Friday, November 30, 2018



LINK to Part 1 of this series.

In this continuing series on North Canton City Council's demonstrated antagonism, seemingly since Tim Fox became the Council appointed law director in September, 2012, towards its any critically minded day-in, day-out citizen especially in the context of what this blogger calls "Public Speaks" but which Council terms as being "Recognition of Visitors."

Of course, any who come to Council to "praise Caesar" are welcome with wide open arms.

The point being even in its agenda listing terminology, Council distances itself from North Canton taxpayers and voters.

North Canton Council is a model of how local government should not conduct itself vis-a-vis its constituencies.

For a local government body that is at the pinnacle of how government interacts with its citizenry and, by the way, with the media is the Board of Stark County Commissioners.

The only North Canton Council member who comes anywhere what a councilperson ought to be is Daryl Revoldt.

However, it appears to the SCPR that Revoldt has made several switches in terms of embracing citizen accessibility over his long term service in North Canton government as the city's mayor, council member and council president interrupted here and there with breaks in service.

The zenith of his "pro-citizen" (even those who critique council) was during a recent break in which he worked at the Ohio Department of Economic Development and at Stark State College.

Here and there during that space he stuck his nose into the functioning or or lack thereof into the council side of North Canton government.

It has been amazing to see.  A former insider to North Canton government who the SCPR believes has been the most "over all the place" and engaged with fellow council members and the administration and from the perspective of a private citizen being rudely treated by his former fellows in the "Public Speaks" forum seemingly reverting to a "make no waves" councilman.

This blogger fully understands the need of elected officials to be collegial, somewhat diplomatic in differing with fellow officials in order to not be marginalized by the "group think mentality" that appears to have the remaining council members in its grip.

And it may be that the North Canton voting public may be waking up to stagnant, "status-quo," and its seeming nobody on the "outside of North Canton government" has anything to offer and therefore be as chilling to public input as feasible and still function as a semblance of citizen interactive government.

This is where Law Director Tim Fox comes into the picture.

The SCPR believes that in late 2011 and through September, 2012 when he served as Ward 3 councilman was a segue for him ultimately becoming council appointed law director as part of "let's keep it the family" mentality of the councilpersons at the time of which Daniel "Jeff" Peters appears to The Report as being the primary architect of.

This blogger has come to believe that Fox was appointed by council with an understanding that his "off-the-record" mandate was to rein-in a particular citizen activist and beyond that any North Cantonians who questioned the actions, policies and practices of North Canton Council.

Council members have wanted to have it both ways.

On one hand they have wanted to appear citizen friendly even those citizen who might not bringing "good tidings" to the ears of Council during Public Speaks.

On the other, they appear to provide Law Director Fox with cover  (in the context of recalling of an apparent primary reason he was hired in the first place) to lash out at those citizens doing the critiquing.

In this vein, it was gratifying to hear from one of North Cantons high quality citizens who takes seriously a citizen's responsibility to interact with government, to wit:

From:  Miriam Baughman  ...

To:Martin Olson

Nov 28 at 9:42 PM

Hi Martin,

My Comment:

Regarding today's blog:        You should never have had to write this blog about the problems that occur during North Canton City Council meeting's public speaks between residents and the Law Director.     The City Council President should not have to run interference between the Law Director and residents during public speaks.

The function  of the Law Director during City Council meetings is not to respond to residents during public speaks.    The functions of the Law Director during Council meetings is to give legal advice to Council members upon request.

City Council meetings should be conducted according to Roberts Rules.       All City Officials who partake in City Council meetings should stay in their own lanes. 

Miriam Baughman

In Part 1 of this series the SCPR wrote, in part:

As long as North Canton Council allows Law Director Tim Fox and his seeming  chronic anti-public participation in government ways persist, there will continue to be a North Canton Council that appears to be out-of-touch with its public ...  .

On reflection "allows" in not what the SCPR believes with respect to council's failure to keep the law director in his lane.  Rather The Report thinks that Council in majority sentiment demands that Fox act the enforcer in Council's apparent desire to chill dissent.

