Monday, December 31, 2018

2019: STARK CO PUBLIC OFFICIAL/FIGURE "NEW YEAR" RESOLUTIONS


DECEMBER 27, 2018 THROUGH JANUARY 1, 2019
DEC 31ST-2018/JAN 1, 2019
TIMKEN & MAIER, JR. TO LEAD FIGHT
AGAINST
GERRYMANDERING?


Resolved!  To work together in 2019 and beyond to promote political competition as healthy for the American democratic republic both in primary elections and general elections in the sense of making government more accountable to Americans, Ohioans and Stark Countians in the context of the county's cities, villages, townships and school districts.

Johnnie A. Maier, Jr, former Stark County Democratic Party chairman and current Party operative.

Jane Timken, (a Stark Countians married into the Timken Steel family) chairperson of the Ohio Republican Party

Stark Countians ought to be hoping that the SCPR generated resolution has some reality to it.

Both "organized" political parties try to monopolize (through gerrymandering and other political gamesmanship maneuvers) a hold by their respective political parties on the centers of power in the American government structure.


Dare we wish that Maier, Jr. and Timken would "really, really, really" adopt 7th Congressional District Democratic Candidate Ken Harbaugh's campaign theme of "Country Over Party?

Just last year Timken told a Cleveland City Club audience in response to a question about "gerrymander" reform that she thought elections have consequences.


See this website on the current state of affairs in terms of gerrymandering across America being challenged.

A link to the filing of a lawsuit filed to undo Ohio's gerrymandering:  ACLU of Ohio - Complaint: A. Philip Randolph Institute et al. v. Kasich et al. - May 23, 2018


This blogger can remember Maier, Jr. a number of years ago getting very much into the priority of Democratic candidates for statewide office winning so that Democrats would control the Ohio's Apportionment Board and how state and federal legislative districts would be drawn.

In recent years (2016 & 2018, respectively), Ohio's voters have voted overwhelmingly to require the end of gerrymandering at both state legislative (71% yes to end; 29% no)  and federal legislative (75% yes; 25% no) levels.

Could it be that the likes of Timken and Maier, Jr. are getting the message that self-serving political party interests are not in the interest of fairness in elections (e.g. "one-person, one-vote") and increasingly are being rejected by Americans and Ohioans.

Hope springs eternal, no?

If not, let's all trust that the courts of America with their constitutional mandate in mind to implement justice and fairness as the "rule of law" standard of American justice, will put the gerrymandering proponents out of business!

Sunday, December 30, 2018

2019: STARK CO PUBLIC OFFICIAL/FIGURE "NEW YEAR" RESOLUTIONS


DECEMBER 27, 2018 THROUGH JANUARY 1, 2019

Beyond?

DECEMBER 29 & 30TH



"Notwithstanding 'the federal government partial shutdown,"'  Stark County Commissioner Richard Regula to announce at the commissioners' meeting of January 2, 2019 that he has had "breakthrough success' on his pre-2019 'resolve' to obtain federal, state and local funding needed to build a four lane divided highway from Trump Road in Canton through what remains in Ohio to the Pennsylvania state line!

Frequently, at the end of weekly Stark County commissioners meetings 
  • (for the most part held at 1:30 p.m. on Wednesdays in the commissioners meeting room on the second floor of the Stark County Office Building)
Commissioner Janet Creighton, president of the Board of Stark County Commissioners, will inquire of fellow commissioners Bill Smith and Richard Regula as to whether or not either has a comment or observation to make.

Fairly often Commissioner Regula volunteers a "progress report" on his pet project of extending a limited access highway from Stark County's Trump Road to the Pennsylvania state line.  On some occasions, Commissioner Creighton teases Regula into updating the Stark County public on recent developments on the US 30 project.

Here is a SCPR video clip showing such an exchange from the commissioners meeting of December 12, 2018:



This blogger is old enough to remember that back in the 1950s some folks who wanted to travel from Gettysburg, Pa (this blogger's hometown and which through US 30 runs as it does in Canton) did so by Greyhound bus over US 30 taking a grand total of 13 hours.


Though US 30 runs coast-to-coast there are sections which are not limited access highways as in the Gettysburg, Pa area and the mountains to the  west of Gettysburg.




Friday, December 28, 2018

2019: STARK CO PUBLIC OFFICIAL/FIGURE "NEW YEAR" RESOLUTIONS


DECEMBER 27, 2018 THROUGH JANUARY 1, 2019

Beyond?

