Wednesday, December 20, 2017


UPDATED:  11:37 AM


Here is a SCPR video of Harmon being recognized by his Canton City Council colleagues:


From the notes in the Canton City Council meeting agenda report:

Member Mariol said that it was a great pleasure working with Member Harmon. He has learned a lot from him over the past two years, and will look back and enjoy their time working together. 

Law Director Martuccio  ... thanked Member Harmon stating that he was a role model in working with the Law Department. He gave the example of when Member Harmon brought to them a state of the art parking ordinance. He said that Member Harmon was always extremely courteous and diligent, and he will miss working with him. He wished him the best for the future, and Happy Holidays to him, his wife, his family and all his friends and support group. He ended with a quote from Charles Dickens’ character, Tiny Tim, “God bless us everyone.” 

Member Smuckler teased Member Harmon about not understanding Rule 22A and about passing a Resolution for his hearing doctor. He said you can always count on Member Harmon for his friendship. There have been many opportunities to call Member Harmon for help and he has always been there. He is looking forward to their plans for this summer to attend a New York baseball game. 

President Schulman said that Member Harmon is amazing.  He helps everyone, he has helped the whole community, and he will miss him. He thanked Member Harmon and his wife foreverything they’ve done for the community. 

Mayor Bernabei wished Member Harmon and his wife well, and told him to make this his final decision not to re-enter public life. He thanked him on his behalf and on behalf of his entire Cabinet. 

Clerk Dougherty thanked Member Harmon for his hard work and dedication and support for the Council staff.

Monday night's Canton City Council meeting was supposedly Tom Harmon's (62 years of age) "last gasp" as a Stark County political subdivision elected official.

But there of those of us who thought that moment had arrived years ago.

So who knows, a political reincarnation of "started-as-Canton-clerk-of-courts" Thomas Harmon may still be in the offing.

The Stark County Political Report has known Harmon for some 15 years.

Back in the days he was Canton Municipal Court clerk of courts, a 2003 Canton Municipal Court "Annual Report" described Harmon thusly:

In 2007, Harmon "retired" as clerk of courts to be replaced by current Stark County Dems' chairman Phil Giavasis (then, clerk of courts employee Randy Gonzalez, was chairman of the Stark County Democratic Party) who moved on from being Stark County clerk of courts and a significantly higher pay grade and attendant enhanced retirement benefits when he finally decides to "retire, retire, retire" from local government service.

Was Harmon done in having retired as Canton Municipal Court clerk of courts?

What's the expression?  No way, Jose!

 In 2007 he as appointed by the Stark County to the Board of Stark County Commissioners to replace Democratic commissioner Gayle Jackson who had been appointed to Democrat Ted Strickland's administration (undoubtedly through the efforts of another former Stark County Dems chairman Johnnie A. Maier, Jr.) to a position in the Ohio Lottery Commission.

Harmon did not last long as a commissioner.

But as commissioner (initially serving along with Democrat Todd Bosley [who defeated Republican Richard Regula in the 2006 general election] and Republican Jane Vignos) in concert with Bosley and Vignos did major damage to the public's confidence in county government when the trio voted at the end of 2008 to "impose" a 1/2 cent sales tax WITHOUT A VOTE OF STARK COUNTY VOTERS.

In November, 2009, responding to a campaign put together by Stark County civic activist and attorney Craig T. Conley, Stark Countians overwhelming rejected the Bosley, Harmon and Vignos imposed sales tax

Days after the rejection, Harmon announces his resignation as commissioner, to wit;

The SCPR was covering the Stark commissioner meetings all the while Harmon was commissioner and The Report's recollection is that:
  •  (with the replacement of Republican Vignos with Democrat Steven Meeks (a former Jackson Township trustee and close to the Stark Dems' chairman Randy Gonzalez [who was then and remains Jackson's fiscal officer], whom, himself, had been an appointee of Democratic governor Ted Strickland in the Akron Regional Office of the Ohio Department of Economic Development.
Those were the "dark days" in terms of quality of Stark County governance (especially in the treasurer's office [Zeigler] and auditor's office [Perez]) and, of course, in the commissioners' office itself.

One of Harmon's contribution (in his own mind) was to propose the building of a Horse Show Arena within the Stark County Fairgrounds complex.

The Report had been chiding commissioners about the financial/economic development stagnation which had become "the reality of the day" under Bosley/Meeks/Harmon.

It was truly amusing when, as he entered the commissioners' meeting room at a regular weekly meeting of the Board of Stark County Commissioners that he plopped a glob of documents on the lap of the SCPR with the statement:  "How's this for an economic development plan!"

The ultimate answer, as we now know, was;  "Not much!!!"

The Report thought that Harmon was finished as a Stark County political subdivision elected/appointed by "organized" Democrats official with his commissioner resignation.

Apparently, who Canton councilman Bill Smuckler has told The Report he (Smuckler) is very tight with, prevailed on Harmon to run for a Canton council at large position in 2015.


Maybe a little bit of electoral humiliation for Smuckler?

Although it had been a number of years ago, Harmon bests Smuckler in November, 2015 elections notwithstanding this 2011 headline:

Apparently, Harmon could not handle success in coming back from the seeming "political" dead with this headline of 2016:

The Stark County Political Report's assessment of Harmon is that he has been he has been a "loyal" foot soldier for the "organized" Stark County Democratic Party and has been rewarded with benefits for his dedication to the welfare of the party.

As a public official, he has been mediocre at best.

When Harmon was a Stark County commissioner, he would often say before the meeting began that he did not want to read The Stark County Political Report but found that he could not resist.

Thank you Tom for the unintended compliment.

For it is the SCPR's candid assessment/coverage of Stark County political subdivision officials which for nearly ten years now has been a compelling draw for those who want "a fair and balanced look" at Stark County government and politics.

Readers know that the SCPR does not function as the "official publication" (e.g. The Repository and the Pro Football Hall of Fame) or a public relations-esque treatment of any Stark County governance entity or public official.

No comments: