Sunday, April 29, 2018





(see immediately under main graphic blog header)




Back on February 20, 2018 The Stark County Political Report (SCPR, The Report) initiated a critique of a proposed settlement of a Massillon mayor Kathy Catazaro-Perry's effort to prevent the closure of the "for-profit" Affinity Medical Center which closure took place on February 11, 2018.

Sine February 20th, The Report has been sitting back and perusing developments as "in-the-background" negotiation of the precise make up the the settlement has been worked out by respective counsel for the various parties-in-interest which, of course, in the main is the city of Massillon and the owner of Affinity Medical Center.

Only from The Stark County Political Report will Massillonians/Stark Countians get "the full story" upon which to determine whether or not Massillon's acquisition is a "white elephant" draining Massillon's already fragile finances or a "stroke of genius" that will bring an "unexpected" financial gift from Heaven that will boost Massillon's financial portfolio beyond what anybody in Massillon government thought when the abrupt closing of was announced.

On Monday, April 30th, Massillon City Council will be holding a work session on specifics of the the settlement.

Thanks to the work of "frequently over-the-top" Massillon civic activist Scott Graber Massillonians will have the opportunity to speak out on the issue come tomorrow night.


Graber, who seems in the SCPR's experience to be disdained by many if not most Massillon public officials, deserves credit for getting a change in the agenda by engaging council clerk Diane Rolland who cited "past practice" as to why a niche for  "public speaks" was not included in the original agenda that she e-mailed out.

How many times have we citizens heard from government:  "That is how its always been done."

Kudos to Clerk Rolland for not being put off by Graber's abrasive ways of objecting to the omission and, obviously, after consulting with others in Massillon's government, revising the agenda to provide Massillonians with the opportunity to weigh-in on tomorrow's proceeding.

Graber was not done.

Through his effort, Massillon government released a bevy of information which the SCPR has picked up upon in writing this blog.

The Report does not feel comfortable working with much of anything that Graber gets into in the way of his seemingly constant battle with Massillon officialdom.

In the opinion of the SCPR, much of Graber's work is unreliable in terms of his having an accurate take on the subject matter he addresses with various Massillon officials and, to boot, many of his communications seem to be laced with invectives that undermine his ability to be effective in digging out information that the Massillon public might be interested in.

Graber, moreover, has attacked the SCPR with outlandish accusations when The Report does not do his bidding.

An example:

Recently, Graber filed a lawsuit on the Affinity matter, to wit:

On the SCPR deciding that the suit was not "ripe" (today it is)  for The Report to comment upon.

Here is the contents of an e-mail he sent to his attorney expressing his dissatisfaction with the subject matter upon which the SCPR chooses to write:


Yes on Graber himself.

Anybody who has been reading the SCPR for the past ten years knows the The Report has written many a incisively critical blog on Massillon clerk of courts Johnnie A. Maier, Jr. and his brother and now county sheriff George T. Maier.

The SCPR is Stark County's most independent media.

The Report hasn't responded to one of Graber's sporadic e-mails directed to the SCPR in years.

A very rare phenomenon with this blogger.

Why so?

Mostly because Graber gets so utterly ugly which indicates a person whose very political DNA appears to be grounded in incivility and personal ugliness and thereby making it impossible to have a rational exchange with him.

The SCPR has been privy to emails responsive to Graber initiated emails to the effect:  "take me off your email list!"

Graber, if he were not so "over-the-top," could be a constructive force in being an effective "check and balance" on Massillon government.

Some Massillon officials, the SCPR thinks, use his "way-out-there" political attacks on them as evidence they communicate to the general Massillon public to undermine his credibility as a civically engaged citizen.

In the Affinity instance of his civic activism, (the SCPR always gives credit where credit is due notwithstanding what The Report's overall negative opinion of the source might be), Graber has done some important work through public records requests, the results of which have the promise of shedding light on the long term financial implications (positive/negative) of the proposed Massillon/Affinity agreement that compels Massillon City Council thinking long and hard into the details prior to acting on whether to approve/disapprove the settlement.

What's the saying?

Yes:  "Even a blind squirrel finds an acorn once in a while."

Lamentably, such is the SCPR take on Graber and his civic activism.

He could be so much more effective with an adjustment in approach to those he tries to influence.