The SCPR does not think the the "restructuring" of the North Canton Council order of business trumpeted by Revoldt as some sort of enhancement of citizen participation in North Canton governments abates in any fashion what appears to be an overall Council agenda of only wanting to hearing the praises of citizens and to tamp down on any critiquing.

Of course, everybody knows that if one speaks out at a local government meeting and has not been put under oath beforehand, anything the citizen has to say should be taken with "grain of salt."

The Council governors themselves have taken an oath of office to support the U.S. and Ohio Constitutions which as a primary goal sanctifies and encourages citizen participation of a government "of the people, for the people and by the people."

In chilling incisive citizen participation, North Canton Council brings into question their upholding their respective oaths of office.

With Law Director Fox being unleashed by Council on November 12th, it, notwithstanding the addition of  Daryl Revoldt to its ranks,  is sending a signal that only the fawning need participate in the "Public Speaks" part of North Canton City Council meetings.

In recognizing the achievements of Council, why would anybody want to put them under oath beforehand.

Isn't their being "truly factual" self-evident?

Wednesday, November 28, 2018



The Stark County Political Report has a great deal of direct contact over nearly 11 years with many Stark County political subdivision processes of government, which, is to say, includes the cities, villages, townships and boards of education and other government entities.

Of those political subdivisions, North Canton is far and away the most adversarial with its citizens who differ in the context of "Public Speaks" ("recognition of visitors," on the published North Canton Council meeting agenda document).

Here is a summation of the latest flap.  (from a citizen e-mail to the SCPR among other media types, reporting on an November 12, 2018 North Canton City Council meeting) 
North Canton Law Director Tim Fox apparently is of the opinion that if a citizen addresses City Council in a public meeting and is not under oath, that person is not giving truthful testimony. 
 In spite of the fact that Law Director Tim Fox is not an elected representative of the citizens of North Canton, he is regularly given a bully pulpit to attack citizens of North Canton who choose to speak to their elected representatives at what is termed on the Council Agenda as RECOGNITION OF VISITORS and also referred to as Public Speaks. 
Although Mr. Fox interjects his opinions and thoughts throughout the course of every meeting, these particular remarks came at the end of the evening's meeting, during the portion of the meeting agenda termed COUNCIL REPORTS. 
        Mr. Fox begins his remarks at 1:01:35 and his remarks quickly turn into an attack on anyone who addresses City Council at PUBLIC SPEAKS. 
(Verbatim remarks of Tim Fox beginning at 1:01:45) [SCPR NOTE:  SEE VIDEO LINK ABOVE}
"…I just want to point out to those that may not attend meetings as regular as some others, for those that appear and offer their opinions; you notice that they're not under oath. There is no legal requirement that they give truthful testimony. And that's so they can give their opinion.
... . (enlarged portions of text for emphasis sake)
A primary reason for the SCPR blog is to hold Stark County political subdivisions accountable for the substantive and procedural actions with "process" being the priority.

Of all North Canton councilpersons, only former mayor and council member (also president for a period of time) Daryl Revoldt gets anywhere near treating citizens wishing to be heard by Council to be heard attentively and taken seriously.

Accordingly, the SCPR sent this e-mail to Councilman Revoldt which is shared, in part, in this excerpt:

So it "appears" that Law Director Fox in picking up on your (Revoldt's)  "opinion" that you and perhaps many if not all of Council have that North Canton Public Speaks input is to be indulged but not examined for value? 
Everyone knows that "Public Speaks" contributions are opinion and so why would you in particular and Council in general not dress down Fox for his (in my assessment) officiously devaluing of citizen input 
Moreover, in the meeting post-Fox commentary, on what seems to me to be a continuing attack on North Canton citizens (with particular emphasis on Chuck Osborne); [why] did you allow the Fox attributed to comments go unclarified? 
As you know the SCPR has attended many, many, many city council, township trustee and board of education meetings over the 10 plus years, North Canton has stood out to me as being the most antagonistic to citizen input. 
Is there something in this story that Osborne is misrepresenting?
Councilman Revoldt did respond via telephone to the points made/questions made in the SCPR email.