DECEMBER 28TH


From "Ripley's Believe or Not?"

Reportedly, North Canton Law Director Tim Fox (since September, 2012), said to be under pressure from a number of North Canton councilpersons to be more North Canton government friendly to citizens:
  •  wishing to address Council in "Public Speaks" or 
  • in other government interactions with citizens, 
has formulated a sorta of "pre-Valentine's Day card" directed to his longtime  (as represented above) that it is speculated will be "in the mail" on January 1, 2019 directed to:

  •  Citizen Chuck Osborne,
    • Osborne has been a persistent critic of Fox in how he performs as law director for over 6 years on one thing, after another, after another seemingly ad infinitum.
Background LINK

Thursday, December 27, 2018

2019: STARK CO PUBLIC OFFICIAL/FIGURE "NEW YEAR" RESOLUTIONS


DECEMBER 27, 2018 THROUGH JANUARY 1, 2019

Beyond?

DECEMBER 27TH



Stark County sheriff George T. Maier to convert the Stark County jail (perhaps, in light of King v. Maier et al), the "worst" county jail in America; into"the greatest  county jail ever!" in America during the year 2019 and thereby perhaps be in line to receive:
  • a President Donald J. Trump designation: "2019 'Among the Greatest County Jails in America'  Annual Presidential Law Enforcement Official award.
20

Background LINK #1, LINK #2.

Wednesday, December 26, 2018

2019: STARK CO PUBLIC OFFICIAL/FIGURE "NEW YEAR" RESOLUTIONS


DECEMBER 26, 2018 THROUGH JANUARY 1, 2019
&
BEYOND?

DECEMBER 26TH

Stark County re-elected auditor (November 6th) Alan Harold to offer vanquished 2018 election opponent Linda Litman a job in the auditor's office as a "let me make bygones be bygones" gesture?

For background:  LINK

Friday, December 21, 2018

SCPR SELECTION - "BEST" POLITICS NEWSPAPER IN OHIO: CLEVELAND PLAIN DEALER

DATELINE:  OHCO RIOS, JAMAICA 
12/21/2018 

ONLINE:  CLEVELAND.COM
(see Best/Worst of Ohio's Legislators)


In the last few days, the cruise this blogger is on  was in Havana, Cuba.  Today, we are in Ocho Rios, Jamaica.

As a teenager, my first car was a 1953 Buick Special.

Looked a lot like this one, except, of course, for the gussied up factor.


Only kidding, but I have been searching the world over for my 1953 Buick.  Could this one be it?

Found it on the streets of downtown Havana, Cuba on Monday of this week.

There are scores and scores and scores of 1940s, 1950s vintage cars traversing the streets of Havana.  The engines have been replaced with diesels for economy of fuel use purposes and, the political side, the U.S. embargo on Cuba commercial transactions ever since Fidel Castro seized power from Fulgencio Batista in 1959.

The Obama administration negotiated a process of normalizing relations  (The Cuban Thaw) with Cuba beginning in December, 2014 but ended by the Trump administration effective November 9, 2017.

In order to have a "legal" trip to Cuba, this blogger was required to sign up for an participate in an educational tour set up by the cruise line Royal Caribbean.

Our tour guide intimated that most of the Cuban people long for a return to the process initiated by President Obama.

TODAY'S BLOG

It used to be that Ohio had several newspapers which did quality political reporting,

Unfortunately, one has not been The Canton Repository.

In the opinion of this blogger, only the Akron Beacon Journal when owned by Knight-Ridder newspaper publisher John S. Knight did the Canton/Akron have a first-rate newspaper that had top line political/government coverage.

Of late, with GateHouse buying up all of Stark County's newspapers including The Repository; it appears that Stark Countians get second-rate if not worse coverage of Stark County politics and government.

Current publisher James Porter has managed to completely undermine the credibility of The Rep with his "unholy" alliance with the Canton Regional Chamber of Commerce and the Professional Football Hall of Fame (note:  The Rep is in the midst of a contract with the PFHOF whereby The Rep is "the official newspaper of the PRHOF).

This blogger has been impressed recently with the remake that appears to be going on at the Cleveland Plain Dealer (online:  Cleveland.com) in terms of its comprehensiveness and thoroughness of  its coverage of Ohio (focused on northeast Ohio including Canton and Stark County) politics and governance.

Accordingly, The Report today dubs the Plain Dealer as "the best in Ohio" newspaper political and government reporting and opionating.

The Repository used to have a Statehouse reported by the name of Paul Kostyu.


Here is a LINK that will provide readers with a sampling of Kostyu's work while with The Rep.

Ever since Koystu's departure (2008?), political and government coverage of The Rep has taken a nosedive which, of course, provided The Stark County Political Report with an opportunity to fill the void which in all modesty this blogger thinks ther SCPR had done well.

A SCPR thank you! to the publishers and executive editors who have come and gone or who remain for providing the opening for a "one-person-blog" (absolutely independent of outside influence) that is not a profit-making effort to thrive.

For anyone who wants to be fully informed about Stark County politics and government, the SCPR and The Cleveland Plain Dealer (also, Cleveland.com) are must reads.

The Plain Dealer has a feature named The Capitol Letter which readers can get a "free" subscription to.

Simply google The Capitol Letter.

Sunday, December 16, 2018

"PEACEMAKER"MARTUCCIO BRINGS UNITY TO STARK DEMS!

UPDATE:  MONDAY, DECEMBER 17, 2018 (FROM KEY WEST, FL)


First today, are a couple of political/governance photos taken yesterday in our time in Key West, FL.

Toured TRUMAN'S "LITTLE WHITE HOUSE," Earnest Hemingway's Key West Home and Fort Zachary Taylor



Tomorrow, we embark on a cruise to Cuba and the Cayman Islands.

TODAY'S BLOG

Stark County "organized?" Democrats like Dem party organizations throughout most of America choose generally to "fight rather than switch."


The text in the Will Rogers pictured in the opening image of this blog was used several years ago when Stark's Democratic Party organization "made peace" with the William V. Sherer, Sr. family when at the motion of "eating 'political' crow Johnnie A. Maier, Jr." nominated William V. Sherer, Jr (the 2nd) to be a Democratic member of the Stark County Board of Elections.

Rogers description of Democratic Party is really apt to, under usual circumstances, of the Stark County "organized" Democratic Party.

There are the Maier, Jr, the Ferrero, the Perez, Democratic unionist, and likely, more divisions that make up the party loclly.

But the dominant factor is the Johnnie A. Maier, Jr. factor and it appears to the SCPR that  Maier, Jr. grouping resort to "political" warfare  against those in the overall party who oppose the Maier, Jr. forces.

A number of years prior Maier Jr. went to William, Sr. and told him that he needed him to step aside so that Maier, Jr. could satisfy other political objectives.

The gracious person William, Sr is; he agreed, although he really did want to stay on as the "informally" recognized "organized labor" seat on the BOE which he had been a member of for 13 years, to step aside on Maier, Jr's request.

In the background however the Sherers were not happy with Maier, Jr. and the rest of the executive committee of the Stark County Democratic Party.

Ever since, the Sherers have bided their time to reclaim as key Stark County unionists (as de facto leaders of Stark organized labor) to a large seat at the table of the Stark Dems.

The restoration of William V. Sherer, II to the BOE seat was merely the first step (the SCPR believes) that the Sherers (principally the 2nd) have ruminated upon in organized labor's effort to be respected and "not taken for granted" by the formal leadership of the Stark Dems.

Tomorrow with be a second step.

With the following e-mail to the 29 members who constitute the Canton factor of the Stark County Democratic Party Central Committee, perhaps, Stark County Dems "best ever" peacemaker, Joe Martuccio, who service as Canton Law Director for 18 years in a 30 year career in the department in avoiding what could have been a "damaging to the party" (already in pathetic shape) for years to come:

From: <princesm@neo.rr.com>
Date: December 15, 2018 at 10:47:13 AM EST
To: princesm@neo.rr.com
Subject: Monday's Committee Appointment Meeting

Dear Central Committee Members,

As you know, I had submitted my name to this Committee for its consideration regarding who would succeed our late friend, Allen Schulman, as Canton City Council President.  Since then, I've enjoyed the opportunity to speak with most of you personally about my qualifications for the position as well as my likelihood of keeping the seat in Democratic hands since I had been an elected city official for almost two decades.  Still, some of you reminded me that casting a public vote in this Committee is often burdened by other considerations that are unique to this forum.  That, in turn, puts many of you in an extremely uncomfortable position and might even cause an undue risk of division within the party.

I don't want you or the party to be in that situation.  Therefore, I am withdrawing my name from consideration at Monday's vote of this Committee.  Instead, I filed my declaration of candidacy for Council President at the Board of Elections yesterday, and I intend to submit my name and qualifications directly to the voters in the spring primary.  I have respectfully informed Mr. Sherer and Chairman Ferruccio of this decision.

