Tuesday, October 10, 2017




First, Canton's branch of the League of Women Voters did a superlative job in hosting last night's forum as an event/place where Plain Township residents could get to "better" know the folks who want to be Plain's political/governmental leadership beginning January 1, 2018 and continuing four years.

But shame on Plain residents!

Soaking wet, attendance could not have been more than 50 or so persons including many League officials, the candidates, their immediate families, a public official and, of course, a few media types including The Stark County Political Report.

A nominal (a SCPR characterization) sponsor, The Repository, deserves very little mention in a positive sense in the opinion of The Report.

Let me make it, clear.  The roasting of The Rep is solely the work of this blogger.  Canton-LWV officials repeatedly throughout the evening acknowledged the participation of The Rep and seemed genuinely appreciative of the event relationship

The SCPR thinks the LWV's expressed appreciation is unwarranted in light of the failure of The Rep to expend barrels of ink in promoting this important to the future of Plain Township civic event.

As Stark County's only countywide print media (folks, that's called a "monopoly"), The Rep persistently and chronically "drops the ball" on coverage of Stark County political subdivision political and governmental happenings.

A terrific opportunity for the SCPR for going on ten years now, but a downer for the citizens of Stark County in terms of getting the material on which to assess the quality of Stark County governance.

The Repository bills itself as  "the official newspaper" of the Pro Football Hall of Fame (HOFVP) which billing has to make Stark Countians wonder about the objectiveness and the investigative willingness of its reporting and editorializing on the Hall of Fame Village Project.

Not that The Rep's seeming disinterest in promoting last night's event is any excuse for the Plain Township public to latch on to;  but, for having "billing" as a sponsor, it is unbelieveable that the likes of executive editor Rich Desrosiers and his team of editors, columnists and reporters do not pull out all the stops in the lead up promoting of civic events such as last night's Plain Township candidates forum at Edgewood Community Center.

Second, to the "best moment of the night" and candidate Sabo's heart-touching tribute to his wife.

But the SCPR pauses here in this blog to let readers know the format going forward that The Report will present the video material recorded last evening.

Recognizing that many in the reading public have a limited attention span, the SCPR is taking the footage gathered and presenting them in a "memorable/significant moments" format.

Today's blog (Sabo:  A Candidate With a Heart,  Honors Wife in Canton LWV Forum) is a example of what SCPR can expect as The Report takes the footage and putting it into digestible and interest context.

Now to that "best moment of the night."

Be sure to take the less than two (2) minutes to take in this video of candidate John Sabo honoring his wife.

Noteworthy in the Sabo closing comments was his articulation of democrat-republican values that every candidate at every level of politics and governance should live.  He describes them as being "soft skills."  The SCPR would describe them as being "foundational, solid as a rock" leadership qualities which are essential in terms of being embodied by public officials.

The are:
  • trust
  • honesty, 
  • communication,
  • teamwork,
  • patience,
  • flexibility
  • sacrifice,
  • ability to take criticism, and
    • learn from it
Add 25 seconds, to see her response.

To The Report, in an overall evaluation of the candidates' presentations, Sabo stood out as having a superior grasp on all things Plain Township.

A high priority with voters on candidates is assessing "the heart" of a given candidate.

The afore-published video provides a glimpse into the soul of a candidate that the voting public rarely sees.

In addition to having "a quality heart," Sabo in terms of Plain Township (short of being a trustee) government experience, likely has no match in all of Plain Township (Stark's largest township).

Take a look at the bio of candidate Sabo as published by the Canton-LWV in the League's annual election edition of Stark County connected candidates for political office (also, ballot issues).

For those who want to "really" get to know Sabo, go to this SCPR blog (LINK, more in depth on Sabo's long time Plain Township connection) in which he is tested by The Report on critical issues in Plain Township.

The only weakness of the Canton LWV sponsored forums is that the organization makes it crystal clear in the conduct of an event (enforced by moderator Dick Kuhn) that questions he deems "out-of-bounds" will not see the "light of day."

And, the "vanilla" approach of the forums could be one of a number of reasons why they are so poorly attended.

