Thursday, October 19, 2017



As The Stark County Political Report (SCPR) sees the 2017 North Canton City Council (NCCC) "council-at-large" race, this contest will produce at least one change in the make up of North Canton's legislative body.

It is difficult to see how 25 year veteran (on and off) of North Canton government Daryl Revoldt does not get elected to one of three seats in the "at-large" category up for selection on November 7th.

If the SCPR is correct, the the question becomes:  Whom among the three incumbent council-at-large members (Cerreta, Griffith, Kiesling) becomes the "odd-person-out" come the revelation of election results in the evening of November 7th.

One person whom it should not be, in the estimate of the SCPR, is Councilman Dan Griffith.

The Report has to dig no deeper in recommending to North Canton voters that Griffith be one of two of the three incumbents to return for another term as councilperson than to note the—he alone—among the incumbents was willing to sit down with the SCPR for an accounting of his years on council.

If one follows the numbers of previous council-at-large elections, Griffith seems the most vulnerable among the three of not being re-elected in that in each of his runs he came in third of the three "at-large" positions to be elected.

But please do notice that in each election cycle Griffith has increased his percentage of the vote to the point that he is only some 175 votes behind "long-time" Councilwoman (since the early 2000s but with one loss in during the period) Marcia Kiesling.

So, the 2017 election, could be the year that he bests Kiesling and with Revoldt in the race Kiesling becomes the "odd-person-out" in returning to council for a new term.

Reasons that North Canton voters should consider not making Marcia Kiesling one of their three choices include:
  • her failure to provide the C-LWV with a response for bio information and an answer to the League's question,
  • her refusal to do a SCPR in-depth interview which is a slam/slight on North Canton voters, and
    • Note:  a number of years ago, Kiesling made a face-to-face point of dissing the SCPR effort (respected by most Stark County officialdom) to inform North Cantonians/Stark Countians about their respective governments/officials while adding to her commentary to The Report of how tough she is.
      • Tough?  
      • She has to be kidding.  She can't even handle an accountable-to-the-North Canton-public interview with the SCPR!
        • Of course, it is not the SCPR she is slighting, it is the North Canton voters who are denied an opportunity to see her have to defend her work as a councilperson via incisive questioning.
  • her "worst attendance" record in recent years among North Canton's councilpersons,
It is likely that the top spot will be between Revoldt and Cerreta.

The real fight, the SCPR thinks, is between who stays and who goes as between candidates Kiesling and Griffith.

An interesting sidenote about Cerreta.

In the 2015 election cycle Cerreta had a flap with the Stark County Board of Elections over whether or not he procedurally qualified to be on the ballot. Cerreta had to appeal (an administrative appeal) to the Stark County Court of Common Pleas in order to gain ballot access.

Judge Kristin Farmer did the right thing in overruling the Stark County BOE and placing Cerreta on the ballot.

After the fact of the hearing,  Cerreta at a council meeting came up to The Report and opined that from his side's perspective, the SCPR's coverage of his judicial challenge (including the hearing itself) was the reason why Farmer found in his favor.

Of course, the SCPR disagrees with such an analysis and is confident that Judge Farmer ruled as she did as a matter of being based on the law of Ohio.

The point of the SCPR sharing the foregoing with readers is:
  • given the thinking that the SCPR camera was a key factor of his prevailing with the court pre-2015 election, and, 
  • then, two years later, he refuses to do an in-depth interview with The Report that North Canton voters could be aided in having the best information available on whether or not he should be re-elected is a slam not on the SCPR but his commitment to be accountable to the North Canton voting public.
Interesting, no?

There is little doubt to the SCPR that Cerreta will be re-elected.  But he ought to be ashamed of himself for not participating in the thoroughgoing work of the SCPR in providing North Canton voters information on which to base their vote in the council-at-large race.

What is Cerreta afraid of?

Didn't want to answer SCPR in-depth questions about the ethics violation (conflict in interest as a councilperson) found by the Ohio Ethics Commission several years ago?

Getting back to the primary focus of this blog:  Councilperson Dan Griffith.

Griffith is a "steady-eddie" type councilperson who is thoughtful and thorough in his work as a councilperson.

In the first SCPR video segment of yesterday's interview with Griffith, he gives and excellent example of his not being an egotistical elected public official who is willing to do essential non-glamourous legislative work.

Now to the interview of yesterday.

First, his bio (from his Canton League Women Voters [C-LWV] bio)

Next, let's get to the video interview of Griffith by topic of question format.



His acknowledgment of North Canton government having a communication problem is right on.

However, his focus in more on public relations-esque work rather than on what the SCPR thinks is a more serious problem.  That being that all too many of his colleagues are not communicating transparently with North Canton citizens who have differences with council's agenda.


Obviously, any of North Canton's legislators will, as Griffith does in the video, be supportive of the Fox as  they (except for Fonte) selected him as law director in the first place.

To say that Fox is "not perfect" is a gigantic understatement to the SCPR.

One North Cantonian noted to the SCPR in recent days that it appears that Fox is toning it down in terms of being way to much of a factor (i.e. weighing-in as if he were a councilperson on substantive policy, practice and programs).

The SCPR can see glimmers of that observation as an indication that council/Fox may be getting the message that there needs to be a major adjustment in their relationship.

If Revoldt and one or two others unseat incumbents, the SCPR thinks that Law Director Fox is in for quite a change in the relationship going forward.


Held bringing his "his" people, in the sense of his having a personal connection to them, as North Canton government employees has been a prolific complaint about Held for the nearly ten years that the SCPR has been in existence.

One has to like hearing Griffith's "push back" on the current mayor (David Held) not posting administrative positions.

Posting of public employment positions provide opportunities for non-politically-connected everyday citizens to gain employment with Stark County taxpayer supported political subdivision.

"Inside jobs" (no pun intended) are rampant across Stark County government as being a local government version of a political "swamp."



The SCPR thinks Griffith makes some good points about citizen input during North Canton council work sessions.

As long as citizens have a full and fair opportunity to influence council to possibly change what comes out of a work session, then, he makes a persuasive case not to congest a work session with citizen input.


Its reassuring to hear that should a Community Reinvestment Area ordinance come into play again in North Canton (likely), then Dan Griffith should he be re-elected is committed to ensuring that a North Ridge Place-esque abatement meted out by an unelected North Canton official will never happen again.


It will be interesting to see whether or not council in the march toward passing the above-resolution hears concerns about the fear on the part of some North Canton citizens that built into this legislative piece is a structure whereby an "unelected" official (a la North Ridge Place) makes a decision that is not acted upon by council.

There is an additional concern that the legislation is designed for one specific entity without the need to annex, which, the SCPR is told, is built into North Canton's ordinances.

Griffith, as readers can see, denies that the ordinance is being put in place to benefit any particular party.

These are matters that need to be put up for public scrutiny and input and, perhaps, modification of the ordinance on the basis of merited citizen input.


To repeat, should former councilperson/council president/mayor Daryl Revoldt displace one of North Canton's incumbent councilpersons, the replaced incumbent should not be Dan Griffith.

In order of preference, the SCPR singles out Marcia Kiesling first and Mark Cerreta second.

Dan Griffith is clearly an asset to North Canton City Council.

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