How about a "I respectfully" disagree with you approach?

What's the SCPR's take on his lawsuit?

First, an update on the status of the case.

Massillon has filed its answer to the Graber complaint and each side has submitted their respective statements of "disputed facts" all of which can be checked out by interested readers at this LINK.

Get this.

Trial is set for October 9, 2018 at 9:00 a.m. before Stark County Court of Common Pleas John Haas.

The Report is all for compliance Ohio political subdivision compliance with Ohio's Sunshine Law.

As far as it goes, if successful, would strike a blow for local governments being more attentive on the mechanics of invoking the law.

Let sunshine bathe government processes!

Such has always been a primary cause of The Stark County Political Report.

Not to minimize Graber's effort, but won't the issue be "moot" by October 9th?

The real solution is for council to fully and completely vet the proposal and make a realistic determination going forward on whether or not acquiring the Affinity assets is in the best interest of the fiscal integrity of Massillon government.

For if the agreement proves to be ill-advised and detrimental to the health of Massillon's finances going forward; all those councilpersons who vote for it ought to be held accountable at the polls in the November, 2019 elections.

On the other hand, if the agreement proves to be a "genius move," then those same approving members should get high marks for perceiving such in their next re-election bid.

The SCPR thinks it is likely to be the former rather than the latter (although this blogger "hopes" it will be the latter over the former) and the rest of this blog will provide the basis for The Report's negative analysis.

Let's start with an assessment of Councilman at Large Paul Manson as quoted to Massillon LIVE! journalist J.D. Ress:

Here are the SCPR's copies of relevant documents:

As shown in the 5th District Court of Appeals pleading immediately below Judge Dixie Park's order excluding Affinity (Massillon government as successor) from receiving the projected $800,000 is highly unlikely.

Getting back to the assets that have been or will be transferred to Massillon if the agreement is approved.

Note:  It appears that a goodly number of tangible property (i.e. medical equipment) has as of April 3, 2018 been transferred and one public official in a position to know says that Mayor Catazaro-Perry is saying that Massillon has already sold some of that equipment.

If true, that brings up the question of what happens if Massillon council rejects the settlement?

Will Massillon have to pay the proceeds over to Affinity's parent company?

And here is even more.

So there, you, the readers of the SCPR have a pretty complete picture of the numbers involved in the proposed Affinity transaction.

Of course, there remains the $600,000, more or less, in lost income tax/property revenue to the city because of the Affinity closing.

Obviously, the lost $600,000 needs to be replaced by aggressive economic development over the next few years.

Clearly Massillon mayor Kathy Catazaro-Perry has boxed herself in and is desperate to get council to to share political ownership of what is increasingly looking like a financial albatross that might well throw Tigerland back into fiscal emergency from which it only recently emerged.

The Stark County Political Report has written and continues to think that as a matter of  political grandstanding, Catazaro-Perry was instrumental in Massillon having to endure state of Ohio supervision getting out of financial straits when self-administered belt tightening coupled with an effective .2% income tax increase campaign was all that was needed to straighten fiscal matters out.

Taking on the Affinity Medical Center complex has the potential to throw Massillon into a financial tailspin which will dwarf the Catazaro-Perry instigated crisis.

Of course there is a chance a financial messiah will materialize at Duncan Plaza who will prove to be a miracle worker in returning Massillon to its heydey of the 1920s through 1950s.

But don't count on it.

The proposed Affinity deal is likely to define the legacy of Mayor Kathy Catazaro-Perry.

What will that legacy be?

Friday, April 27, 2018


UPDATE:  12:50 PM



50th Ohio District GOP Primary Election candidate Josh Hagan's sister (Christina, candidate for Ohio's 16th Congressional District in a contested GOP primary) is attempting to convince voters that she is a political outsider.

But don't you believe it.

The Stark County Political Report thinks she would absolutely love to be the darling of the Stark County part of the 16th District's Republican establishment her on endeavor to become the GOP nominee in the November general election.

And, when she was selected in 2011 to replace Todd Snitchler (resigned to become Public Utilities Commission chairman) she was.

Christina and her Hagan clan in general as politicians are clearly "whatever it takes" politicians who clothe themselves in being "religious values" candidates.  But, whom, The Report thinks regarding the "in the political arena" Hagans are about as cutthroat as politicians get.

