Friday, November 3, 2017


UPDATED:  09:30 AM


(at end of blog)

Several sources are telling The Stark County Political Report  (SCPR) that North Canton City Council incumbent Stephanie Werren (a Republican) made an unsuccessful effort to get the Ohio Elections Commission (Commission, OEC) to take up her allegation that challenger Jon Snyder (a Republican and former North Canton Ward 4 councilman) is using a campaign flyer unfairly.

The topic:  Fieldcrest re-zoning which, of course, must be approved by North Canton City Council of which Werren, who lives in the immediate neighborhood of Fieldcrest is one of seven members.

Werren was appointed to North Canton's council in the fall of 2012 when Tim Fox, elected in November, 2011, vacated the post to become North Canton council appointed law director.

Here is what the Commission says on its website its mission is:

Here is a copy of Snyder's complete flyer which apparently is the subject of Werren's attempt to get the OEC to take her unhappiness up for investigation.

The SCPR has contacted Councilwoman Werren via e-mail but has no response as of the publication of this blog.

Citizen activist Chuck Osborne several months ago raised ethical concerns (conflict-in-interest) with Councilwoman Werren.

Her response?

She asked Ohio Ethics Commission for an advisory opinion, to wit:

A question has been raised with the SCPR as to whom "really" wrote this letter.  A question, if she would have agreed to a SCPR videotaped "inform Ward 3 voters" interview would have been asked.

Maybe this was one of the reasons she would not agree to a SCPR interview?

Here is the Ethics Commission's response to the letter:

End of the matter?

Perhaps not.

The citizen she references in her letter is as cited above Chuck Osborne.

He tells the SCPR that he made a trip to Columbus (October 11, 2017) to tell the Ohio Ethics Commissions "the rest of the story" that he claims Werren left out in her letter to the commission.

His allegations include:
  1. Werren being in discussions regarding the re-zone of Fieldcrest at least going back to June 14, 2017 and, perhaps, going back several years,
  2. Her only reaching out to the Ohio Ethics Commission for guidance on September 28, 2017 and only after Osborne on September 18th had sent her an e-mail expressing concerns about Werren having a conflict-in-interest,
Here is a repeat video clip of Snyder talking about Fieldcrest in a SCPR October 4, 2017 interview in which he articulates on his campaign flyer position that North Canton council needs to engage a professional planner before proceeding on the requested rezone.

By the way, The Report asked Werren to do an  "inform Ward 3 voters" interview which, of course, would have included a Q&A on Fieldcrest, among other topics.

 In not responding to the request, Werren in effect refused.

Kind of a strange thing for a person who is the director of the Canton Regional Chamber of Commerce (CRCC) Leadership program not to want for be accountable for her positions/actions as a North Canton council member, no?

And add to that her not responding to the SCPR on the question on whether or not she has been in contact with the Ohio Elections Commission about the Snyder flyer as being inconsistent with her involvement in the CRCC leadership program, particularly, that part of her CRCC work that involved training of Stark County political subdivision government officials and those who aspire to run for elective or appointive office.

Is accountability to voters a part of the CRCC government academy program?

Being Ward 3 councilperson could have been a awesome opportunity for Werren to demonstrate being a model elected public official.

That she has not so advantaged herself in the North Canton government forum should be a lament to all of us who want to see better equipped, prepared and ethics sensitive elected government officials holding office across Stark County's political subdivisions.

The Fieldcrest zoning issue could be the tipping point as to whom gets elected in Ward 3.

It appears to the SCPR that Jon Snyder has the more trustworthy approach on dealing with the Fieldcrest matter and should weigh heavily with Ward 3 voters as they determine whom to vote for as between Snyder and Werren.

If reports are true that Stephanie Werren has taken the Ward 3 fight to Columbus and the Ohio Elections Commission it could be because she is really, really, really worried that she is about to be replaced by former 16 year Ward 4 councilman Jon Snyder by the voters of the ward.



No comments: