Tuesday, March 20, 2018


UPDATED: 5:15 p.m.

On March 18th, 
The Canton Repository
  • (Stark County's only countywide newspaper, which of course makes it a "private sector" monopoly) 
through Repository publisher's relative Todd Porter 
  • (really a so-so "sports reporter who has been given the title of "special projects editor" 
launched what the SCPR thinks is an all-out political assault on North Canton mayor David Held in response to his exercise of his 1st Amendment Constitutional right of free speech 

A journalistic irony the SCPR thinks when it comes to The Repository's
  • Note:  Porter's article is supposedly a primer on obtaining public records from the Canton City Schools/Canton Police Department as a play to America media's annual play to being diligent in guarding the public interest in accordance with National Sunshine Week (March 11—17) celebration
headline which appears to be a cover for the Held attack for opening his mouth on January 9, 2018 at a Strengthening Stark central Stark County elected officials (paralleling the Canton Municipal Court statutory boundaries).

Held believed moderator Mark Samolczyk (president of the Stark Community Foundation who said he had "no dog in this fight") when he in effect assured politically "sensitive" elected officials that they could "let it all hang out" and there would be no retribution.

Not only Held, but Stark County commissioner Janet Creighton bought into the Samolczyk assurances which (i.e. being additionally encouraged by Creighton's lead) was a sign to Held that he could utter his grievances against the Pro Football Hall of Fame (a non-profit) combo with the profit making Stu Lichter's Industrial Realty Group (IRG) coming out as HOF Village, LLC
      • and a bunch of other "specially created" companies segregating various aspects of the likely financially unmanageable $1 billon plus "visionary" (according to HOF   CEO/president C. David Baker)
only to find out that Samolczyk's assurances were apparently uttered by him without first getting clearance from The Rep's James Porter, the HOF's Baker, Lichter and, perhaps, Denny Saunier (president of the Canton Regional Chamber of Commerce, CRCOC) .

Held demonstrated that "he really did not get it" speaking out would likely be retributed on him  after talking with Todd Porter in Porter acting for his cousin James finessed Held into agreeing to a March 6th event sponsored by CRCOC (but not a "free" event open to the Stark County general public) telling Held that he Porter would ask him "softball" questions at the event.

By the way, the Canton Regional Chamber Commerce does get $175,000 annually approved by Canton City Council.  Interesting, taxpayer money and yet folks have to pay to attend what is billed as "for the public benefit' events.

A SCPR "hats off" to Ward 9 councilman Frank Morris who during his term has consistently voted against the government subsidy of a private enterprise entity (corporate welfare, anybody?).

Morris is no longer council vice president/majority leader with The Repository endorsing Ward 7 councilman John Mariol when the two vied for the position in late December, 2017, early January, 2018.


To his immense credit, Held declined the offer of "softball" questions and in effect said "bring it on."

To his double up immense credit, Held pretty much repeated his January 9th critiques of the HOF-VP financing troubles.

Upon which Porter abandoned his promised "softball" approach and went after Held.

And now, we have a "one week later" buried in an ostensible "Sunshine Week" article going after Held for having a "big mouth."

In other words, SHUT UP! MAYOR DAVID HELD and THIS IS A WARNING SHOT that if you don't we will play the 800 pound journalistic gorilla which buys ink by the barrel and come after you should you decide to run for re-election in 2019.

As an aside, the SCPR thinks that for the most part The Rep powers that be (and Todd Porter, in particular) wouldn't recognize journalistic sunshine if slogans were pasted all over the walls at 500 Market Avenue, South.

Here are a couple of excerpts from Todd Porter's March 14th piece:

For more than a month all the windows have been replaced in the Hoover Complex by developers for Industrial Realty Group. For years in some case, those windows — large rectangular holes — were replaced with plywood that faced the busiest street in North Canton. Anyone who lives in the city or drives through it — myself included — had to stare at the unsightly plywood.

Until Jan. 25.

That is when the window openings were filled with new windows, and now the front of the Hoover Complex looks whole again.

North Canton Mayor David Held has been vocal in his criticism of slow-moving developers on the project. The mayor needs to be a little careful, however, because without IRG the city’s income tax revenue might not have rebounded to levels before the Hoover Co. closed.  (emphasis added by the SCPR)

As if that were not enough of a warning shot, read this:

Schroer Group lease

One of the anchor tenants in the Hoover Complex, the Schroer Group — recognized as an award-winning operator of Altercare Integrated Health Services, Absolute Health Services, Avalon Foodservice and Leverage Purchasing Group — is nearing the end of its lease. There have been rumors it might leave for a city north of North Canton.

“I’ve talked to the developer about making sure they are taking care of the needs of a tenant,” Held said. “We want them to stay here. There is a lot of time between now and the end of the year.”

Schroer represents a large number of employees with good-paying positions. That means tax revenue for the city.

“If they leave, it would be a significant impact,” Held said.

Held is a vocal mayor. A voice only goes so far. Acting fast to keep a large employer would show leadership. (enlarged  text added by the SCPR for emphasis)

Who can doubt that the segue (really a non-sequitur; not a logical flow that Porter obviously thought it was) from the Hoover project to the Schroer Group matter appears to the SCPR to have been designed to set Held back on his heels because of his Strengthening Stark County/CRCC verbal attack on the financing (or lack thereof) of the $1 billion (Ohio and Stark County taxpayer supported in some measure) C.  David Baker financial nightmare Hall of Fame expansion project.

The Official Newspaper of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, as far as the SCPR can see, has not dug and is not digging to uncover information that might well have indicated and/or continues to indicate "public money" should never have gone into this project and ought to be stopped immediately as being a bad investment.

For Porter to write under a "sunshine theme" is about as hypocritical he and his cousin Rep publisher James Porter can possibly be!

Todd Porter may think he wielded a megaphone in his editorial but what he really did for the discerning, was to reveal himself as wielding a "Shill-A-Phone."

On top of the Todd Porter piece, the SCPR has been told by a source that The Repository locked down its comments on a recent piece for at least two would be commenters to express an opinion on a HOF-VP article.

To boot, the SCPR has it on very good authority that his cousin James is calling and politically threatening some local Stark County officials come their next election cycle.

These guys are for journalistic sunshine?  Ya got to be kidding Todd and Jim, aren't you?

For them, at least on HOF financing matters, the sun is in total eclipse, no?

That's what you get when you have a journalistic enterprise who can play the role of an 800 pound gorilla!

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