Apparently, the GOP Washington/Columbus/Canton establishment now thinks she and her extreme religious right wing brand of politics cannot win in the 16th and turned to a much more mainstream Republican candidate Anthony Gonzalez of the metropolitan Cleveland area

Josh Hagan in his campaign literature seems to be a "political" clone of his sister and, perhaps, a candidate who has huge ethical problems that TRUMP all the other "politically-involved" Hagans.

Hagan opponent Reggie Stoltzfus (who the SCPR thinks is running a first-rate campaign) tells the SCPR that former Ohio House Speaker Larry Householder who wants to be speaker again
  • Note: (Republican and Stark Countian Kirk Schuring, the 48th House District [Jackson Township] is now "temporary" speaker with the resignation of former Stoltzfus supporter and House Speaker 
first approached him to pre-commit, assuming the Republican candidate will be elected in November, which the SCPR thinks is a pretty sure thing, to support Housholder to be the "permanent house speaker come January, 2019.

It is highly likely that the winner of the May 8th Republican primary election will be elected in November, especially given the anemic campaign—so far—of Democrat Cassie Gabelt.
To his credit, Stoltfus refused.

Hence the $7,708 (rounded off) campaign contribution to Josh Hagan.

And that's not all.

Political entities which the SCPR considers to be Columbus Beltway "Swamp" factors are the political money life's blood of the Josh Hagan campaign.

It appears that Hagan has at least one political bedfellow according to a report from The Courier newspaper located in Hancock County, to wit:

Remember from the above linked SCPR blog above that the Growth & Opportunity PAC sent out the alleged "dirty politics" flyer out against Stoltzfus.

Stoltzfus tells the SCPR that the foregoing flyer is the first in a series of three so far that Growth & Opportunity has sent out negative on his campaign.

Of course, being the political cowards they are, neither Growth & Opportunity nor the Josh Hagan campaign will answer the pinpointed questions that the SCPR has.

Hagan's father was chair of the Ohio House utilities committee when he served the 50th from 2000 through 2008.  And he submitted his application to be chair or a member of Ohio's Public Utilities when a vacancy opened in 2011.   See the SCPR discussion above about Todd Snitchler becoming PUCO chair.

Now look at Hagan campaign finance report for the pre-primary period: (highlighting added)


First Energy Political Action Committee:  $5,500!

Readers of this blog should go to an April 20, 2018 article on providing a great deal of detail of what First Energy might expect if its favored candidates get elected (LINK).

Is this example of Ohio's lobbyist political "swamp" trying to ingratiate itself to particular candidates who then dutifully vote a given lobbyist way on a given utilities issue before the Ohio House?

An additional surprise on Hagan's CFR is the appearance of outstanding Stark Stark County criminal defense attorney Jeff Jakmides.


The SCPR counts Jakmides as one of Stark's more discerning public officials.

What a disappointment to the SCPR that Jakmides would support a candidate of the likes of Josh Hagan and the likelihood that he is somehow involved in what some think is a "dirty tricks" aspect to the Hagan campaign.

The SCPR is a fiercely independent blog that has no problem whatsoever critiquing candidates/appointed-elected officials who demonstrate faulty judgment.

And therein lies the reason why "some" candidates/appointed-elected Stark County officials avoid "on camera interviews" with this blogger.

Here is a look at the Ohio Secretary of State provided data for Stoltzfus' CFRs "non-individual" filed in January and yesterday: (highlighting added)

Here is a look at the Ohio Secretary of State provided data for Stoltzfus' CFRs "individual" filed in January and yesterday: (highlighting added)

So through April 16th Stoltzfus has out raised Hagan $105,000, more or less, to $24,000, more or less.

Now who do you think is going to win on May 8, 2018?

Perhaps as some 50th District folks think, no wonder that the Josh Hagan campaign in plagued with allegations of "dirty 'campaign' tricks?"

Wednesday, April 25, 2018





Back on July 30, 2015, The Stark County Political Report (SCPR, The Report) published a blog (LINK) in which played off an interpretation of Disney's "The Fox and the Hound" (1981) which understands the animation to be about a fox seeking hound who began as "best friends" as pups but later as adults became bitter enemies as exemplified in the graphic presented above.

In the 2015 blog, Fox was portrayed as being the "Hound" dogging North Canton civic activists.

In this blog, Citizen Chuck Osborne takes on the mantle of "hounding" Law Director Fox and many of North Canton's council members to respect democratic-republican values of government accountability, accessibility, communicativeness, transparency and like.

Here is a sampling of litigation between Osborne and North Canton:

The discord between Fox and Osborne is once again at "fever pitch" with the filing of a lawsuit yesterday by Osborne against North Canton government over the formation by North Canton Council of a water board.

Before filing the lawsuit, Osborne sent out an e-mail (mid-April) to a group of folks describing Fox's handling of a North Canton Planning Commission meeting which piqued the interest of the SCPR and prompted The Report to seek a response from Law Director Fox.

Osborne's e-mail:

And here is a copy of a SCPR e-mail to Director Fox on April 16th asking questions about the Osborne e-mail.

It should surprise nobody that Fox has not responded to the SCPR's questions.

Apparently, he believes and most North Canton council members seem to support him in that belief that he is not accountable to the North Canton public.

While The Report would never characterize the relationship of North Canton law director Tim Fox and civic activist Osborne (active in North Canton politics at least from the late 1990s and continuing to this day) as ever being "best friends" even in a political context, it does seem fair to characterize the relationship (at least in the beginning) from Osborne's standpoint as being an attempt to be a civil  "check and balance" factor on North Canton government

Fox initially (since his hire in September, 2012) likely was presumed by Osborne as being citizen friendly in the sense of being committed to democratic-republican fundamental values.

It did not take Osborne long to detect that presuming Fox to be citizen enhancing and friendly to be a misjudgment.

It seems that the antagonistic adversarial relationship between Fox and Osborne (as well as with other North Canton civic activists) accelerated quickly off the September, 2012 Fox North Canton Council appointment on Osborne putting together a referendum initiative providing North Canton's registered voters with an opportunity to weigh-in on a council move to make council members eligible for having North Canton government pay health care insurance premiums for a certain class of council members.

And, wow! did the citizens express their sentiments, to wit:

Notwithstanding the citizens speaking loudly and clearly it appears that there was a collusion between the law director and some of council members for him to issue an opinion providing legal justification for qualifying for insurance premium payment benefits under council legislation, and, moreover, for Law Director Fox to file declaratory judgement litigation to have the Stark County Court of Common Pleas (Judge John Haas) to invalidate the November, 2012 vote.

Haas did Fox/council's bidding and overturned the overwhelming vote of the electors of North Canton and he was affirmed by Ohio's Fifth District Court of Appeals which sits in Canton.  

Here is a LINK for readers to get up to speed on the healthcare issue.

Nonetheless, even council members understood the message sent in the November, 2012 vote to them by voters.

One by one, those who took advantage of their own collective legislation dropped the coverage and returned to the North Canton treasury the value of payments made for them by North Canton government.

So Fox and Osborne were somewhat playful/more or less friendly pups for only a very, very, very short timespan.

As we all know from life's experience,  for animals and, indeed, human beings to grow from the naivety of childhood/youth that "we can get along, if not 'best of friends,"' to "you know what, I now realize that we were born to be carnivore-esque enemies and so I will now, as an adult, conform to what  I was destined to be from my birth."

The notion that there can be a win-win relationship is left to the "Good Book" and not to "here and now" animal/human relationships, to wit:

Accordingly, Fox (who the SCPR thinks council hired for the express purpose of being antagonistic to the likes of Osborne) has, in the opinion of The Report, been and continues to be "the" leader in North Canton government's seemingly, by and large, "us" against "them" interaction model.

The most recent example of a whole string of examples that have surfaced since September, 2012 of marked combative North Canton attitude towards its "questioning" citizens is caught up in the following email that the SCPR received of Osborne (with The Report's inquiry of Fox), to wit:

In the SCPR's experience, Law Director Tim Fox is a  highly disrespectful of any who would question his legal work product for North Canton government.

To The Report, North Canton's council (except for Councilman Daryl Revoldt and maybe, to a lesser degree, Councilpersons Foltz and Peters) buys into the Fox demonstrated hostility.

