Wednesday, December 27, 2017


UPDATE:  09:00 AM (12/28/2017)




Some people never learn, no?

Apparently, the "some" people is exemplified by North Canton City Council membership.

Years 2012—2017 has been a shameful era for North Canton mostly owing to the doings of North Canton's council and how it legislatively structured and "undemocratic-republican" implemented its formula for granting tax abatements under its Community Reinvestment Area (CRA) policy.

As a consequence, Council, because of adverse reaction from many connected to North Canton City Schools (NCCS) officially and user-wise (i.e. parents of students), ended up scrapping its CRA in totality.

In brief, the CRA became controversial because the legislation was structured to be  and actually was implemented in 2012 by a North Canton "un-elected" official titled as being the Housing Officer which resulted in a 100% property tax abatement being granted to North Ridge Place, LLC (owned by North Canton developer Robert DeHoff, et al) for a multi-unit apartment complex.

For a more detailed account of the abatement, go to this SCPR blog LINK.

Eventually, Council did undo the 100% abatement and in effect through a number of agreements and supplemental legislation mitigated the abatement to 50 percent.

But the damage was done!

North Canton schools reacted by placing a "cannot succeed" combined bond/income tax based levy (Issue 44) on the November, 2017 ballot which, predictably, got trounced at the polls on November 7th past.  Most of North Canton's government officialdom opposed the schools' levy effort.

Now the schools are scrambling in meeting with key opposition figures to come up with a "winning" formula for getting the NCCS the revenues it needs to keep North Canton schools among the very finest in all of Stark County.

The SCPR hears that there seems to be an agreement that a property tax levy of about one-half-dozen mills, more or less, will be supported by key North Canton officials and citizens.  Moreover, The Report is hearing that the massive plan to re-do North Canton schools' building complex is being abandoned for a much slower paced, piece-meal approach to modernizing the schools' physical facilities.

It remains to be seen whether or not "the damage done" will be "undone" by the "new" plan.

One always hopes that fumbling and bumbling public officials learn from their mistakes.

But a new situation has arisen in North Canton government which makes it highly questionable that the North Canton Seven (Peters, Foltz, Werren, Fonte, Cerreta and Kiesling) learned anything.

And with the Fieldcrest zoning matter on the horizon, unless the experienced and seemingly wise man of North Canton governance (Daryl Revoldt) proves to be a difference maker; North Cantonians may be in for a double dose of failed council government in 2018.

Now taking front and center in North Canton as a potential "do it again" screw-up is a October, 2017 ordinance whereby North Canton Council created a "Water Board" which, it appears, is once again afflicted with having decisions being made by un-elected persons who serve on the board.

The new situation.

Back in 2011, North Canton Council decided that if anybody wanted any of its bountiful and pristine water supply, they would have to annex to the "boxed-in" on nearly all sides city, to wit:

(Highlighting added for emphasis)

Focus on the word "shall not/shall" sprinkled throughout North Canton Ordinance 935.08.

Now take a look at the ordinance amending 935.08 that council passed this past October:

(Highlighting added for emphasis)

So now the "shall" has pretty much become "may" unless the Water Board and chair of Water, Sewer and Rubish Committee of North Canton City Council "in their SOLE discretion (sole bolded/capitalized for emphasis sake) decide to make the "may" a "shall."


Guess what?

Only one of the deciders between the "may" and the "shall" is an elected official that being the chair of the chair of the Water, Sewer and Rubbish Committee which as this time is Councilman at Large Mark Cerreta.

And let's do a "guess what" one more time with a slight change.

GUESS WHO  was the applicant for North Canton water without the necessity of agreeing to annex this company's Jackson Township sited property to North Canton?

A clue:  He was a principal in the North Ridge Place, LLC council empowered/enabled debacle.

You've got it!  None other than Robert DeHoff.

There are those North Cantonians who believe that DeHoff gets what DeHoff wants of North Canton government because his seeming hold on, at the very least, a majority of North Canton government officials.

Here is a copy of an e-mail exchange between the SCPR and North Canton government administration:


Justine Avery <>  Dec 27 at 1:41 PM

Martin Olson/SCPR,

Please see the reply (in red) to your questions.

Thank you,

Justine A Avery
Administrative Assistant to Director of Administration

From: Martin Olson <>
Date: December 26, 2017 at 14:58:19 EST
To: Mike <>
Subject: Re:  Water Board Meeting of December 21, 2017
Reply-To: Martin Olson <>

Administrator Grimes,

Who put together/published the Water Board agenda for the December 21, 2017 meeting? Administration

Who are the current members? Director of Administration, Director of Finance, Director of Law, Council’s Representative        

Is there a plan to add members? Unknown

If so, what are the names/official positions of those persons? n/a

What are the names of the officers (names and positions, please) chosen at the meeting. Chairman of the Board/ Director of Administration , Vice Chair / Council Representative

Please have the Stark County Political Report ( placed on the list of media to be notified of all North Canton "open to the public" meetings. will be added to the distribution list.

