Tuesday, September 26, 2017


UPDATED:  09:39 AM



In recent Canton City Council history, this resolution has come up for council action on an annual basis:

For much of Councilman Frank Morris' career as a Democrat councilman representing Ward 9 and currently as council majority leader, he has taken a stand against council giving $175,000 or whatever amount to the Canton Regional Chamber of Commerce (CRCC).  (See video below [2:50])

Note:  A poignant statement by Morris (missed in the video due to a need to change video cards) "Let them [the CRCC] do more with less."

However, up until last night, Morris has gotten waxed on the vote in recent years.

Perhaps, this year's outcome will change?

If council ends up voting Morris' way, it will be because of this outburst by Canton's most energized and passionate councilman, to wit:

After his impassioned plea (not from a script, but from heart-of-hearts), Ward 7 councilman John Mariol moved for a postponement of the vote to allow Ward 8 councilman Edmond Mack (who was on vacation last night) to participate in the debate on whether or not the ordinance should pass.

When was all said and done on Mariol's motion, council decided to conclude the debate and vote on the matter on October 16th.

It seemed as if Morris at the conclusion of his remarks that he was destined for another failed effort.

But then came the vote on whether or not to postpone.

The outcome?

Six to five (6 to 5) in favor of postponing.

One could read the vote one of two ways.

First, "the handwriting is on the wall" that council will do what council has always done in doing a near unanimous vote to provide the money to the CRCC.

Second, the vote indicates that there may be some interest in the light of the dire financial circumstances of Canton city government to deny the CRCC the $175,000.

Earlier in the evening in the course of council's work session meeting, there was a "hot and heavy debate" (to be opined on later this week by the SCPR) on whether or not Canton should increase the level of spending taxpayer money (which, of course is where the $175,000 would come from) in doing "chip and seal" repairs on city streets as an economy measure.

Depending on the method of road repair used, with $175,000 additional money to work with, Canton could somewhat fix anywhere from 3 to 11 miles of rated "poor" streets (PCR 56-60).

Somewhat fix?

Meaning that recipient residential neighborhood streets could have their lives extended short of repaving, which, of course, is much, much, much more expensive.

So maybe just maybe the CRCC has something to worry about this year?

The Report's recollection is that the Chamber folks usually send a staff person or two to the council meeting at which the taxpayer subsidy vote of CRCC operations is held.

But as far as can be determined, NOBODY from the Chamber was present last night.

Maybe just maybe the Chamber is getting a bit smug about the matter?

Of course, former Repository executive editor David C. Kaminski is a key person at the CRCC and who can forget when he was executive editor he once wrote a editorial that comparing the Rep's editorial board to an "800 pound gorilla who buys ink by the barrell."

Knowing council as the SCPR does, the Kaminski statement undoubtedly lingers in the background as council votes on anything let alone on a matter that benefits Kaminski's current employer.

One has to believe that Kaminski still has the ear of the folks at 600 Market Avenue, South and should a council majority cross the CRCC, perhaps, the 800 pound gorilla would reappear to do damage in an election year?

The SCPR is highly skeptical that anybody on council other than Morris has the moxie to cross the CRCC.

But there is no doubt about Morris being correct.

Canton can ill-afford to be giving anybody $175,000!!!

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