The "unelected" Fox is far more imperial than elected Stark County political subdivision law directors Joe Martuccio of Canton (recently retired), Andrea Scassa of Massillon (appointed but soon to have to stand for election) and Jenn Arnold of Alliance.

Perhaps North Canton ought to change its charter to require Fox to stand for election?

But in the meantime Council needs to take Councilman Mark Cerreta's philosophy of having some backbone and rein Fox in and require him to acquire a "born again" demeanor and attitude towards those who challenge the processes of North Canton government.

It seems that anyone who differs with Fox and the group of councilpersons who appear to have adopted if not established (on Fox's hiring) the "pitched battle" mentality in relation to North Canton citizens who differ with them.

Of course, it is not just Fox and supportive council members of his seeming "beat them down" manner of governance that causes political turmoil.

Osborne sometimes, unnecessarily and counterproductively, The Report thinks, significantly contributes to the hostile environment.

But all-in-all Osborne does high quality work in keep North Canton government on its toes.

A Osborne ratcheting down of "invective,"  The Report thinks, could signal that he is ready to engage in  "effective" dialogue rather than engaging his penchant for "one upping" Fox and those council persons he views as his political/program/policy adversaries.

The SCPR is not optimistic that Osborne has a "tuning the invective down" capacity.  He has been so worked over by most of the current council members that he likely wouldn't believe what he is seeing if they were to demonstrate signs of change.

Nor does The Report think that there is a majority of council members who have the political maturity to adopt a more hospitable attitude vis-a-vis those who critique council.

Nor does The Report think Director Fox has the political maturity to take Osborne as he should be taken as a citizen doing what our democratic-republican form of government provides for as a check and balance for arbitrary government action which Fox seems to be quite accomplished at.

If Fox and his supporting council members continue their Osborne et al belligerence, then the "Fox & Friends" Battle of Civic Engagement in North Canton" will continue and the overall quality of North Canton government will take a huge hit.

In political contexts, most of us long for mature "adults in the room" to take charge.

In North Canton government processes, it seems all too many of problems between governors and the governed (especially those who question the quality of governance) are attributable to politically immature being adults in the room." 

Adults who may as children had the ability to create "best friend" relationships only to turn out as adults being people of "my way or the highway attitude," which, of course, can turn ugly in a hurry.

It will take adults committed to the biblical injunction to "come, let us reason together" to change the environment between North Canton government and its questioning citizens.

The SCPR thinks Law Director Fox is a "my way or the highway type guy" who infects most of North Canton government with that kind of thinking and demeanor and accordingly has created a vicious cycle of "tit for tat" which makes North Canton government processes unresponsive to its citizens.

Fox/North Canton council as a whole and Osborne need to embrace a "come to Jesus" moment in donning the cloak of Matthew 5:9 "Blessed be the peacemakers, for they shall be called the children of God."

And, maybe just maybe, get back to the origin of Disney's "The Fox and the Hound" and becoming "best friends" in the sense of civilly and respectfully (in a context of starting out disagreement) seeking out "win-win" positions on policies and programs of North Canton government between the governors and the governed.

Wouldn't that be somewhat like "Heaven on Earth" here and now?

Tuesday, April 24, 2018



See APPENDIX for additional updates





What follows is a SCPR video of the Stark County commissioners this past Wednesday acknowledging a Stark County Board of Elections report of the "estimated" cost of a "special" election in August as being about $340,800.

Who wants another tax?

You know, I know and everybody knows the answer to that rhetorical question.

Nobody!  Absolutely nobody!!

But sometimes communities get put between "a rock and a hard place" and have to initiate what nobody wants.

With the occurrence of the Parkland, Florida Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School mass shooting of February 14, 2018 and the killing of 17 student/faculty school community members, states including Ohio started scrambling to get their collective acts together in put resources into pre-K through 12 public schools so as to be prepared for future attacks.

In Ohio, the scrambling took place in HB 24.

The bill had been introduced in the Ohio House on February 1, 2017 as a measure to deal with "veterans organization property exemption" where it languished until guess when?

You've got it!

February 28, 2018.

Apparently, almost immediately after the tragic Parkland shooting hit the media airwaves, Ohio General Assembly leaders decided that the quickest way for the Ohio Legislature to get in gear on school security was to amend HB 24 and rush it through to passage which occured on March 21 (less than 30 days, mind you) and immediately signed by Governor Kasich.