Here is a summary of the key parts of his response:
  • He values public opinion and cites examples in which he thinks Council has demonstrated that it is authentically hearing North Canton citizens,
    • the SCPR, nonetheless, questions whether or not his six colleagues value citizen input, and, this blogger thinks Fox's "under oath" thing is absolutely ridiculous.  He and council members are not "under oath."  What's to keep them from being "less than truthful."
  • Law Director Fox's "under oath comment" was not very artful,
  • Seems to justify Fox's "under oath" admonishment (what The Report thinks is chilling on public input) that Council only deals with facts.
    • the SCPR says that for the law director to a priori seems to determine that anything a citizen says is pure speculation and that only he and council members offer factual material is an expression of the height of government arrogance,
  • On the substantive issue of whether or not North Canton accepts Maple Street Commerce's (Stu Lichter) offer to deed a parcel for building of a North Canton Safety Centers will be determined by Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)  "factual" determinations,
    • Revoldt seemingly dismisses the possibility that citizens might through questioning Council provoke Council to urge the EPA to take a deeper look at environment safety factors in the context of placing an open to public access government facility on it to say nothing of North Canton government employees who would be working in the facility,
    • Some North Cantonians think that the short (in terms of time) notice of the  EPA's meeting with the general North Canton public on October 24th, on the overall Hoover contamination issue, was an attempt by North Canton government to get the EPA by incisive public inquiry and therefore more likely to see things favorable to redevelopment of remains of the former Hoover complex,
  • In somewhat in a paradoxical fashion, Revoldt then says that North Canton Council needs to avoid "group think,"
    • Hmm.  Really? The Report's take on North Canton Council is that by and large its processes are an example of "locked in arms, 'group' think,"
  • Revoldt:  "Your worst critic is your best friend,"
    • Amen!!! to that.  But North Canton Council is a long way from embracing criticism and reaching out to its citizen base to achieve "win-win" results,  And such is the case for much of government in Stark County, in Ohio and across the nation,
  • Though generally understanding and supportive of Fox because he thinks Fox has been more restrained in recent times from "getting out of his lane" (the SCPR's characterization; not Revoldt's) and appears to be hopeful that Fox will limit himself rendering legal advice to his client (i.e. North Canton Council and its members) in the context of the official business of Council.
Yesterday, post North Canton Council meeting of Monday, November 26th, Revoldt tells the SCPR that on Monday Council agreed to restructure the order of business so as to facilitate council member responses to questions/points made and the like during the Reports section of agenda which is to be the last item on the agenda going forward.

Revoldt has noted and the SCPR agrees that Fox's obvious dissing of the public

  • (e.g. unreliable to be truthful, not factual because they are not in the legal straight-jacket of being "under oath; a standard that apparently in his mind does not apply to Fox himself, the Held administration and the members of Council),
    • While Fox has not previously  been so audacious as in  the foregoing November 12 example indicates in the past; there have been times and places in the functioning of North Canton government that he has as an "unelected" official gotten out-of-hand in attacking the public with special asides directed at a particular member of the public,
      • apparently, doing so, in his perception was he was carrying out a private understanding back in 2012 that such is what Council expected of him,

appeared, before the 12th, to be tamped down.

But his November 12th outrageous questioning of the credibility of the commenting public, indicates that he probably is not a chastened law director (behind the scenes) by various council members law director.

Revoldt can be optimistic that Fox  will "stay in his lane" going forward, this blogger is not unless and until it becomes apparent to him that Council's expectation of him has changed.

As long as North Canton Council allows Law Director Tim Fox and his seeming  chronic anti-public participation in government ways persist, there will continue to be a North Canton Council that appears to be out-of-touch with its public and may at least explain in part why its November, 2018 levy attempt failed.

A 15%  loss might be viewed by some as one whale of a being "out-of-touch" indicator, no?

The Report has learned that it is likely Council will try on November, 2019 to get  voter approval of a increase in the North Canton income tax rate.

This space of nearly a year gives Council ample opportunity to "turn over a new leaf" and do what all elected officials ought to do and that is listen carefully to their constituents and engage them frequently but respectfully in public forums.

Sunday, November 25, 2018






Nearly everyone that The Stark County Political Report (SCPR/The Report) talks to these days about Sheriff George T. Maier's management of the Stark County sheriff's office say that Sheriff Maier is doing a terrific job as the elected sheriff of Stark County.

On one dimension, even the SCPR agrees that Maier, on a "technical" policing level, has the tools to be an excellent county policing manager.

However, as regular readers of The Stark County Political Report (SCPR, The Report full-well know, this blogger thinks that Sheriff Maier has some growing to do to be the kind of employee-relationship manager that matches his technical know how.

The endeavor in this series is to present material to readers for readers to make up their own minds as to whether or not George T. Maier's temperament as translated into management style will one day become a leading issue in Stark County governance.

Since 2013, the year Maier surfaced as a contender to be appointed sheriff by the Stark County Democratic Party Central Committee on the untimely and tragic death of Sheriff-elect Mike McDonald, the SCPR has had many, many, many sources that have presented a different picture of Maier in the context of his management style which, according to these sources, is in stark contrast to the technically accomplished George T. Maier.
NOTE:  The Report had so many inside the Stark County sheriff's office sources that this blogger  could not resist chiding Maier that the first hire as sheriff should be a plumber who could fix the leaks.  However, it appears that he did not heed the advice)
As another factor in assessing him (from the perspective of those who buy into the image one projects as an indication of their competence), Maier, when he dons his sheriff dress attire, looks like a "dressed to the nines" county sheriff that rivals the stylish Stark County commissioner Janet Weir Creighton.

It used to be Canton councilman Jimmy Babcock compared to Commissioner Creighton on Stark County's "best dressed" politician.

Now maybe just maybe Babcock has been replaced by George T. Maier.  How can you beat that "sheriff's dress uni" in terms of impressiveness?

Later on in this series The Report will focus on the more recent allegations by those in a position to see the internal operations of the Stark County sheriff office operations as to whether Maier is deficient as a manager or that the allegations are merely "sour grapes" on the part of those who are not part of the inner circle of Maier confidants.

Maier has been in policing since 1981 as a Hartville (Lake Township) police office after graduating from Massillon Washington High School in 1978.

Hartville was "small potatoes" for Maier and consequently he moved on in 1982 to the Ohio State Patrol.

It was no small irony that in 2013, it was in support of then and now Hartville chief of police (Republican Larry Dordea) who the "organized" Stark County Republican in the guise of the Republican members of the Stark County Board of Elections fought "tooth and nail" to keep Maier from becoming sheriff.

Though with the onset of troubles in the Stark County treasurer's office, the Stark GOP has done reasonably well in countywide elections EXCEPT for getting one of theirs to come anywhere near becoming Stark County sheriff.

The last time local Republicans were able to elect a Republican sheriff was Robert Berens 1981 to 1984, approaching 40 years now.

Most of Maier's technical policing training came during his stint as a Ohio State Highway Patrol  (OSHP) officer where, by 1991, he as selected "Trooper of the Year" by virtue of his life-saving actions in March of 1991.

From 1991 through 2007, Maier says he worked his way through the echelons of the OSP to the point of becoming district commander of the Jackson Township Post of the Patrol.

In November, 2006, the political gods smiled on Maier's future as possibly one of Ohio's highest ranking law enforcement officials.

Folksy Democrat Ted Strickland (a man who loved to show humility by referring to himself a being from "Aw shucks" Duck Run, Ohio), reached the pinnacle of his political career in being elected governor of Ohio over the disaster of a Republican nominee Ken Blackwood.

And as luck will have it for some of us, George's older brother Johnnie A. Maier, Jr. was at the time chairman of the Stark County Democratic Party.

The key opportunity for the Maiers was the good fortune they had in prominent Ohio Democrat Bryan Flannery contesting Strickland for the Democratic nomination for governor in the 2006 election.

Although this blogger (an active member of the Stark Dems at the time,  now a political independent) remembers Chairman Johnnie A. Maier, Jr grousing about Flannery's run; the primary contest was likely a key factor in what appears to have been the chairman's ability to get his brother appointed to the #2 position in Ohio's Department of Public Safety.

