Monday, March 14, 2016


The political buzz of the moment is that it appears that John Kasich just might defeat The Great One (by his own account) in Ohio.  And Bernie Sanders could pull a Michigan in Ohio over Hilliary despite an average of polls showing otherwise (Real Clear Politics LINK).

After Tuesday, except for those Stark Countians like Republican Janet Creighton, who served in the George W. Bush White House on losing her Canton mayoralty re-election bid in 2007; whomever wins the Ohio presidential primary in either party will not give the typical Stark Countian the time of day.

But whomever wins the Democratic and Republican primaries for Stark County commissioner for the remaining two years of the Thomas M. Bernabei term (elected as Canton mayor in November, 2015) will not only quite willing give the average Stark Countian the time of day but is highly likely to listen to each and every word coming out of mouth of a citizen both during November's general election and post-election as a sitting Stark County commissioner.

 Witness this from the current Stark County commissioners website:

Note that Bridenstine, Creighton and Regula include their "direct" telephone lines and links to their e-mail addresses.  Moreover, they have demonstrated that any citizen can attend a weekly (Wednesday's at 1:30 p.m.) and engage them in citizen to public official dialogue during the set aside time on the weekly agenda nominated "Public Speaks."

Here is a LINK to a SCPR blog in which Stark Countian Dan Fonte addresses the commissioners to oppose the Trans-Pacific Trade Agreement on his premise that Congressional approval of the agreement will cost Stark Countians jobs.

Try to get in touch with Donald, John, Ted, Marco, Bernie or Hilliary after January 20, 2017.

Yours truly recalls a time during the Lyndon Johnson administration that Johnson had an occasion to contact a person in the news via telephone as the man was recovering in the hospital.

After Lyndon's recognition and thank for whatever the man had achieved (memory fails now as to exactly what the occasion was), he told the man to contact him if he ever needed Johnson's assistance on any government matter.

Whereupon, the man piped up, "Well," he said "I could use some help getting my Social Security check problems straightened out!"

But other than such, we Americans know that it is a level of highest fortuity to get the attention any powerful state or national political/governmental office holder.

But as pointed out above, access to Stark County officials/politicos is easy to come by.

And beyond access, they might actually act on a citizen inquiry!

The Stark County Political Report thinks that the likely winner commissioner candidates winners on Tuesday are going to be Republican Bill Smith (a sitting Canton Township trustee) and Democrat and former Stark County Commissioner Pete Ferguson (2007–2010).

However, The Report does not count out a possibility of a Kevin Fisher (currently Canton Ward 5 councilman) Democratic win given his much higher campaign work ethic than Ferguson, Slesnick (currently a state representative–the 49th)  and Baylock (the head of a non-profit) and the fact that he has overwhelming Stark County organized labor support in terms of campaign finance and boots on the ground in door-to-door campaigning.

Slesnick is depending on:
  • the "in the news" notoriety of being state representative,  and 
  • the same phenomenon (the "business" Slesnick family name) in which he surprised most Stark County politicos when he won the Democratic primary (2008) in the race to succeed William J. Healy, II, then-the newly elected mayor of Canton 
to surface as the Tuesday Democratic winner.

As far as the SCPR is concerned, Slesnick achieved next to nothing in his eight years in the Ohio Statehouse.

And as Stark County commissioner, based on his refusal to answer questions posed by the SCPR, he is likely to engage only those Stark Countians who are syncophantic with him.


She is totally out of her element in wanting to be Stark County commissioner.

On the Republican side, nearly all the Who's Who of Stark County politics are lining up behind Bill Smith and would be a political stunner indeed if Dave Mungo were to win.  Mungo, an orthopedic surgeon, though, is very impressive as a candidate.  He bills himself as the "outsider" candidate and, of course, by implication Smith as the "insider" candidate in obvious reference to Smith having been a 14 year Canton Township trustee who over those years has worked closely with many, many Stark County political subdivision (i.e. cities, village, township and board of education) officials.

But is anyone paying attention to the Stark County commissioner race?

The answer is pretty much a resounding "no!" if one gauges the attendance at public/campaign events.

For example, there were approximately 100 people, more or less, at the Canton Area League of Women's Candidate Forum last Thursday.  However, most were not rank and file Stark County citizens.  Rather the crowd was largely composed of the candidates' immediate family, other politicians up for election (most of them contested) in November, media types and the like BUT VERY FEW ORDINARY CITIZENS.

It is not too late for day-in, day-out citizens who will vote tomorrow to know something about whom they are voting for in the respective party's primary election for the Bernabei seat.

The SCPR has posted a video of each an every question posed by the LWV moderator Dick Kuhn on Friday's blog (LINK).

Moreover, The Report has published a number of videos on a Q&A of Republicans Mungo and Smith which can be accessed at these links.
  • Candidates' narrative on their backgrounds (LINK),
  • Candidates on values/experience (LINK),
  • Candidates on the role of private sector in county government (LINK),
  • Candidates on their respective motivations in running for county commissioner (LINK), 
  • Candidates on the part that partisan politics plays in county government (LINK),
  • Candidates on changes to be made in how county government is run and the role of the "bully pulpit" as a tool of governance (LINK),
    • Mungo on need to repair Foster family program of Jobs&Family Services,
    • Mongo on commissioners weighing in on countywide Heroin problem,
    • Smith on making government more efficient/responsive (e.g. getting building permit) to Stark Citizens,
    • Both on county commissioners lack of power/authority on various issues which come up,
  • Candidates' view on the commissioners' reaching out and interacting with Stark County citizens (LINK),
And here is a LINK to a blog which deals with the Democratic candidates and includes a video interview with Candidate Fisher.

Stark Countians need to know as much as they possibly can about the Stark County commissioner candidates for the Bernabei seat before voting.

What are their views on:
  • creating jobs for Stark Countians,
  • keeping existing businesses and bring new ones to the county,
  • solving flooding problems in pockets of Stark,
  • dealing with existing/proposed pipelines crisscrossing Stark County,
  • getting the best bang for the taxpayer buck in budgeting for county departments of government, and the like.
It is irresponsible to vote without being informed.

The SCPR implores Stark Countians not just to vote but to be an informed voter!

1 comment:

Sweeney said...

As today is finally election day, I want to thank the Stark County Political Report for its reliable daily coverage of the issues and people in Stark County politics. This is particularly important for me because I work in another state (Maryland) but I still maintain my residence (and wife and taxes) in Lake Township. I hope to retire to my "country home" one of these days. None-the-less, I have been a Stark Country resident since 1982. I've read the report for years now, every day, and I count on it to keep me informed. I often know more than my family knows about North Canton (where my grandchildren live) and I'm only in Ohio once a month. I vote every election by absentee ballot. In closing, any of our elected county officials who are not using the forum the SCPR provides to communicate with their citizens are being short-sighted and close minded. Even a "Bottom ten'er" can redeem himself with forthright communication that the SCPR will post unedited and with just a modicum of skepticism. We are fortunate to have you, Mr. Olsen.