This SCPR blog series will run from the first blog (LINK, March 28th) through the November election.
In each successive blog, The Report will list and bulleted index of "links" for readers to click on to catch up on Ferrero/Jakmides campaign developments.
By staying in touch with the SCPR on a weekly basis, those Stark Countians who want to be fully informed before casting a general election ballot for either Republican Jeff Jakmides or Democrat John Ferrero, can be.
The stakes could not be higher for Stark's organized Democrats and Republicans.
The annual payroll for the Stark County prosecutor's offices as of March 15, 2016 is $3.2MM and the average salary is $48,294 (not included the elected prosecutor himself).
Think there aren't some anxious staff members who believe they might be out of a job if there is a change in leadership.
Their fears could be unwarranted.
But then again one would think that if the Republicans gain control of this office, those who work for Candidate Jakmides might just have expectations—if otherwise qualified—of landing a job with the new prosecutor.
Undoubtedly, there would not be a wholesale changeover on January 1, 2017.
But how about over time?
For those of us who are unaffiliated with either political party, the stakes of a different order.
We could care less if the prosecutor is a Republican or a Democrat.
We want the best damn prosecutor pure and simple!
The fact of the matter is that in the case of the prosecutor's office, it appears important for an employee to be an Democrat. Especially if one is to be a prosecutor.
I could only find one "registered Republican" prosecutor on John Ferrero's staff among the departments 67 employees (included elected prosecutor Ferrero). There are a few "non-partisans," which only means they do not vote in partisan primary elections. One has to suspect that most if not all of them are really Democrats.
Ferrero's staff is 56% "registered Democratic", 9% "registered Republican," 23% non-partisan and—it appears— get this (shockingly!): 12% not registered to vote at all!!!
So the reality is that the politics of the elected leader of Stark County departments of government (when there is only one such elected leader) appears to set the tone for who gets taxpayer paid for jobs and who does not.
A sidenote: The examination of the prosecutor's office political affiliation factor piqued the interest of the SCPR to do a similar study of other Stark County offices headed by a single elected official. So readers can expect a SCPR analysis "the politics factor as it affects taxpayer paid for employment opportunities" in each of those office in upcoming blogs.Undoubtedly, Jeff Jakmides will say pre-election that if elected political affiliation will have absolutely nothing to do with whom gets jobs in his office. And he might even pledge not to dismiss currently "registered Democrat" prosecutors for that mere fact if he gets elected.
The SCPR thinks that voters should take all that with a grain of salt.
All of which brings me back to my original point: The prospect of losing one's jobs will get the attention of Ferrero's staff and so in addition to the obvious bad blood between Jakmides and Ferrero the job loss fear factor will intensify the political fight over who will Stark County's next prosecutor.
On Monday, the SCPR published written statements of Candidates Jakmides and Ferrero.
Today, The Report publishes an audio that Jeff Jakmides left on my cellphone after he had read Monday's blog.
Take a listen.
Here it is late March (seven plus months before the election) and Jakmides is going for the political jugular of Prosecutor Ferrero.
Hypocrite!!! He screams out!
Yes, Jakmides' "really BIG issue" in his attempt to unseat Ferrero is his allegation that Stark's prosecutor is costing Stark County political subdivisions hugely in not—over his 12 years in office—implementing/pushing for a Direct Indictment program.
Now, he asserts, Prosecutor Ferrero has staff working on doing just that in response to Jakmides' pressure while at the same time defending past practice.
Jakmides called again yesterday promising additional documentation of his reasons why John Ferrero should not be elected prosecutor.
Think John Ferrero is going to take that (Hypocrite!) and other personal digs lying down.
No, he is not.
He has promised me that he will have a response within a few days to the Jakmides audio statement.
Not to add fuel to the fire. Of course, the SCPR never, ever would do that but look at this and what Ferrero said about Jakmides on his Facebook page:
For those readers who actually listened to the less than five minute Jakmides audio recording above; you know what Jakmides thinks of Ferrero's Facebook blurb.
Stay tuned folks to The Stark County Political Report for the finest, most thorough, comprehensive coverage of this and all of Stark County's important political races in the upcoming November election.