In the legislation, the OGA designated Ohio's educational service centers to be the authorized entity of Ohio political subdivision government to be a collecting point and vehicle for public school districts to quickly marshal themselves into a collaborative mode so as to present to voters a plan to beef up security/mental health resources in Ohio schools.

So from early March on, educational service centers were on notice that they were going to be the means by which Ohio government preferred to coordinate the financing of and implementation of upgraded school security and mental health resources.

On April 2, 2018, the Stark County Educational Service Center (SCESC) superintendent Joe Chaddock presented to the board a resolution approving a 1.49 mill levy in "participating" local school districts for their consideration as the first step in a three step process as a prelude to place a school security/mental health resource levy on the ballot, to wit:

The second step of the SCESC is to accept this coming Thursday (April 19) the districts within its jurisdiction which have passed resolutions at the local board level to participate in the proposed 1.49 mill levy effort. (Note:  data in the following charts provided by the Stark County auditor's office. Some titling has been changed by the SCPR to make the charts more readable)

The SCESC board is expected to actually vote to put the levy on the ballot at an April 25th meeting.

There was some discord at the SCESC meeting of April 2nd centered about whether the proposed levy would be continuing or for a term of years somewhat like the Stark County Justice System Sales Tax (JSST) 1/2 cent levy which was originally pass about eight years ago and renewed last year.

SCESC board members James Holmes (a former Perry Township trustee), Barbara Morgan (wife of former and now deceased SCESC superintendent Larry Morgan), Fran Miller (newly elected to replace retired member Jack Sickafoose in November, 2017) and Mary Olson voted 3 to 1 (Miller dissenting) to make the levy a continuing levy meaning that there is no expiration date.

Miller was adamantly opposed to the "continuing" nature of the levy.  Holmes, the SCPR is told, waffled on the matter but Morgan and Olson were persuaded that a continuing levy was the way to go.

 In the end, Holmes ultimately joined Morgan and Olson to form the 3 to 1 vote.  

Member Gene Feucht (a former Perry Local superintendent), president of the SCESC was absent in that he was out-of-town.  He is slated to be back for Thursday's meeting.

Why a continuing levy?

Because, as the SCPR understands the matter, Chaddock conveyed persuasively a majority of the SCESC  board members present and voting that "continuing" was the consensus of local district school officials.

A big negative for many local school district officials seems to be an "unending" cycle of working levy/bond issues with the district's taxpayers which is certainly understandable.

However, from the perspective of others, periodic accountability (every 5/8/10 years) on how efficiently and effectively levy money is spent is a higher priority than the inconvenience on school administrators having to work all too often on levy renewal efforts.

The SCPR has discussed with some interested parties reasons why there are those among Stark County's local districts who object to the 1.49 mill levy.

First and foremost seems to be the "continuing" nature of the proposed levy.

Another reason given was the fact as in the case of Canton Local (aka Canton South) is that a district is a "donor" district in the context of the districts taxpayers paying more collectively than the district takes in distribution of levy proceeds.

Yet another opposition to the levy factor by a local school board member was dissatisfaction in the relationship between that member's board and legal counsel for for the SCESC.  

As recited above, the SCESC had less than 30 days to work with local school districts on implementing the provisions of HB 24.  One local school district official complained about the "rush" by the SCESC to put a levy on.

Well, let's see.  Is the public really going to want to hear it that "we had to take time to get "everybody on-board" should a tragic school shooting happen in the SCESC area of responsibility with no school security/mental health plan in process or in place?

Time is of the essence when it comes the safety of our children!

Media reports put the Perry School District in the camp of those districts whose officials worry about "wearing out the public patience/tolerance" with seeming school levy after school levy after school levy being presented across the state of Ohio, including, of course Stark County.

Perry has May 8th 11.7 mill levy 5 year renewal issue on the ballot.

Perry school officials are concerned that the SCESC contemplated 1.49 mill levy for August being in the offing should Perry have agreed to join the SCESC facilitated effort could cause problems with its May 8th renewal try.

Unfortunately, voter-burn-out on tax issues is a reality that all public officials worry about.  