For Johnnie persuaded the Dems' executive committee to change local party policy of not endorsing any Democratic candidate in a primary election to make an exception for the Strickland/Flannery race.

Consequently, under the guidance of Maier, Jr., Stark Dems became the first county Democratic Party organization to endorse Stickland.

The endorsement seems to have been "worth in 'political' gold" inasmuch it appears that Strickland and his handlers were so appreciative of Maier Jr's maneuver that the Maier, Jr was able to get:
  • brother George T.,
    • appointed as assistant Director of the Ohio Department of Highway Safety,
      • became "interim" director in 2010,
  • Stark County commissioner Gayle Jackson (mother of Stark Dems' political director Shane Jackson, Maier's "right hand man in the Massillon clerk of courts office), 
    • appointed to Lottery Commission, 
  • Steve Meeks (formerly a Jackson Township elected official), and
    • appointed as Region 9 economical development office, 
  • himself,
appointed to political patronage positions controlled by the, what turned out to be, one-term Strickland administration.

It was his stint in the Department of Highway safety that complaints surfaced with George T. Maier's management style.

George T. Maier in his Stark County sheriff's uniform in the recently concluded 2018 gubernatorial race campaigned for Democrat Richard Cordray.

Governor-elect Mike DeWine returned "tit for tat."

Anyway one slices it, such, the SCPR thinks, is an abuse of the taxpayers right not have uniformed at public expense officials of Ohio government appear in official garb on behalf of either Republican/Democratic candidates.

But in Ohio/America we have a political Duopoly and the controlling Democratic/Republican operatives merely point the finger at each other as justification for the abuse.

The same thing happens on the issue of gerrymandering.

That "both monopolistic parties (i.e. "the political duopoly) do it," is no answer at all.

Both in perpetuating such abuse contribute to the growing public cynicism on the arrogance of each.

Confirming at the national level is President Donald Trump's use of the U.S. military as political backdrops in picture and word for his political agenda.

But when one has the power to do self serving, political party perpetuating things; only a fool would do the ethical thing, no?

The results as compared to Strickland's 2006 victory:  (Ohio Dems chairman David Pepper undoubtedly is beside himself of how over 12 years the Dems have declined statewide)

What if Cordray had won?

How would the Maier brothers tried to capitalize on that?

In the next blog in this series, the SCPR will pick up with the Strickland administration years and beyond in the fortunes of Stark County sheriff George T. Maier.

Thursday, November 22, 2018








And, how about a little political satire?


Josh Dawsey (Washington Post)

Reporter covering the White House

November 22 at 9:27 PM

An Excerpt (LINK)

PALM BEACH, Fla. — President Trump’s Thanksgiving began, as his days often do, with an all-caps tweet: “HAPPY THANKSGIVING TO ALL!” (emphasis added)

Minutes later, he tweeted of potential “bedlam, chaos, injury and death,” a harbinger of what would be a frenetic Thanksgiving morning.

Over the span of a few hours, the president would mix the traditional pablum of Thanksgiving tidings with renouncing the findings of his Central Intelligence Agency, threatening Mexico, criticizing court decisions, attacking Hillary Clinton over her emails, misstating facts about the economy, floating a shutdown of the government — and per usual, jousting with the news media.

Asked what he was most thankful for on this Thanksgiving Day — a question that for commanders in chief usually prompts praise of service members in harm’s way — Trump delivered a singularly Trumpian answer.

“I made a tremendous difference in our country,” he said, citing himself.

Interesting, no?

Also interesting how many national, state and local Republican officials, by and large, sit back and say nothing publicly about the outbursts, no?

Anyone who reads the SCPR on a regular basis knows the low "political/governance" regard that this blogger has for "thankfully" 'lame duck' state Representative Christina Hagan.

As the father of three highly accomplished daughters who demand/get respect from men in all stations of life and in all contexts, this blogger is particularly offended by Hagan's embracking of Donald Trump.

