Monday, September 11, 2017

LOUIS P. GIAVASIS: "THE DONALD J. TRUMP" OF STARK COUNTY POLITICS? "IT'S ALL ABOUT ME?"



Among the most odious experiences I have had over my three fourths of a century of life has been to have to had interact with quite a number of car salespersons.  A close second on the list are some of the politicians I have rub shoulder with.

As a group, it is my take that car salespersons and politicians are either trained to be manipulative or by force of inborn personal traits are manipulative to the nth degree.

A person who spends any time at all in the car selling industry or as a politician gets quite good at manipulation.

Most of us are nowhere near being a match for these master manipulators.

It is quite a shock to a car salesperson or politician when they meet their match or someone who is more than their match in terms of exposing their manipulations for what they are.

While his history is as a real estate salesman, President Donald J. Trump obviously fancies himself as being a master manipulator as manifested in his bamboozling his way to the Republican nomination for president.

Trump confounded nearly all of us in his being elected president.

His rise to the presidency is a testament of how utter effective manipulation (some say conning) can be and all too often is.

The Stark County Political Report thinks that former Plain Township trustee and now Stark County clerk of courts Louis P. Giavasis is a "small potatoes" local version of Donald J. Trump on the manipulative factor.  And even a "small potatoes" version is something that Stark Countians should want.

In my view, there are some eerie similarities between the Trump style and the Louis Giavasis style.

For beginners, they both evolved from the selling business.

Trump a real estate developer and salesman.  Giavasis got his start working in the automobile retaiing business.

Here is confirmation of his employment in automobile retailing which I think he began honing his skills as a manipulator.


According to his Linked-In page, Giavasis spent quite a few years learning the "art of the [car selling] deal" skill set.

It is not clear from the listing whether or not Louis actually sold cars at Sptizer and/or Waikem, but if he didn't, undoubtedly he learned the psychological skill set of saleship.

In the early 1990s, Louis was elected Plain Township trustees, which, of course, overlaps his work in the auto retailing business associations.

As trustee for some 23 years, Louis was one of three and, though he impliedly likes to suggest he was the main game in Plain.

He seemingly suggests he was able over those 23 years to persuade his fellow trustees that he was the fount of wisdom all things Plain government.

Witness this self-aggrandizing list he has published on Linked-in:



How "Great Thou Art," Louis, no?

Sounds just a tad like Donald J. Trump, no?

We all remember the Trump "I alone" can fix America assertion.

At least in his case, the president is the decider-in-chief in the sense of executive action.

But one of three (trustees) can achieve nothing with without at least one other vote.

However, that has not been a problem for him.

For most of his 23 years, Al Leno has be there at his side.  It would be interesting know whether or not over the course of 20 years of so that Leno has ever voted differently than Giavasis.

Take a look at this quote from a letter to the editor of The Repository:
During times where we have all grown weary of the friends-and-family approach to local government — as in Plain township, where outgoing Trustee Louis Giavasis recently appointed Plain Township Fiscal Officer Anthony Flex  [employed September, 2015] his new chief deputy at the Stark County Clerk of Courts (who has Trustee Al Leno [employed November, 2012] reporting to him) — we need to put proper checks in place in the Plain Township fiscal office.   
Note:  written by Claude W. "Ski'" Shriver [a former Plain Township trustee and fiscal officer; published October 27, 2015.  Shriver ran against Giavasis himself in November, 2016 in a somewhat close race.

Giavasis' job before the Stark Dems appointed him clerk?

Chief deputy in charge of the title bureau.

One has to wonder if that job was posted as accepting applications from the general taxpaying public?

It appears that there must have been Giavasis brothers discussions in 2007 to the effect his brother Phil, then Stark County clerk of courts, had concluded that it was to his advantage (significantly more pay; better retirement, et cetera) to move onto the Canton clerk of courts position when fellow Democrat Tom Harmon retired and, "golly, gee wouldn't it be nice if Louis could one day succeed him?"

