Wednesday, September 27, 2017



(Plain Township Trustee Seeking Retention)


His Background

His Decision to Run for Trustee

What Makes for an Effective Trustee

His Connection to Plain Township

Appropriate Trustee Relationships

Annexations as an Issue

The Positive in Being a Trustee

Frustrations in Being a Trustee

Response to Criticism of Candidate Rich

Why is Best Suited to be a Trustee

On August 30th, The Stark County Political Report (SCPR) started interviewing candidates for Plain Township trustee.  Here is a LINK to the incumbent Scott Haws interview which was published on September 6th.

Today, the series continues with an interview with incumbent, to be retained or not, Plain Township trustee (appointed in October, 2015) John Sabo.

First up, is that part of Sabo's on camera interview with the SCPR which was recorded on September 20th, where Sabo responds to questions regarding his-before-being-appointed-trustee years.  (2:52)

Second, candidate Sabo shares with Plain Township residents his coming to a decision to run for trustee and his view of the key to being an effective trustee.
  • talks about over many years service in the Plain Fire Department watching the "nuts and bolts of government being done,"
  • shares his satisfaction of working during those years in collaboration and partnership with various Plain Township interfacing entities, 
  • dwells on "trust" as being a key component of being able to successfully collaborate and partner,
  • reveals that only because he sensed that he could have the full non-contentious confidence in him on the part of appointing trustees Scott Haws (a Republican) and Al Leno (a Democrat) was he willing to entertain accepting appointment as trustee, and
  • notes that his father and his work ethic as being an inspiration for he himself to work hard for the residents of Plain Township
The video:  (3:42)

Third, John Sabo describes his being a lifelong resident of Plain Township, it diversity and his familiarity with all aspects of the Plain community. (3:22)

Fourth, Sabo speaks out on past/future relationship among Plain's trustees and how future annexations might work out.  (7:46)

Fifth, Sabo addresses the annexation on Fulton near the Hall of Fame Village Project (Tamsal) going awry and the future of annexation for Plain Township. (6:38)

Sixth, the question about what is satisfying to candidate Sabo in being a Plain Township trustee. (9:38)

Seventh, the question about what is frustrating to candidate Sabo in being a trustee. (4:09)

Eighth, the Anthony Rich criticism of the sitting Plain Township trustees, (9:27)

Ninth, candidate Sabo's wrap up on why he thinks he is suited to continue on as trustee. (1:40)


RICH (See the blog on Scott Haws for more details on the Rich candidacy)

The SCPR has contacted candidates Anthony Rich, John Juergensen and Brook Harless with a request that they go one-on-one with The Report so that Plain Township voters have an opportunity to assess each of candidates in comparison to one another in arriving at a decision as to which two of the five candidates should lead Plain Township along with not-up-for-election-this-time around Al Leno Plain Township government going forward.

Candidate Anthony Rich has been contacted twice but he persists in refusing to be in touch with the SCPR.

It could be that he wants no part of the SCPR inasmuch as The Report alone among Stark County media has paid any attention whatsoever to a happening at Bud's Corner Bar on June 25th in which a disturbance occurred and in course of events Rich (by his own written statement) admits to having displayed his prosecutor's badge apparently thinking that same was appropriate in the context of the situation.

If that is what he was thinking, then he owes township residents an explanation as to why he thought his self-admitted action was appropriate and whether or not voting residents might expect similar conduct as a sitting Plain Township trustee.

It could be that in hindsight he thinks his action was inappropriate.

If so, he needs to own up under questioning of having inappropriate and why he thinks it, in hindsight, was inappropropriate and provide Plain voters with assurances that as a trustee he will not be repeating such a practice.

At a Canton City Council meeting of a couple weeks ago, one of Rich's supporters approached the SCPR with a complaint that the September 6th blog was "a hatchet job on Rich."

The Report's response:  "How can you call it a "hatchet job" when the candidate himself admits in his written police statement that the incident occurred but then Rich refuses to be questioned about it as well as other Plain Township matters he deal with from the safety of his campaign online sites?

There is a Plain Township candidate forum scheduled October 9th at the Plain Branch of the Stark County District Library.

Hopefully, there will be some questions about the Bud's Corner Bar incident in which Rich displayed his prosecutor's badge.

More simply put:  What does Anthony Rich have to hide?

Stark County political subdivision voters should administer heightened scrutiny of any candidate for public office who demonstrates that he/she may have temperament problems.

The SCPR suspects that Rich is such a candidate.

Voters should be wary of such candidates because it is a short step from acting impulsively in one public setting to an elective office public setting in which a citizen may become the subject of bullying type behavior.

The SCPR rejects the "hatchet job" attribution and re-issues an invitation to Rich to sit down with The Report and do an Q&A on the incident.

When one runs for public office, voters are entitled to have candidates vetted on such incidents.


Harless, who describes herself as a "community focused candidate" backed out of a scheduled interview last Wednesday because of family logistical problems.  Of course, we all have things like that happen to us.  But she has not contacted the SCPR to reschedule.

It it beginning to look like that Harless is far too implicated in day-to-day family life to have sufficient time and energy to be running for elective office.

Plain voters will want to question Harless very closely on the issue of whether or not she has space in her life to be fully engaged with and responsive to the demands of holding political office.

Focusing on family life is a good thing, but can, except for persons highly skilled at juggling competing and demanding public duties (inherent in being a public official), can render a person ineffective and insufficiently responsive to the discharge of public duties.

One thing that Ms. Harless could have done is to provide the SCPR with a promised biography detailing her life's work as a measure of whether or not she has a background that suggests she has potential as an elected official.

So in addition to canceling the interview, she has not followed through on the promised to the SCPR biography.

The SCPR is a big believer in paying attention to warning signs and thinks that Harless may be signaling that she is not ready for running for public office.


An attorney who ran against incumbent Republican Christina Hagan for the 50th Ohio House District seat in 2016, one has to wonder how serious of a candidate Juergensen is.

He cited a personal problem situation as the reason why he didn't seem to put up much of an effort against Hagan.

There was even talk that he would officially withdraw his candidacy and he never did.

He has not responded to the SCPR's request for an interview.

Is his run for Plain Township trustee going to be another phantom run for office?

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