That Hagan tanked up on political hubris and took on far more than she could chew (running for the 16 Congressional which contains a small portion of Stark County)  and consequently tereby has taken herself out of political/governance circulation come December 31, 2018 is something that all Ohioans and Stark Countians ought to be thankful for this Thanksgiving Day weekend 2018!

Sunday, November 18, 2018



It appears that the state of Ohio:
  • largely because the "organized,"elected legislative official driven Ohio Republican Party has: 
    • "stacked-the-deck"  thereby  giving Ohio's rural areas a disproportionate place of "control" in Ohio legislative government,
      • by virtue of "gerrymandering" and consequently Ohio
has become a state of the Rural versus the Urban.

As readers of The Stark County Political Report (SCPR, The Report) know, this blogger celebrates citizens who possess:
  •  "strength of mind,"  
  • a passionate sense of "right and wrong," and the 
  • "courage of their convictions"
    • and, are thereby able to provoke a discussion of "politically incorrect" points of view in which:
      • the majority seeks to shut down the minority, but which
        • the minority is having none of!
Specifically, "having none of" exemplified in the personage of state Rep. Stephanie Howse  (House District #11, Cuyahoga County) is indeed refreshing . ( LINK to Howse's Twitter account for Howse constituent reactions.)

Such (Rural vs. Urban) is what The Report thinks Ohio House Speaker Ryan Smith (a 45 year old Republican) of Bidwell, Gallia County, Ohio
  • is what it appears the Ohio House/Senate Republican caucuses have set up in the Ohio General Assembly and put in place in both House and Senate through the mechanism of "gerrymandering." by which they have created a "supermajority" 
  • which means that there is the very real potential that the OGA can and has attempted to 
  • override a Republican governor on such things as 
  • "Right-to-Work," 
  • "Stand Your Ground," and the 
  • Heartbeat Bill (a severe curtailing of a woman's right under USSC decision Roe v. Wade (1973) to exercise control over her  body; recently passed in the House and co-sponsored by Stark County lame duck legislator (the 50th) Christina Hagan of Marlboro Township. 
Likely, because of Republican "supermajority" control, Ohio suffers in state rankings as among the 50.

 More particularly Ohio's urban areas (locally: Stark County, Ohio's eighth largest county) especially suffer in terms of:
  • less than "one person, one vote" (via gerrymandering) in that many Republican representatives think they only have to provide access to only those who agree with them,
  • a much larger impact of the Kasich/Republican 2010 move to dramatically cut (eliminate as in case of Ohio's Estate Tax) "local government funding, 
  • the imposing of "unfunded mandates," 
  • empowering via legislation or lack of oversight "for profit" charter schools to drain off millions upon millions of dollars from local public education, and
  • having imposed on "in difficult straits" urban school districts, State of Ohio takeover
to name a few.

Most Democrats in the Ohio House/Senate appear to be unwilling to step out and challenge publicly and vociferously what clearly be a Legislature case of "the tail wagging the dog" in the context of rural control of the OGA.

For sure Republicans 
  • even Stark County's (i.e. falling in line with the Speaker's wishes) 
    • Kirk Schuring (Ohio House 48th, Senator-elect the 29th Ohio Senate District), and 
    • Scott Oelslager (Ohio Senate 29th, state Representative-elect the 48th Ohio House District)
have instituted a political/government control strategy of having a lesser number of Ohioans (i.e. rural areas) control the greater number (urban areas) which some think have racial overtones.

Senator-elect Schuring and his fellow partisans  ought to read and learn from Mistakes Were Made (But Not by Me):  Why We Justify Foolish Beliefs, Bad Decisions, and Hurtful Acts this passage:
Once [Jeb Magruder] was in the White House, he went along with all of the small ethical compromises that just about all politicians justify in the goal of serving their party.
Tavris, Caroll. Mistakes Were Made (But Not by Me): Why We Justify Foolish Beliefs, Bad Decisions, and Hurtful Acts (p. 46). Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. Kindle Edition. 
From the same book deals with "cognitive dissonance," which this blogger thinks is a essential quality for one to be a successful politician, to wit:
Democrats will endorse an extremely restrictive welfare proposal, one usually associated with Republicans, if they think it has been proposed by the Democratic Party, and Republicans will support a generous welfare policy if they think it comes from the Republican Party.
So it is with Schuring and colleagues who certainly know better standing  by in obvious self-justification while Speaker Smith trashes the U.S./Ohio Constitutions.

