Thursday, September 21, 2017


The Stark County Political Report (SCPR) does not generally go to political campaign fundraisers.

But when a campaign brings in a well known, highly significant political figure into Stark County, well! that's an exception.

On Monday, the SCPR interviewed Democratic candidate for governor Joseph Schiavoni (of the Youngstown area) in a thoroughgoing fashion.  Democrats who want to be informed Democratic voters come May 8, 2018 will make sure they see this video (LINK).

And, The Report is working on getting the remaining Democratic campaigns to sit down with me to answer questions which are foremost in the minds of Stark Democrats as they make a selection between announced candidates Schiavoni, Pillich, Sutton and Whaley.

North Canton mayor David Held may be in for the run of his political life as he is being challenged by Scott Kelly.

Soon the SCPR will be sitting down with Kelly and Held for one-on-one interviews like the one already published on Plain Township trustee Scott Haws (LINK) and within the next few days one of Trustee John Sabo (interviewed on September 20th).

Moreover, for a thorough understanding of State of Ohio Issue #2, Stark Countians have a resource to be completely informed on the issue by going to this LINK and soaking in the material in the blog based on coverage of the Canton League of Women Voters (LWV) and The Repository sponsored forum on the issue.

Last night the SCPR had access to Republican gubernatorial candidate Mike DeWine who is currently the attorney general of Ohio.

While The Report would have liked to had a little more time with DeWine, it was getting late and he had a two plus hour trip ahead of him getting back to Columbus.

Readers of the SCPR likely have picked up on The Report's focus in interviews is how they view matters and will act upon if elected to the enhancement or detriment of all things Stark County.

Two of the three questions that DeWine agreed to answer were on two very important issues to Stark Countians.

First and foremost how he will deal with the financing local government funding.

Canton council president Allen Schulman should find DeWine's answer interesting because in framing the question I refer to Schulman's famous diatribe of a couple years ago on the Republicans (the Kasich and supermajority Republican Ohio General Assembly) draconian reduction in local government funding so that the state could balance its budget.

Secondly, a question on the continued viability of "land bank" funding beyond 2019 (the beginning of the term for whomever gets elected governor in November, 2018).

In Stark County, the chairman of the Stark County "Land Bank" is Stark County treasurer Alex Zumbar.  One of the essential conditions of revitalization of Stark County urban communities is the demolition or rehab of blighted properties.

 And, of course, the scope of ridding Stark County's villages, cities and townships of blighted properties is receiving federal and state dollars teamed up with local match dollars.

A Republican, Zumbar is the Stark County head of the Mike DeWine for governor campaign.  (see LINK  blog of June 29th wherein the SCPR writes about  Zumbar/Creighton joining the DeWine campaign)

If DeWine gets elected, one would expect Zumbar to parlay his influence with the governor to convince him to keep the Lank Bank movement financially alive and thriving post-2019.

The SCPR sees Zumbar's administration of the Land Bank as being highly effective but there is a long ways to go before Stark County can say that the blighted property problem is behind us.

For the job to get done, Ohio's next governor is going to have to be committed in terms of budgeting dollars and cents to the cause in Ohio's biennium budgets.

Here is the videotaped interview between the SCPR and Mike DeWine:

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