I want to sincerely thank you for your time and for your candor.  May peace be with you and your family as you enjoy this holiday season.

Sincerely,
Joe Martuccio 


The SCRP believes that when Martuccio retired as law director, top party officials promised Martuccio that he would be appointed council president should circumstances eventuate to require long time council president Allen Schulman to be replaced.

But then enter the Sherer Dems' political agenda and things were all of a sudden changed and Martuccio was not going to have "a walk in the park" passage into becoming Schulman's replacement.

Make no mistake about it, Joe Martuccio has many, many, many admiring and supportive members from among Canton's Democratic precinct committee members.  And, he might well have won in a showdown vote tomorrow night.

But at what price?

A reopening of festering organized labor wounds that might make a party which the SCPR thinks is a lethargically-led party that could eventually lose most of Stark's countywide seats to the historically much more unified Stark County "organized" GOP, that's what!!!

If the Stark County Democratic Party is to be energized, it will be at the hand of the likes of William V. Sherer, II.

The current Stark County Democratic Party leadership regime needs to be infused with new aggressive, forward thinking, less self-serving managers if the Party is to avoid becoming countywide what Republicans are in city of Canton governance and politics.

Republican Stark County GOP chair Jeff Matthews and his leadership team have "thrown in the towel" in Canton politics and governments and hence there are only Democrats in elective office in the city of Canton.

Not a good thing for Canton,

Just like Republican dominance of statewide offices is not a good thing for quality governance for the state of Ohio.

Recently voters for federal office (the U.S. House of Representatives) corrected across-the-board GOP dominance of federal government in electing a majority of Democrats to the House.

Political competition with its attendant oversight function is always a desired factor in achieving some semblance of accountability for the benefit of any electorate at any level of government.

Canton needs viable political competition as does the state of Ohio and, indeed, the United States of America.

It will be interesting to see whether or not William V. Sherer can make his presence shown beyond Canton (where there is not political competition) to the countywide level (e.g. all three county commissioners are Republicans) so that citizens can benefit from the accountability that political competition brings in its wake.

At the diplomatic level, the SCPR believes that Joe Martuccio would make for a more skilled council president.

But as far as "political infighting" (hopefully directed to challenging Republicans officials countywide to governing excellence; not at fellow Democrats), William V. Sherer, II is better suited than Martuccio.

Joe Martuccio is a "peacemaker" and it is a sad state of affairs that a "political 'street' fighter" is more crucial to the Stark County Democratic Party these days than a diplomat is.

A SCPR "hats off!" to Martuccio for stepping aside.

A SCPR challenge to William V. Sherer, II to be a force in making the Stark Dems competitive countywide which The Report thinks it is not when Democrats lose an office for whatever reason (e.g. the the Stark County auditor's office, the Stark County treasurer's office and the county commissioners).

Of course, the SCPR will be watching to see how effective William V. Sherer will be.

Given what he has told this blogger that he is done with being a "backgrounder" within the party and with the announcement of this candidacy for the Schulman vacancy should be taken as a signal that he intends, if nominated, to "shake up" (the SCPR's interpretation of the gist of what he had to say) the Stark County "organized" Democratic Party.

Interesting, no?

But it makes sense to use the perch of the presidency of Canton City Council with 12 of 12 members being registered Democrats as a launching point for reconstituting the party not only with in the city but likely across party circle over the whole of Stark County.

Sherer's activism could lead to two different results:

  1. the party gets reenergized to the point the organization's candidates become competitive in every nook and cranny of Stark,  OR
  2. the party splinters to a greater degree that it presently is in and the party eventually loses many of the Stark County political subdivision offices it currently has
That folks, is the gamble that the precinct committee (Canton aspect) are taking in "peacemaker" Joe Martuccio stepping aside in the name of party unity.

Friday, December 14, 2018

SUPPLEMENT TO: VOLUME III (IN A SERIES) IS GEORGE T. MAIER UP TO MANAGING THE SHERIFF'S IN AN APPROPRIATE MANNER?

SUPPLEMENTED
"ORIGINAL VIDEO"
OF
TYLER KING INCIDENT
TO INCLUDE AUDIO

LINKS TO PRIOR BLOGS IN THIS SERIES
(WITHOUT VIDEO/AUDIO COMBO)

A Stark County Political Report "thank you" to Stark County Prosecutor John Ferrero through his chief of the civil division (Ross A. Rhodes) for making available to The Report a copy of the already published by the SCPR video (without sound) of a March 25, 2017 incident surrounding Minerva resident Tyler King 's processing into the Stark County jail.

This version of the video includes audio from the deputies body microphones which was "mashed" with the video to provide a complete version of the incident.

The combined video/audio version of the King incident:




Wednesday, December 12, 2018

VOLUME III (IN A SERIES) IS GEORGE T. MAIER UP TO MANAGING THE SHERIFF'S IN AN APPROPRIATE MANNER?

COULD SHERIFF MAIER 
AND 
A SCPR "SUSPECTED" HIS HAVING  LACK OF MANAGEMENT SKILLS
 COS
STARK COUNTY TAXPAYERS
MILLIONS OF DOLLARS?

LINK TO PRIOR BLOGS IN THIS SERIES

Earlier this year, an asking for $10 million in damages lawsuit was filed in the United States District Court - Northern District of Ohio (USDC- NO) for injuries allegedly sustained by Minerva resident Tyler King as a consequence of April 25, 2017 incident at the Stark County jail in which deputy sheriffs are seen on video tape taking King down.  (see the entire video at this LINK)


Note that the lawsuit was filed on March 26, 2018 and so far as the SCPR knows, not a word in The Repository.  And, again, the last the SCPR knows, The Rep has a reporter assigned to cover federal, state and local cases.

Of course, maybe the SCPR just missed it.

This blogger gets a lot of information from readers but only within the last several weeks learned of the litigation.

And interesting enough, Stark Countian Sara Lioi has been assigned the case.


The Stark County Political Report has learned that should the county be found in the lawsuit to be liable for $10 million in damages;  only about $750,000 would be payable by the county's insurance coverage and that Stark County taxpayers could be left "holding the bag" for some:

Sit down everybody

 NINE MILLION TWO HUNDRED FIFTY THOUSAND DOLLARS ($9,250,000).

That possibility (not necessarily likelihood) gets one attention, no?

If the county treasury were to take a $9,250,000 hit, it would make the upwards of $3 million that Vince Frustaci (former Stark County chief deputy treasurer) was convicted of having stolen of Stark County taxpayer money during his stint as a Stark County treasurer employee seem, in relative terms, "small potatoes."

To put the "possible" $9.25 million perspective in perspective, the commissioners carryover about $15 million these days on the unappropriated part of the county budget and have done so for the last several years.

Poof!  66% of the carryover gone in "in one fell swoop!"


Stark Countians did not consider the Frustaci theft to be "small potatoes" in their reaction to county elected officials (focused on then county auditor Kim Perez and, of course, Treasurer Gary Zeigler for, in the opinion some county and state officials) not having done all they could of done to have prevented the theft.  

To refresh readers on the act which precipitated the King lawsuit here is a 25 second video of the incident in which it is alleged King suffered monumental injuries.

The SCPR is told by Major John Oliver that though the original video does not contain sound, he has advised The Report that chief of the Stark County Prosecutor's Civil Division (namely, Ross Rhodes) has created a mashup audio/video combo which the SCPR has requested copies of as citizens and the press are entitled to do under Ohio's Public Records act.

Stark Countians may or may not see a copy of the video coupled with audio.

Rhodes response to the SCPR Public Records Request for a copy of the mashup:


From:  Ross A. Rhodes
To:  Martin Olson

Cc:  John D. Ferrero
Janet Weir Creighton
Richard Regula
Bill C. Smith
Stephan P. Babik

Dec 11 at 4:36 PM

Martin –

The “complete” video you are referring to is a mash-up of the video you have, and the audio from a body can, which I believe you also have.  It is attorney work product of this office, which would not be subject to a public records request. It has been supplied to plaintiff’s counsel in the litigation.

The county has outside counsel handling that litigation, and we are not prepared to supply our mash-up to a third person without their input.  We have inquired, but have not heard back from them yet.

Accordingly, your request is under review, pending the advice of counsel.

Best,

Ross

The video without audio is highly disturbing in its own right.  What would the audio taken from body mikes of those present during the incident reveal?

Doesn't the Stark County public have a right to know "the full story" of all that transpired in the incident?

Accordingly, the SCPR copied the commissioners and Prosecutor Ferrero on sending to 2nd Request to Rhodes.

The commissioners have prided themselves as being a transparent government body, let's see if they are willing to insist that Rhodes/Ferrero comply with the SCPR public records request?

As if the King lawsuit were not enough, there is another suit (filed less than 30 days ago) pending, to wit:


And to tie the lawsuit to Sheriff George T. Maier's management style these excerpts:


The EEOC complaint being filed led to this:


What follows is allegations in the lawsuit which the SCPR to be "core" fact allegations presented to simplify the public's understanding the basis of the Patterson lawsuit.  However, a complete copy of the complaint and the answer (denials of liability for the most part) for readers who desire to see all the allegations/denials to do so.

Core Allegation #1 (in the assessment of the SCPR):


Core Allegation #2:


Core Allegations #3 (George T. Maier is now Stark County sheriff) alleging official sheriff's office harassment:


Core Allegations #4 (Patterson alleges that Sheriff Maier was behind decision to put her desk next to sewer line)  (Retribution for filing a complaint?)


Core Allegations #5 - the Family Medical Leave claim:


Core  Allegations #6 -  Sheriff Maier and Plaintiff Patterson direct encounter:


Core Allegations #7 - Patterson claims she was forced to take an employment position which was designed to to put in a position of having to resign from the sheriff's office employment:



LEGAL BASIS OF LAWSUIT


WHAT PLAINTIFF WANTS IF SHE PREVAILS IN LAWSUIT


IF Stark County government on account of how Sheriff Maier himself and various county officials are found to have violated the rights of Plaintiffs King and Patterson, Stark County could (even factoring in liability insurance coverage (an occurrence policy for $1 million per occurrence with a $250,000 per occurrence deductible and a limit of two occurrences) could potentially have to pay out of its annual estimated $15 million carryover some $10 million or better.

If one agrees with the Ohio Auditor of  State's assessment that the then county treasurer Gary D. Zeigler re: the Vince Frustaci theft of taxpayer dollars should have done policy, practice and structural reform on his originally taking office through the times of the thefts by Frustaci to enhance security of taxpayer funds, then, perhaps, the thefts were preventable.

As sort of an rough analogy, it might appear to some that it might be that Sheriff George T. Maier is not on the administrative side of being sheriff up to the task and thereby puts the county budget and derivatively taxpayer dollars in jeopardy.

APPENDIX

The entire Patterson complaint:




The entire County answer to Patterson complaint:


Tuesday, December 11, 2018

PART 3: ONCE AGAIN NORTH CANTON SHOWS ITS ANTAGONISM TOWARDS "EVERYDAY" CITIZENS!

UPDATE:  TUESDAY, 12/11/2018 

FOX & TOP NC OFFICIALS BY PAY
PAYMENTS TO OUTSIDE LEGAL COUNSEL DURING FOX TERM AS LAW DIRECTOR

A BLOG CORRECTION IN ORDER?
(December 11, 2018 1:15 p.m.)

This blogger just learned that a mistake was made by me in today's blog with respect to Council President Daniel "Jeff" Peters in terms of not answering an e-mail that asked him a question.

The fact of the matter is that this blogger sent the inquiry to the "wrong" Peters and hereby publicly apologizes to President Peters of North Canton government for incorrectly attributing to him a failure to respond when he didn't get the e-mailed question in the first place.

In bringing the matter to this blogger's attention, Peters stated that he never failed to respond to a SCPR inquiry.

Such is not the recollection of this blogger.  

While generally Peters has been responsive to The Report's inquiries (a few of the members of council have not been); there have been a few occasions over which Peters has been a member of Council in which there has been no response which undoubtedly was a factor in this blogger presuming that such was the case in this instance and prompted the admonition which has been retracted because of the inadvertent failure of this blogger to get the e-mail to the correct party from whom a response is desired.

Of course, Peters knows about the inquiry now by virtue of having read this blog as evidenced by his e-mail to the SCPR alerting this blogger to the fact that he had not received the inquiry.

The Report immediately generated this correction and renewed the request for an answer to the question posed in the erroneously directed e-mail.

To date, the SCPR has not received an answer to the question posed.

In the "alerting" e-mail (he did not respond to the question posed in the e-mail), Peters said going forward he would rethink whether or not to respond to SCPR questions.

So the question becomes, has Peters decided to punish the North Canton citizens right to know through media (i.e. specifically the SCPR) questioning because of the errantly directed original e-mail?

If so, is it not appropriate for the reading public and this blogger to surmise that a correction/retraction was a but too quickly published in the sense of  presuming that President Peters would accept the fact of the misdirected e-mail.

Please answer the question President Peters!

Otherwise, the original chastisement is readopted.

And the SCPR will be submitting additional questions over time so that the North Canton public gets answers to council's handing of the public's business.

Answer to question:  Peters says he did not direct Law Director Tim Fox to apologize to Citizen Osborne.  He says Fox did it on his own.


From Wikipedia:

The right to petition government for redress of grievances is the right to make a complaint to, or seek the assistance of, one's government, without fear of punishment or reprisals, ensured by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution (1791). 

Article 44 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union ensures the right to petition to the European Parliament.[1] 

The right can be traced back to the Basic Law for the Federal Republic of Germany,[2] the Bill of Rights 1689, the Petition of Right (1628), and Magna Carta (1215).  (emphasis added)

Yes, "redress of grievances" is traceable back to the year 1215, but it appears to The Stark County Political Report that North Canton City Council members "grind their 'collective' teeth" as North Canton citizens dare to tell them and the North Canton administration and a glaring  Law Director Tim Fox that all is not right with North Canton government.

LINKS

Law Director Fox, the SCPR thinks, was hired (after, by the way, serving ever so briefly as Ward 3 councilperson; a post now held by Stephanie Werren) by council to, as his top priority mandate from Council, to "handle" those "pesky" citizens who meeting after meeting after meeting are wont to clutch the "Recognition of Visitors" (which the SCPR prefers to call "Public Speaks") designated lecture to deliver stinging indictments on how North Canton government governs the city.


While the SCPR believes that most members are so, so, so insecure that it shakes their self-confidence and generates ego threatening  "insecurity" in the core of their innermost being to be critiqued.

The solution for "it comes with the territory" disagreed with local legislators who cannot hand the heat,  is for them to get off Council.

Political dissent, is, of course, enshrined in the First Amendment of the United States Constitution with a parallel in the Ohio Constitution.

It seems that a particular target of Fox's has been for North Canton city council member Chuck Osborne.  It appears that Osborne responds in kind.


Let it be said that the SCPR does think that Chuck Osborne on occasion does get "out-of-hand" on occasion when he addresses Council, Mayor David Held and the rest of the North Canton administration.

And, on several occasions, he has been removed at the direction of multiple Council presidents.

Osborne tells the SCPR that he was apologized to by Fox after the meeting on November 26th.  Moreover, Osborne says that Fox was directed to do so by President Peters.


The Report has e-mailed Peters to determine whether or not he asked Fox to apologize.  (Correction:  email to the wrong Peters)

To give readers some insight to what appears to be the pettiness of Peters (likely bristling from past SCPR of his performance as president of Council) in answering the simplest of questions, here is the SCPR's email to him, to wit:

The text of the incorrectly address e-mail:

Martin Olson <tramols@att.net>
To:  Jeff Peters

Dec 9 at 9:28 AM

McCleaster says he did not contact you as reported to me by Mr. Osborne re:  the Planning Commission meeting.

A corollary question:

Did you direct LD Fox to apologize to Osborne on 11/26?

... .

In view the mistake in addressing the question, this blogger hereby retracts the following commentary.

Not surprisingly, Peters has not responded.  Some council president, no? A man who doesn't think he has to answer questions from the likes of the SCPR in this blogger's looking out for the public interest.

As simple "yes" or "no" would suffice, no?

But of course Peters has no qualms at all about taking taxpayer dollars (some of which, undoubtedly, are state of Ohio and federal tax dollars which is to say they go beyond the city of North Canton) as as compensation for his being a councilman.

Peters appears to mirror the majority of North Canton's council members in disrespecting/disregarding any who raise questions of North Canton government.

If Osborne's account is accurate, the apology should not have been a one-on-one apology to Osborne but rather a "on-the-record" during Council meeting apology to the North Canton public.

If Fox did in fact apologize to Osborne on the 26th, his contriteness appears to not have lasted long.

A source independent of Osborne has confirmed to the SCPR that during a break of a Planning Commission meeting, Fox, apparently uncomfortable of Osborne's proximity to a discussion that Fox was having with three Planning Commission members lashed out at Oborne on the issue of proximity by calling him a "jackass."


A case can be made that Fox more fits the billing of being a "jackass" rather than Osborne.

For Law Director Fox to have used such language in relation to a North Canton citizen is certainly "conduct unbecoming of an 'appointed' officer" who earns $91,354 annually courtesy of North Canton's taxpayers


Calling a citizen a "jackass" should not be abided by North Canton Council, the part of North Canton government that hired him back in 2012.

The person in North Canton government that the Council president and the at-large and ward council members ought to be modeling is Mayor David Held.

Held has been the target over his years in North Canton government in public in a manner, to say the least, has been vitriolic.

Nevertheless, Held persists in recognizing the value of likes of Osborne even in the face of vitriol in bringing to the attention of government his grievances which he (Osborne) thinks needs "fixin."

Held himself has told the SCPR about his first-hand experience in being handled brusquely (former mayor Tom Rice) without recourse when he was the North Canton city administrator.  Ultimately, he was vindicated in running for and being elected mayor of North Canton.


Moreover, earlier his year Held himself stood front and center at a meeting of Strengthening Stark and upbraided Professional Football Hall of Fame officialdom with suspicions for their (actually Stu Lichter of IRG and HOF Village LLC) handling of federal government financing (i.e. EB 5 Visa funding) that he had reason to believe had migrated from the North Canton Hoover rehab project into monies being used to fund the estimated $1 billion Hall of Fame Village (expansion) Project.

Here is the video of Held in action.



Indeed, Held is a model for Council to follow in the sense of valuing a "the King has not clothes on" approach to holding government at all levels accountable.

The citizen-activist contenders with Council and Law Director Fox are apparently taking a new tact in trying to rein Fox in.

They have been making the case to the SCPR that Fox has been shed by North Canton government of a number of activities/duties and therefore a "full-time" law director is not needed.

The question that this blogger has is this:

What will making Tim Fox part-time accomplish?

Yes, such a change could drive him back into the private sector for full-time employment BUT isn't it likely he remains as North Canton's law director and will thereby continue a presence at Council meetings to be Council's enforcer in "chilling" citizens seeking "redress of grievances" vis-a-vis North Canton government.

Along these lines, the only "effective" remedy to making the law director position part-time is to farm out the position to the private bar with a proviso that nobody with connections to North Canton government in any way, shape or form would be considered for hire.

Moreover, a part of the contract language should be included that forbids legal counsel from directly engaging citizens using "Public Speaks" and only being a part of North Canton government process in answering the questions of the Council president or members of Council with regard to the law that pertains to Council/citizen dialogue.

Nowhere in the "official duties" list for the North Canton law director, does "shut down public dissent" on aspects of North Canton governance appear, to wit:

Director of Law.

 A Director of Law shall be appointed by Council as legal counsel for all divisions of the municipality in connection with municipal affairs and may be removed at any time by an affirmative vote of four (4) Council members.

The Director of Law shall be an attorney-at-law admitted to practice by the Supreme Court of the State of Ohio, and shall have engaged in active practice in excess of five (5) years prior to appointment.

Assistants may be provided by Council.

Essential Duties:

Represents the City Council, Mayor and all Department Heads in all administrative and legal proceedings ranging from federal to municipal matters.

Manages claims on behalf of, and against the City.

Participates in all City Council meetings, CIC, Planning Commission and Zoning Board of Appeal’s meetings.

Provides legal advice to City department heads and other City employees in regard to their official duties and responsibilities.

Inspects and approves contracts, bonds and policies in which the City is involved.

Drafts and reviews ordinances, resolutions, deeds, easements, agreements and other legal documents for the City Council, Mayor, Administrator and other City officials.

Investigates and makes recommendations to the City Council on cases for and against the City.
Renders verbal and written opinions to City Officials.

Communicates legal policies, procedures and decisions to the City Council, City and officials, and the general public.

Assists Department Heads to see that all laws and ordinances are faithfully performed.

Performs other duties as directed by a majority of Council or provided for under the City Charter.

Works closely with outside hired attorneys, the Clerk of Council, the City Administrator and the Finance Director to gather information to provide to Council.

Activist citizens have identified the following as being legal job functions which are no longer being done by Fox.

North Canton Law Director is no longer responsible for --

1. collection of delinquent income taxes 

2. unresolved nuisance violations (now forwarded to Municipal Court)

3. North Canton no longer has a Mayors Court 

4. recent lawsuits (North Ridge & water board) have been outsourced to private law firms

5. labor negotiation

Of course, the immediate question is whether or not Fox's salary has been reduced to account for the lighter workload he has?

Moreover, how much more is North Canton government paying for others to do what Fox formerly did (reference the list above) at his September, 2018 hire.


And there is this from a commenter on what work Fox continues to do, to wit:

It is strongly recommended the Law Director follow the Charter and provide legal counsel upon request, and not insert himself into daily functions and decision making of the divisions of the municipality.