Thank you,

Martin Olson/SCPR


Harkening back to the North Ridge Place, LLC abatement, readers will recall that the initial 100% abatement was a complete and total surprise to seemingly EVERYBODY in North Canton government except for the Housing Officer himself.

Practically nobody familiar with the matter believes that there were NO North Canton elected officials who were aware of—"at the time"—the North Ridge Place LLC abatement being in the offing.

But they ALL deny knowing!

Only former councilman Jon Snyder owns up to knowing about it "after-the-fact" with his source being DeHoff himself.

One North Canton citizen is suggesting that the DeHoff connected company (WILLMOLL DEVELOPMENT I) application was purposely (on the part of city officials) done on the QT .

Ever want to see a "pathetic" agenda?

Here is a real prize winner:

"Consideration of a water service agreement."

Little short on the details, no?

Do ya think that had the name of Robert J. DeHoff and his associated company appearing on the agenda might have raised some interest and, maybe just maybe, some eyebrows?

(Source:  Osborne video)

And there is more.

Read this by North Cantonian Chuck Osborne: (an excerpt from a longer e-mail)

It is only through happenstance that word of the meeting got out. NO agenda was posted on the City’s website nor was it on display in the lobby downstairs.

An agenda was not provided when requested via an email request.

For some quirk of fate, Mark Cerreta called Melanie Roll and told her of the meeting. Mrs. Roll called me and I got the word out to Council member Revoldt as well as Repository reporter Jessica Holbrook.

I have learned since that no one on City Council had any notice of the meeting, other than Mr. Cerreta. Not even Council President Jeff Peters.

Why are six out of seven of the public’s elected representatives being kept totally in the dark?

Note:  The SCPR is told that the media (i.e. The Repository) did receive timely notice of the meeting after a search of records was made.

See Osborne's videotape of the meeting which can be viewed here.

In researching material for this blog, the SCPR came across a federal lawsuit in the Northern District of Ohio (Stark Countian Sara Lioi presiding) in which by virtue of holding a 10% interest in Maple Street Commerce (a principally owned Stuart Lichter company rehabbing the former Hoover Company factory complex into viable commercial/residential) Robert DeHoff has an indirect interest in, to wit:

What should "really" excited North Cantonians is this paragraph in the lawsuit:

(Highlighting added for emphasis)

When he was running for re-election as mayor, David Held seemed highly confident that the Hoover rehab would be completed within a few years.

But will it?

In light of the lawsuit and the unmistakable position of the plaintiff that it is doubtful that it will be.  (See the entire lawsuit at the end of this blog.  One should focus on paragraphs 104 through 116).

One would think that North Canton officials beginning with Mayor Held ought to be pressing Lichter and DeHoff by virtue of this 10% interest as of the filing of CMB v. Lichter et al on the question.

Ward 4 incumbent candidate Dominic Fonte made a big show in a SCPR interview with him of talking person-to-person with Lichter about the aesthetics surrounding the Main Street side of the Hoover complex.

Why wouldn't he and for that matter the remainder of North Canton City Council be asking Lichter and DeHoff by virtue of the aforementioned minority interest in MSC for assurances that the project will be completed and pin them down with a date certain.

The SCPR did try to contact legal counsel for CMB in order to obtain a read on the prospects for settling CMB's lawsuit or a date that the matter is likely to go to trial, to wit:

Martin Olson <>  Dec 11 at 11:09 AM


Attorney Gray,

What is the likelihood that the above reference case is going to settle?

Martin Olson
Stark County Political Report

More than two weeks later, no answer.

It appears to The Report that the court is trying to get the case solved through mediation.

Mayor Held seemed to be surprised when the SCPR brought up the CMB lawsuit and DeHoff''s interest and the skepticism by CMB that Hoover would ever be completed.


If Held and council is unaware of the litigation and/or is not pressing for answers, North Cantonians should be highly concerned.

So the seeming secrecy and not being on matters like the lawsuit on the part of North Canton government should be grist enough for citizens to press North Canton government officials for answers.

It will take time but The Stark County Political Report thinks that the election of Daryl Revoldt to council has already and will continue be effective to change the "closed to the public, if possible" attitude that seems to permeate the public persona of his fellows on council.

Revoldt, as talented and as capable as he is, cannot not change the anti-public-attitude of most of the rest of council on his own.

He needs help.

The time is now for the likes of B.J. Boyajian to begin their campaigns for the 2019 election which is less than two years away.  Starting a few months before election day is not going to be enough for the largely uninformed North Canton voting public.

Unless there are others who persist and successfully win election to council, it is likely that North Canton Council will do IT (i.e. fumble and bumble and be anti-democratic-republican)  again and again and again.

As the Washington Post prints on its masthead:  "Democracy Dies in Darkness."

Regrettably, North Canton government appears "hellbent" on making a Stark County contribution!

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