Not that Harmon was finished in Stark County politics and government.  He went on to become a Stark Dems' appointed county commissioner and after that an elected councilman at large on Canton City Council.

Seems to be a pattern among a number of Stark County elected Democrats, no?

Of course, Stark County Republicans are not above doing the very same thing.

For example,  there is Republican Curtis Werren who got two appointments by Republican governor John Kasich to Stark County bench positions when the first did not pan out when the voters got their say.

So, it not just Democrats.  One of the things about "entrenched in" and "powerful in" party politics officials needing a new job, "BINGO!" up pops a new position.  Of course, they are always "the most qualified."

Either these folks do get it or have a "public be damned" attitude, but this kind of stuff gradually but surely erodes public support for political parties and contributes to the public's disdain for politicians in general.

Who can forget county recorder Rick Campbell plucking then Stark County Dems' chairman Randy Gonzalez's son Kody out of public school employment (a job Randy says that Kody always wanted, implying that it was a real sacrifice for him to accept the Campbell offered job) to become not just a Stark County recorder's office employee but the #2 official in the recorder's office.

Campbell says that Kody's selection was a "no brainer" because it was obvious to one and all that Gonzalez was the most qualified person in all of Stark County for the job.

So much so that Campbell did not bother to advertise the position to the general public who, of course, if one lives in Stark County pays the salary recorder office employees.

But Gonzalez the Younger was not done.

A relatively short time later Louis' brother Phil anointed Kody chief deputy clerk of court of the Canton clerk of courts (succeeding his father, Randy, on his retirement) on the same rationale that Campbell gave for having hired Kody to the #2 position in the recorder's office.

For the record, Kody's father has adamantly and persistently denied that he had anything whatsoever to Campbell and Giavasis finding Kody irresistible as a county/city employee.

The Report's response has always been that such may well be the case.  However, there is a significant public perception decidedly skeptical of the denial and moreover there is also the distinct possibility that neither Campbell nor Phil Giavasis had to be asked.

Who, as among Campbell and Phil Giavasis, wouldn't want to please the party chairman in making a selection that was sure to please without the need for any direction or suggestion having to be uttered even indirectly?

And who becomes Democratic party chairman as successor to Randy Gonzalez?

Phil Giavasis.

Hmm?

Isn't that interesting?

Undoubtedly, pure happenstance, no?

All of this brother Louis getting a job a in the clerk's office after Reinbold's appointment her having had the support of Phil and then Louis getting appointed to the top job after Reinbold retires smells to high heavens.

Louis likes to make it appear that he only "hoped" to be named clerk when Reinbold retired.

I think that was the plan from the very first day he stepped inside the Stark County clerk of courts office as chief deputy clerk on being hired in 2008.

The SCPR has been both complimentary and critical of Campbell as Stark County recorder.

On one occasion after I had written a blog or two about Campbell marrying the daughter of a former Stark County commissioner who was not allowed as a matter of Ohio law to continue on as a employee in the recorder's office post-marriage.

Campbell's wife ended up as the chief administrator at the Plain Township trustees.

This move has the political footprints of Louis P. Giavasis all over it.

Just ask Lawrence Township trustee Mike Stevens whether or not he had a fair shot at becoming the administrator.  And, while talking to Stevens ask him whether or not he thinks he and a fair opportunity to become Phil Giavasis's successor Stark County clerk of courts.

Shortly after the blog on the new Mrs. Campbell becoming Plain Township administrator was published, Rick Campbell, Kody Gonzalez and Louis Giavasis showed up at a regular commissioners' weekly meeting in what I took as being (ancillary to Campbell having business with the commissioners) as an attempt to intimidate me.  Campbell even went so far as to engage in jawboning me.

Up to that point, I had thought that Louis "might" be his own person and not inextricably caught up in Stark County Democratic Party politics.

His participation in what I viewed as an intimidation attempt was a eye opener.

Since then, Louis Giavasis as shown me on a number of occasions that he is up to his eyeballs in the needs of the Stark County Democratic Party and cannot be depended upon to put the public interest above personal political considerations when they become competing considerations.

Now we learn that being clerk of courts is apparently not good enough for Giavasis.  In a recent Facebook post he brags about a large number of Canton Democrats wanting him to run for mayor.


You talk about a disaster in the making.  Louis Giavasis as mayor of Canton.  You have got to be kidding.  But the nation is now is crisis mode under Donald Trump, so nobody should be surprised if the Giavasis eventually somehow shows up on the 8th floor of Canton City Hall.

Like Donald, I think Louis Giavasis has a problem getting his numbers straight.

Dozens?  How about hundreds?  When does dozens become thousands?

Even at the "dozens" level, he has been unwilling to provide names to the SCPR.

Maybe because they don't exist?

To date, only Canton Ward 9 councilman Frank Morris has owned up to being one of the "dozens."  Of course, Frank for a long time has been anti-Thomas Bernabei.  

Names and contact information (for verification) Louis.  Names, please!

Louis did try to get a job with the Healy administration as service director but lost out to guess who?

You've got it:  Thomas M. Bernabei.

Apparently, that development sticks in Louis Giavasis' crawl as perhaps does the fact that Bernabei turned from being a registered Democrat into a political independent in order to run against and defeat two term incumbent Democratic mayor William J. Healy, II while—get this—Louis' brother Phil was (and continues to be) chairman of the Stark County Democratic Party.

What a humiliation for the chairman, no?

All of the foregoing comes down to this final point.

There was a day when Louis Giavasis would answer just about any question the SCPR had.   Even embarrassing to answer political questions.  Having said that, let me say that I never thought the answers were candid and were political spin to always designed to make Louis Giavasis come out smelling like a rose.

About a year or so ago, I noticed that some of the SCPR e-mailed "political" questions were going unanswered by Louis and Phil.

And I have written about that phenomenon.

Being in his own view, a person smarter than nearly anybody else (a characteristic shared with Donald Trump) embarked recently on a quest to convince me that he is accountable and answerable to the public and that all I need do is call him or better yet visit him at the clerk's office.

Sounds a lot like brother Phil and Randy Gonzalez a number years ago inviting me to the Canton clerk of courts office to see "up close and personal" the operations of Criminal Justice Information System (CJIS).

Looking back, I now see that as an attempt to ingratiate me for the privilege of getting this personal attention.

Only trouble was, I was not all that impressed with CJIS and subsequent wrote a blog that raised questions about the quality of the operation.

That went over like a lead balloon.

Anybody who reads The Stark County Political Report knows that my primary interest is politics plays into the operations of Stark County political subdivision government.

I have certainly done some ground breaking work with objective data on the efficiency and fairness of how Stark County taxpayer dollars are spent.

But "the political factor" and its use/misuse by elected officials is the main thrust of The Stark County Political Report.

The SCPR has no confidence whatsoever in Louis Giavasis in his being candid about and owning up to his factoring in political considerations in how he operated as Plain Township trustee nor as Stark County clerk of courts.

He may be even more political than his brother Phil which is saying something.


Phil is the chairman of the Stark County Democratic Party.

I think that the Leno and Flex hirings have all the earmarks of having a basis of political connections to Louis P. Giavaais to them.

Moreover, the Leno/Flex hirings do raise the spectre that there may be more than anybody realizes lesser known persons working in the clerk of courts office on the basis of a person having had  political connections to the Giavasises and/or the Stark County Democratic Party.

Being hired on account of political connections does not necessarily mean that the hirees are not doing a workmanlike or better jobs.  However, if political connection is a part of the consideration of getting hired or not, then it is likely that the employee to be mediocre at best and perhaps one who is not up to doing the job effectively.

To the degree that the general general public is cut out of the opportunity to know about and apply for affected Stark County taxpayer paid for jobs; folks like Louis P. Giavasis should be and will be by the SCPR be held accountable.

