Sunday, May 6, 2018




On Friday, Massillon mayor Kathy Catazaro-Perry (KCP) carted her administration/council loyalists over to the front the former Affinity Medical Center (AMC) for a "rally" for what appears to be an "already-done-deal."

So the obvious question:  Why did Catazaro-Perry orchestrate a  rally attended by mostly "on-the-payroll-of-Massillon-government" participants in light of all-but-certain council approval of the settlement of litigation between Massillon and AMC?

In a word:  INSECURITY!!!

Of all of Stark County's major city mayors, Catazaro-Perry is the only one who will not abide incisive questioning.  Canton mayor Thomas Bernabei and North Canton mayor David Held put her to shame in this regard.

Before last week's April 30th council meeting Mayor Kathy posted the following on Massillon Live's website:

Sounds sort of like a "trust me" statement which, by anybody's definition of government accountability is unacceptable.

"If you have questions please call me at 330 830 1700."

What a laugh!

Undoubtedly, J.D. Ress would have preferred that she telephoned him with even the foregoing highly vague announcement.  A person-to-person conversation would have provided J.D. with a "well, what does that mean" retort and the opportunity to dig further into what appears to be a gussied up Donald J. Trump-esque tweet.

But like Trump, she wants to control the message and, perhaps, "put lipstick on a pig," hence the planted non-specific no "digging" media inquiry and follow up permitted.

The mayor should be volunteering the specifics in the foregoing written statement and having made the statement offer up at the ensuing council meeting (April 30th) the details.

In a Massillon Live! video interview (21 seconds, LINK) of Councilwoman Jill Cramer post-April-30-council-meeting, she says there has been no mention from the mayor that she has heard about any specific offer on the former AMC facilities.

The "official cover" for not providing specifics of what the offer(s) may be is that Massillon does not yet have title to the valued at $25 million AMC complex.

To The Stark County Political Report (SCPR, The Report), something smells about this KCP tease.

Could it be that if the mayor revealed the specifics about potential offers to fill the void at AMC, council would not approve the deal because revelation would show the inadequacy of any the reputed offers in waiting and compel council to back off of what now appears to be sure approval.

Councilpersons Cunningham, Irwin and Litman are reported to be three (3) "yes" votes.

Councilmen Paul Manson and Ed Lewis have made statements which indicate they are highly likely (unless a last minute snafu develops) to vote "yes."

Council is composed of nine (9) councilpersons which means five (5) "yes" votes is enough for Massillon approval of the proposed settlement.

It will be interesting to see whether or not any dissent on the settlement materializes from among Council persons Chovan, Creamer, Gregg and Starrett.

At stake in the decision?

Millions of dollars!:
  • Is Massillon 
    • acting too hastily and thereby incurring year, after year, after year in losses 
      • or, perhaps, 
    • going to make a "financial killing" in finding a buyer which is willing to pay Massillon millions, even if not $25 million, in the relative short-term thereby making KCP into financial genius?
The SCPR believes that it is irresponsible for the mayor and council to move forward without Catazaro-Perry providing specifics that she implies are known to her from  "four or five people really interested."

Why all  the secrecy?

And is it just a secret to the likes of Councilwoman Creamer or any councilperson the mayor is unsure about in terms of voting on the settlement?

Government officials usually hide "the-devil-is-in-the-details" when a devil is, in fact, lurking there.

Have on-the-record "yes" voting, thought-to-be-favorably-disposed councilpersons been given "secret" briefings on the details and they are hiding those details from the taxpaying public.

If not, do they really think it is "prudent" to move forward with passage not knowing the specifics of Catazaro-Perry tanalization?

The Report, of course, cannot put a finger on it, but KCP's "bum's rush" should be a sign to wavering or not-sure councilpersons that Massillon might be about to enter into what might turn out to be one-gigantic-mistake!

If it turns out to be a mistake owing to council/the public not having enough information, one can be sure that the mayor will not be owning up to having perpetrated it. Like our president, Mayor Kathy will be looking to blame guess who?

Indeed, the May 7th sitting councilpersons who approved the settlement.

Council will left "holding-the-bag" for not having exercised prudent "due diligence" on behalf of the Massillon tax paying public.

Mid-afternoon (3:05) today (Sunday), The Massillon Independent published an article which is very confusing.

To repeat, the headline:


After reading the article interprets the confusing a perhaps contradictory text to the above-cited headline, it appears to the SCPR that Massillon's legal counsel David Dingwell "implied" that if council approves the settlement he will be filing pleadings with the 5th District Court of Appeals (COA) to supplant AMC as appellant in an attempt to get the COA to overturn Stark County Court of Common Pleas Court judge Dixie Park's June 20, 2017 ruling that AMC would not be entitled to the $800,000 from the trust, to wit:

Here is an excerpt from the Indy article with added emphasis points added by The Report:
The city could be on the receiving end of an $800,000 trust a longtime city resident bequeathed to Affinity Medical Center. 
A charitable trust Kathryn L. Seymour left is being litigated in the 5th District Court of Appeals. The rights to a judgment would be transferred to Massillon if City Council votes to approve a settlement agreement authorizing the city’s acquisition of Affinity property and assets, according to David Dingwell, one of the attorneys handling the city’s legal matters regarding the hospital. 
Dingwell said there’s a pending legal dispute on language within the Seymour trust and how it should be appropriated. The legal matter is separate from court cases related to the city’s potential acquisition of Affinity.Basically, the city is stepping into the shoes (as recipient) for the rights of the trust, if there’s a favorable ruling and if council votes in the affirmative,” said Dingwell.
Attorney Dingwell may be telling his client that he feels confident that he can get the COA to overturn Judge Park.  But as any attorney practicing for any period of time knows, prevailing on appeal does not happen a high percentage of the time.  Possible but not probable.

Accordingly, it appears to the SCPR that The Independent writer did not understand what he was being told by Dingwell and, perhaps, by some "wishful thinking" city officials throwing in the "$800,000 pot sweetener" as a reason why the proposed Affinity deal is viable.

Of course, city officials including the mayor would not stoop to misrepresenting appellate realities, so it must be that the writer misunderstood?

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