If any of the candidates understand Plain Township through and through, that person is John Sabo.

The SCPR thinks Sabo is more dyed-in-the-wool Plain Township than former long term trustee Louis Giavasis (a thorough going Democrat), who interesting enough (recently political party appointed/retained by voters as Stark County clerk of courts) has moved out of Plain in what some see as the first step to run for mayor of Canton against political independent Thomas Bernabei in the elections of 2019

Can anybody feature Sabo moving out of Plain Township for political advantage and ambition?

After Sabo, incumbent trustee Scott Haws impressed the SCPR of being totally cognizant of all things Plain Township and ably explained/justified his work as a Plain Township going back a number of years.

The Report will be focusing on Haws' in the next blog on the Canton-LWV forum.

Next up?

Pick-em! as between Anthony Rich and Brook Harless

The SCPR's uneasiness with Rich was not quelled with the material he presented last night.

In prior blogs, the SCPR alone has focused on a June 25, 2017 incident in which at Bud's Corner Bar (located in Nimishillen Township) in which Rich (a civil side prosecutor with the Stark County prosecutor's office) pulled his prosecutor's badge in an apparent attempt to deal with a fracas that erupted while Rich was in attendance at a wedding celebration event.

Of course, a question of his conduct at the event was out-of-the-question at a Kuhn moderated Canton LWV forum.

But there was a question regarding "public safety" which Rich could have on his own brought up the issue of his conduct (raised by the SCPR as being relevant to whether or not he has the "temperament" one would expect of a public official) and thereby could have explained/justified his conduct at Bud's Corner Bar.

That he did not take advantage of his opportunity to do so at the forum, suggests to the SCPR that he understands that he was highly inappropriate in doing so and his failure to publicly acknowledge his faux pas should signal to Plain Township voters that he does not possess the ability to own up to his mistakes and move forward in a more mature fashion.

Moreover, The Report thinks Rich might be taking license with his using his Canton Law Department and Stark County Prosecutor Office experience as being the equivalent of having direct Plain Township governance participation.  And, in publishing that he has lived in the "area" all of his lifetime, a fuzzy way of skirting whether or not "area" means within Plain Township.

A SCPR interview would tease out these matters.  It appears that Rich knows this and therefore wants no part of a SCPR videotaped interview.

Perhaps closest to Sabo in "purity of heart" is Brook Harless.  However, she utterly lacks actual local government experience that Sabo and Haws have "in spades."

She has in a prior telephone conversation with the SCPR billed herself as being "a community centered" candidate.


No local government experience as such as thereby would be a risky choice by Plain Township voters.

By her own self-assessment, lacking in hands on governance skills.

Harless, as a parent should be, appears to be totally focused on parenting.  She couldn't keep a commitment to do an in depth SCPR videotaped interview because of scheduling problems in meeting a parenting obligation.

Totally, understandable, no?

But she never followed up to reschedule,  That she didn't, is indication that she has been forewarned that SCPR questions might be too pointed for her to feel comfortable with.

While she impliedly ascribes to herself as being a "stay-at-home-mom" the ability to be a "full time trustee," it appears to the SCPR that she is way too short on actual governance experience to be seriously considered by Plain Township voters.

Sabo, clearly is in the same boat (time-wise) and Haws has over years as trustee has demonstrated he can handle both being a trustee and having a full time private sector job, that any advantage Harless thinks she has in the regard shows she is weak in coming up with reasons why Plain Township voters might want to place Harless in the bottom tier of the four viable candidates running for township trustee.

Just a word on John Juergensen whom the SCPR bills a being "a phantom candidate" as he proved to be when he filed as the Democratic candidate to oppose Republican incumbent Christina Hagan in the Stark County-based 50th Ohio House district in 2016.

That's it!  Wow!

No further comment needed by the SCPR or anybody else about the seriousness of Juergensen as a candidate, no?

Remember, this blog is but the very first of blogs on last night forum that Plain Township voters will be able to access in their making a determination as to whom among the four candidates will be 2/3rds of township leadership going forward.

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