a wallflower that makes the aesthetics of Canton's city council chamber being more pleasing to the eye.

So why would the SCPR promote Babcock from being #6 on the Stark County "Bottom 10 List" of Political Subdivision Elected Officials?

Well, how about, there was a vacancy (Massillon mayor Kathy Catazaro-Perry having been promoted (meaning less close to being the absolutely worst Stark County official) to #8 from having been #7 and what better to do with an empty space but fill it with a wallflower?

Makes sense, no?

Congratulations Jimmy!

Thursday, January 21, 2016



How is it that Massillon mayor Kathy Catazaro-Perry gets a "promotion" from The Stark County Political Report from being #7 (with #1 being the absolutely worst) on the SCPR "Bottom 10 List" (List) of Stark County Political Subdivision Elected Officials to being only #8.

A couple of reasons as spelled out in the periodic update of the List.

First, the Canton Local Board of Education is showing signs of significant improvement in terms of its relationship with the Canton (South) Local School District citizenry (e.g. Public Speaks) due to the work of board members Christine Scarpino (Bio LINK, elected 2013) and Chris Cole (video LINK, elected 2015).

The Report is told by a well placed Canton Local political figure that Scarpino and Cole are the vanguard of new board leadership that will with the replacement of Dave Brothers and/or Scott Hamilton in the election of 2017 completely transform the tone and culture of the Canton Local Schools.

Undeserving in his individual capacity as a board member, long time member and current president Dave Brothers is the beneficiary as getting his face removed from the SCPR "Bottom 10 List" on the basis of reform work (See these SCPR blog LINK) being done by Scarpino and Cole.

Second, it is up in the air as to whether or not Mayor Kathy Catazaro-Perry can lead Massillon out of a financial crisis that the SCPR thinks she generated in the first place.

Key to that happening is whether or not Massillon passes a .2 per cent income tax increase on March 16th.

If the issue fails, the SCPR thinks infighting between Mayor Kathy and a majority of council will resume with a vengeance and put Massillon right back into the throes of being unable to even minimally serve the needs of its citizens with basic government services.

It appears that "at last" the mayor is on board wholeheartedly in working with a number political figures she does not particularly like to get the tax issue passed.

But she is also showing signs of governance instability that may result in her heading once again in the other direction (LINK to blog on her #7 listing from the last SCPR update in September, 2015) on the List towards being #1.

Showing signs of governance instability?


It came as a surprise when word came down recently that Ken Koher would not be staying on as income tax manager and budget director and that Larry Marcus would not be continuing on as economic development director.

The Report is told by a Massillon official in a position to know that Ken Koher was asked to step down.

Another source shared with the SCPR that Koher had to be seeing the handwriting on wall inasmuch as he was not invited to Mayor Kathy's annual holiday bash.

Why wasn't he invited?

Supposedly because Catazaro-Perry  prop and benefactor and many think de facto mayor of Massillon Johnnie A. Maier, Jr. is said to have made it known that if Ken Koher was invited to Mayor Kathy's party, he was not attending.


Isn't that interesting.  The fiscally ultraconservative Koher must have had a falling out with Massillon mathematical wiz, no?

Mathematical wiz?

At least that what the SCPR thinks of Johnnie A. Maier, Jr. because on general election night 2015 by his computation his surrogate being re-elected mayor with 40% of the vote was an "ass-kicking."

So while Mayor Kathy has been on a track of more adult like behavior of late, the question is will it last?

Accordingly, the SCPR cautiously promotes the mayor from being #7 to being #8.

March 15, 2016 is a date for Massillonians to mark on their calendars.

If the tax issue passes, in time Mayor Kathy could be coming off the SCPR "Bottom 10 List" because it may be a situation that she can abide having a workable relationship with a majority of Massillon City Council.

If not, look for Massillon to be in the financial mess soup again and "all Hell breaking out" between the mayor

Wednesday, January 20, 2016


Updated with Comment:  01/21/2016 at 09:00 a.m.


In regards to today’s nomination of North Canton Councilwoman Marcia Kiesling to the #9 spot on your list of WORST Stark County Elected Official, I would like to offer credible evidence to support that honor for Mrs. Kiesling.

On page six of the minutes of the appeal hearing ordered by Judge Farmer and held by North Canton City Council on September 29, 2015, Mrs. Kiesling tag teams with City Engineer Jim Benekos to openly contradict the ruling of Court of Common Pleas Court Judge Kristin Farmer regarding a City Ordinance (1177.10) requiring North Canton City Council to take action on recommendations of the City’s Planning Commission regarding Conditional Uses or Similar Uses.

Your nomination for #9 WORST Stark County Elected Official (Marcia Kiesling) neither understands North Canton’s zoning code nor accepts the ruling from Stark County Common Pleas Court Judge Farmer on that issue (excerpted below from page 6 of the Judgement Entry) . Mrs. Kiesling continues to parrot the gospel of Tim Fox on this fact. I offer as an example one of the many times Law Director Tim Fox at a City Council meeting held on October 12, 2015, (page 5) Law Director Tim Fox himself contradicts Judge Farmer. Mr. Fox has repeated this claim several times and this instance is one of many.

As you state in your Post today, Kiesling is a primary promoter of, as you put it, “… the seeming Fox ‘obsessed with controlling’ all North Canton government phenomenon….”

I certainly concur. This is one of many examples.

Sad for the citizens of North Canton.


Yesterday (LINK, Resnick at #10), The Stark County Political Report began what is now termed a periodic update of The Report's "Bottom 10 List" of Stark County Political Subdvision Elected Officials.

In this first periodic update, even though a listed official remains unchanged from the last "Bottom 10 List" update, yours truly will republish the particular listing with a reason why the position is unchanged in a transition going forward in which only changed positions will be updated in future periodic updates.

Councilwoman Marcia Kiesling remains on this January, 20, 2016 as the SCPR's 9th worst Stark County elected official.

Justification for her remaining on the list at this position is her failure to speak out in objection as North Canton law director Tim Fox at North Canton council's January 11th meeting (LINK) continued his overtly hostile ways vis a vis North Cantonians in attendance who have come "not to praise Caeasar" which, of course, is always welcome with open arms by North Canton's mayor (Held) and most if not all of city council's members, but to tell these government officials how they can do better.

Fox, with the apparent approval of Kiesling who spoke nary a word of chastisement of the "unelected" Fox for his frequent "point of order" interruptions as Held and council president Dan Peters (in the main) demonstrated the temerity to engage citizens on points made in the Public Speaks portion of the meeting agenda.

If one were to buy in to what seems to be Fox's paranoic-esque-reasoning, "all Hell was about to break loose" because Held and Peters had the audacity to engage the "redress of government" speakers (Roll, McCleaster and Osborne) in quest of a safer North Canton in terms of its children.

It is likely that Kiesling was thinking "Go, Tim!" as he figuratively seemed to be "plugging his finger in the [metaphorical] hole in stopping the breakout of impending anarchy.

As the SCPR sees the seeming Fox "obsessed with controlling" all North Canton government phenomenon, Kiesling is a primary promoter thereof.

Accordingly, she remains on the  SCPR "Bottom 10 List" of Stark County Political Subdvision Elected Officials at #9.