CHAMBER OF COMMERCE PRESIDENT/CEO
DENNIS P. SAUNIER
PROGRESS OF THE HOF VILLAGE PROJECT
Today, in this multi-part series—a Stark County Political Report exclusive—on a presentation Tuesday night by the management of the National Football League (NFL) Pro Football Hall of Fame (HOF) on the Hall of Fame Village Project (HOFVP), The Report focuses on the opening of the presentation made by Canton Regional Chamber of Commerce (CRCC) president Denny Saunier.
Saunier has been president and CEO of the CRCC for some 16 years now.
His biography shows him to be a highly credentialed and community involved leader.
He opened up Tuesday's NFL Hall of Fame Village Project update with this statement:
" ... [W]e are in the most critical, exciting times in Canton ... "
And he went on to talk about the hugeness of the project in terms of the future economic well being on Canton and indeed all of Stark County.
In yesterday's blog, the dean of Canton City Council—Councilman at Large Bill Smuckler—echoed Sanuier's take on the significance of the HOFVP.
Some Stark Countians a just a bit more reserved on Saunier's and Smuckler's assessment.
Perhaps they remember the ebullience on the part of former Mayor William J. Healy, II and others about the prospect that the Utica Shale fracking operations in Stark and Carroll counties was going to be the Eureka! economic/financial gold nugget that was likely going to be the rebirth of Canton and surrounding area to a semblance of Canton's glory days of the 1950s.
In the end they all could prove to be correct in their assessments on their oil and gas industry forecasts, but right now it does not look so.
Accordingly, there are those Cantonians and Stark Countians who are standing back and waiting for action and results to follow the talk on the NFL Pro Football Hall of Fame Village Project.
It is up to the likes of Saunier, Baker and others who constitute the heart and soul of the effort to make Canton/Stark County a place of destination to deliver.
Chambers of Commerce are the front and center piece in America of the private sector's touting that the free enterprise "can do" what government cannot do.
In that context, it is interesting that the Chamber/HOF is playing mighty close attention to local government and state government (and, perhaps, directly or indirectly qualifying for federal grants) officials undoubtedly with an eye towards getting help to achieve what Saunier describes as being a massive project.
Can the Canton Regional Chamber of Commerce working hand-in-glove with the HOF management team deliver?
If they do, it is going to take another $400MM or so more in financing to put Canton in a high-fiving, fist-bumping celebratory mode come the 100th anniversary of the National Football League in 2020.
And they may need a whole lot of assistance from the taxpaying public, no?
Here is the video of Sauner's remarks on Tuesday.