If the levy passes across the 17 "participating locals" district-wide financing district, then, even if a given district (let's say the Lake Local School District), were to have a majority vote "no" within the local district, residents would still have to pay the 1.49 mill levy.

As levies go 1.49 mills is very, very, very inexpensive.  About $50 a year, more or less, on a $100,000 home; about $100, more or less, annually on a $200,000 residence.

A small price to pay for better school security and mental health resources, no?

There are two interesting case studies among Stark County-based school districts that take positions that are obviously contra-indicated in terms of how much the districts' taxpayers will contributed as contrasted to what the districts will receive as a distribution if the 1.4 mill levy passes across the 17 districts participating in the levy.

Get this.

Jackson (a participant in the levy effort, a well funded district which could undoubtedly afford to go on its own on security/mental health) only gets 63 cents (rounded off) on a dollar of taxes paid in whereas Canton City Schools (a non-participant and a financially strapped district) get $2.23 return on each tax dollar.

One CCS official tells the SCPR that the board of education is getting feedback that Canton being part of the proposed levy initiative is an example of "taxation without representation" in that city schools do not vote on filling SCESC board positions and residents of city school district cannot run for those slots.

The SCPR agrees with the Canton official that such a structure makes no sense and needs to be corrected by the Ohio General Assembly.

Canton does have its own security system in place (LINK) and The Report is told that Canton is already doing what is proposed to be done should the 1.49 mill levy pass.

But Golly-Gee getting a better than $1 million return on participating in the levy could free up dollars already being spent on security/mental health "purely for education" programs?  Canton schools are documented by the Ohio Department of Education as being among the lowest ranked academic achieving institutions in all of Stark County) programs, no?

Wow!  What is in the water in Canton?

On the other hand, how magnanimous on Jackson's part!

Kudos also goes to the non-Stark County school districts in the SCESC area none of which "profit" in participating in the 1.49 mill levy, to wit;

Impressive, no?

The SCPR is all for public school district choice.

But who would want to be a board member or superintendent in a district which "God Forbid" has a shooting incident in one of its schools and students die and/or are injured if they do not have an "effective" school security/mental health resource plan in place?

The only real choice that the SCESC has is between presenting the measure to the voting public as a continuing levy or a 5/8/10 year levy subject to renewal.

Putting the matter to the public to decide is a no-brainer.

For if the SCESC does not act in terms of at least trying a levy and the worst happens in one of its serviced school districts, who would want to be a SCESC board member?

If the voting public rejects the attempt, then they are left with what school districts can do given current finances in a particular district.

It will be interesting to see whether or not, by the end of the three step process, the SCESC sticks with its present posture of the levy making the ballot as a continuing levy.



UPDATE:  TODAY (04/24/2018) 08:15 AM


Holly Pierpont  Today at 7:32 AM



In your research regarding how much districts will pay in vs receive back for the pending 1.49mill the SCESC wants to impose have you any data that shows the ROI for NCCS?

(SCPR Note:  In the original blog the "city school districts" listings got truncated cutting off the North Canton listing.   The chart has been corrected. North Canton is a "donor" district to the tune of about $75,000)

Given they are facing a 6.99mill property tax on the May ballot, that extra 1.49mill as a permanent tax to vote on just three months later doesn’t seem so minimal....






Daniel Fonte   Today at 11:56 AM
To:  Martin Olson

Good morning Martin,

I would like to give you my take on the proposed school levy to fund safety improvements and mental health issues on the ballot. 

I believe the Stark E.S.C. jumped the gun on this without doing enough research and gathering public input on this levy. 

Is this a problem exclusively to Stark County? I think not. This is a State or, better yet, a National issue. The State Legislature was quick to pass legislation to let local boards put levies on the ballot to tax local homeowners to address this when they should have given the money back to the local school districts that they had taken away in the first place. 

The State Legislature has deprived for years all local areas of government whether it is cities, counties, villages or school districts of funding that they need to operate on. In fact, all the local entities should organize and call them out for what they have done to local communities.

I for one will not vote for a levy that is never ending. They need to take into consideration the effect this will have on senior citizens. The biggest asset they own is their home and we are being taxed right out of them. 

Remember, Stark County is growing older and poorer.

Dan Fonte