Giavasis says that The Report's scrutiny of how he operates as clerk is meaningless to him.


Lou G <lougiavasis1@hotmail.com>  Jul 5 at 3:02 PM
To:   Martin Olson

Mr. Olsen,

... I was told today I was honored to be the subject of your blog and saw that you emailed me asking for information. I am sorry I did not know you had emailed me or I would have responded earlier. A simple phone call to me would have also worked.

It's nice to see in that I am still held in such high regard by you. I find your personal opinion of me and my brother true badges of honor and I will continue to wear them proudly. Ultimately, I do not allow your opinions to effect (sic) how I do my job, nor do I need your personal blessing or stamp of approval on what I may or may not ulimately (sic) do next.  I thank you for your interest the same. 

Respectfully

Sent from my Verizon, Samsung Galaxy smartphone

Isn't that an encouraging thing for a public official to say.   In effect:  "I don't care what you think of how I run a taxpayer paid for office."


His attitude mirrors that of all too many public officials.

Louis Giavasis seemingly has taken to toying with the SCPR.

How unprofessional can one get?  And, such is indication of an underlying arrogance.

What's next?

Calling me names a la following the lead of Donald Trump?

Just one more similarity between the two.

Witness this e-mail exchange:

Giavasis to SCPR

From: Lou G <lougiavasis1@hotmail.com>
Date: 9/6/17 12:25 PM (GMT-05:00)
To: Martin Olson <tramols@att.net>
Subject: Invite

Martin,

The invitation still stands, my office door remains open for you at anytime you would like to come into the clerks office. I will be happy to give you a tour, discuss implenented changes, you can talk to staff and ask me any questions you would like.

Lou Giavasis


2nd Giavasis to SCPR

From: Lou G <lougiavasis1@hotmail.com>
To: Martin Olson <tramols@att.net>
Sent: Saturday, September 9, 2017 4:20 PM
Subject: Fwd: Invite

Martin,

I don't understand, you continue to criticise me for not answering questions or your emails but I have invited you to come into my office and it is I that does not get a response.

Lou

Sent from my Verizon, Samsung Galaxy smartphone


SCPR to Giavasis

Martin Olson <tramols@att.net>  Sep 9 at 5:41 PM
To: Lou G

For starters, please identify by name the many persons who you claim have asked you to run for mayor of Canton. Moreover, please provide me with contact information on these folks.

For other questions, just go back and review the unanswered e-mailed questions that I have sent you over the past year or so and answer them.

To repeat, just simply answer my e-mailed (or blog posed) questions that have gone unanswered.

I am pleased to hear that you think you have made improvements in  the operations of the clerk of courts office.

Such is the obligation of every elected Stark County subdivision officeholder and is not deserving of being thought of as noteworthy especially if touted by the officeholder him/herself.

I will just let your claim in the improvement regard stand on its own unless I get allegations to the contrary.  In such an eventuality, you can be sure I will want to be on the scene to be asking probing questions.

It is reassuring to know that I have an open/open-ended invitation to come check things out at the Stark County  clerk of courts office.

Such should be available to any Stark County citizen who wants to examine operations of the clerk's office.


The SCPR has never and never will ask for special access to public officials.

The Repository in the past has been highly critical of former Democratic Stark County auditor Kim Perez for injecting a political factor into whom he hired in the auditor's office.

But we hear nary a word about the Giavasises.

Hmmm?

To turn Lou's "wear as a badge of honor" comment on its head.

Keeping the spotlight on the likes of Louis P. Giavasis as he functions as a public office holder is the SCPR's "badge of honor."

The Report sees Louis Giavasis in his public capacity as being a manipulator supreme and therefore to be watched with special scrutiny.

One Donald Trump-esque person is more than an enough for any political system at any level to have to bear.

Louis P. Giavasis as a politician, as a countywide office holder merits special watching!

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