One of the most ill-suited council presidents in all of Stark County Political Subdivision government is North Canton's Daniel "Jeff" Peters.
The SCPR thinks he reeks of underlying hostility to those who address North Canton City Council during council's "public speaks" portion of its meeting agenda.
Mayor David Held on the other hand generally handles himself in a responsible and cordial manner even in the face of confrontational remarks coming from some of the "public speaks" presenters.
Peters selectively enforces council's "no interaction between council/administration members and the 'public speaks' presenter."
Held, to his credit, is not put off by any attempts by Peters to thwart his providing answers/responses to complaints being made by public speaks speakers.
Peters seems bananas about enforcing the five (5) minute rule for public speaks.
Several weeks ago former stalwart North Canton government official Daryl Revoldt (councilmember, council president and mayor) was cut short by Peters at five (5) minutes on a presentation in which he contended that council allowed an appointed North Canton administrative office to apply North Canton's CRA (Community Reinvestment Areas) ordinance on his solitary standard in a manner that Revoldt considers to be illegal.
A member of council could have move to extend Revoldt's time. That someone didn't tells the tale that this council will not hear out disagreeable public speaks comments. Marcia Kiesling is said, after the meeting, to have dressed Revoldt down for the five (5) minutes of commentary that he made.
While Peters at least last night did not go off on a tirade, one could sense that he was not a happy camper as three citizens donned the lectern to complain about various interactions with North Canton government.
The format of this blog is to present three "public speaks" presenters and then the response of Mayor Held.
The Report would like to present Peters responding to the citizens but there is absolutely nothing to show.
It appears that Peters (a Ward 2 Republican) presents no problem to his fellows on council in what the SCPR takes as Peters thinly disguised hostility in his interaction with activist citizens who address council.
The SCPR does not place all members of North Canton City Council in the Peters' category. For the ones who are in the top tier of council, The Report's admonition is that they need to put peer pressure on their lower tier fellows to clean up their act.
SCPR ratings of North Canton City Council members in terms of their friendliness to basic democratic-republican values:
#1 - Mark Cerreta
#2 - Doug Foltz
#3 - Dominic Fonte
#4 - Dan Griffith
#5 - Stephanie Werren (note: #5 and #6 in a virtual tie)
#6 - Marcia Kiesling
#7 - Daniel Peters
Not everybody is suited to be a council president. And Peters proves it in spades.
Peters, the SCPR thinks, is of the tradition of former council presidents Steve Okey of Alliance and Tony Townsend of Massillon.
Okey more than Townsend seem divisive council president. Both both had their moments.
Peters is said to have taken on a psuedonym online to bash certain Canton civic activists who voice their displeasure with North Canton City Council policies, actions and programs.
If true, which the SCPR thinks it likely is, how cowardly can one get?
David Held on the other hand is generally forthright and out front with his reactions.
Of course, Peters makes it very clear to all except for his apologists on council that he his openly hostile to Citizen Chuck Osborne. He has ejected Osborne from a number of council meetings.
While uncomfortable with the Osborne style, Held does a much more mature job in handling Osborne's all too often abrasive style.
And on and on goes the lists of attributes in which Held does much better than Peters in his dealings with the public.
Model council presidents that Peters ought to check out as to an appropriate way of being in that role include: Allen Schulman of Canton and the late John Benincasa of Alliance.
If anything, Peters as council president has regressed since he took over in the wake of Jon Snyder's resignation several years ago.
As mayor, in stark contrast to Peters, David Held is in the judgement of the SCPR an example of civility, courtesy and charm (in most instances) in his "in council meeting" relationship with North Canton citizens.
Last night Held handled himself in exemplary fashion in the following three instances:
FIRST, CITIZEN LARRY TRIPP SPEAKS ON PETERS' ABIDED NORTH CANTON GOV'T INSULT
SECOND, CITIZEN OSBORNE SPEAKS ON CLAIMED "ILLEGAL" CRA ISSUE
THIRD, CITIZEN SPEAKS ON NORTH CANTON POOL PROBLEMS
(SCPR Note: North Cantonians who want the latest on the status of North Canton's Dogwood Shelter Pool this is much to learn from this video including responses by:
- Mayor Held,
- Chief Administrator Grimes
- Councilpersons Griffith, and
Peters had to be grinding his teeth at the Held, Grimes, Griffith and Cerreta responses during public speaks juncture of last night's meeting. Of course, the "real" stickler for forbidding such interaction is Law Director Tim Fox.
Overall, David Held is a credit to North Canton government.
President of Council Daniel "Jeff" Peters, on the other hand, leaves a lot to be desired.
And a number of the councilpersons; namely, Kiesling and Werren are neck and neck with Peters.
Werren is particularly troublesome on this count inasmuch as she is the director of the Canton Regional Chamber of Commerce's Leadership Stark County.
In the SCPR's book she is the worst possible example of leadership in a public forum venue.
To The Report, her leadership training position is owing to her political connectedness in at large Stark County social circles. Not by demonstrated leadership skills.