On November 14th, in the debate? on HB 228 (Stand Your Ground), Speaker Smith cut off state Rep. Howse and apparently Kirk Schuring stood by and did nothing.

Talk about a contrast to Smith's, take a look at Howse's district:

The SCPR shutters to think that there are actual state representatives/senators who are motivated in their legislative work to favor principally white House/Senate districts over heavily black House/Senate districts.

But take a look at the comparative demographics and there seems to be an "electoral" advantage for the Ohio House/Senate legislative leadership and individual representative to tilt towards advantaging rural districts over urban districts.

The Report thinks that Howse is incorrect in the implications of her outburst last Wednesday when Stand Your Ground garnered a 66 to 32 House approval vote that "all but one GOP representatives voting for the bill" makes it suspicious that "race" might be a factor in the vote.

The general population knows that Republican legislators are very strong on support of "no-restrictions" gun legislation.  Stand Your Ground seems to be consistent with the "no-restrictions" model.

Of course, here in Stark County, 50th Ohio House representative Christina Hagan appears to be one of the most if not the most aggressive area politicians supporting expanded gun rights.


But note, the thought to be "more moderate" Kirk Schuring, along with Hagan and numerous other Republicans are co-sponsors of Stand Your Ground.

There is no doubt about it.  As persons out of the political context, both Schuring and Oelslager seem to be high quality human beings.  Moreover, each have engineered significant achievements that promote the well being of Stark County.

However, there should be much more given the fact that they have been in the OGA for a combined 60 years.

Just a for instance, ask any Stark County court, city, village, township and school districts about the terrific burden of unfunded state of Ohio mandates on the local government.

Somewhere along the line, one would think given their senior status one or both would have created a brouhaha with their fellow on a particular bill which burden local government with cost of stated ordered programs, no?

Maybe they can point to something, but over all the years that the SCPR has been covering Stark politics and government has one local official thanked either for stopping such a burden.

Additionally, if only they would not be so political that it appears it is Republican Party interests rather than representing and being accessible to "all the public" that predominates their political existence.

It appears being finance chair (Oelslager) or being temporary Speaker (Schuring) which is a perk of political party loyalty which likely the reason why both generally fall into line with the official state Republican OGA caucuses line at a given moment, whatever it is.

Schuring and Oelslager seemed have lured many Stark County politicians including many if not most of the "organized" Stark Democratic Party leadership into thinking they are thoughtful about their OGA votes than Hagan is.  

For instance in 2015/2016 both got  thousands of dollars in contributions from the online charter school entity Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow (ECOT) which recently was found to owe Ohio's taxpayers $80 million.

In the same year, ECOT and its ilk, took millions upon millions of dollars away from Stark County's 17 school district.  Money, undoubtedly, that many of us local school district taxpayers have had to make up with additional levies.

And Kirk Schuring put out at least three campaign flyers claiming to being a supporter of public education.

He might be here and there.  But when the OGA GOP leadership wants his vote; guess what, he always falls into line.

Because of the apparent Stark Dems apparent political live in with the two, Stark Dem leadership has for years put up "token" opposition to the duo re-election bids.  This year's Democratic  candidates Friedman (the 29th) and Wilburn (the 48th) were nothing more than political sacrificial lambs.

But are Oelslager and Schuring more thoughtful?  Or, could be that Hagan is more honest, however extreme she is thought to be, than they are?

Only The Stark County Political Report provides Stark Countians with an incisive analysis of the work of the Stark County OGA delegation; good, bad or indifferent.

The Stand Your Ground measure now moves onto the Senate.

And beyond likely Senate passage of HB 228, the bill must get Governor Kasich's signature.

But, if Kasich refuses to sign a House/Senate passed bill, then, there is a very real probability that there will be an attempt to override a Kasich veto.

Whether its Canton City Council or the Ohio General Assembly "unanimous"(Canton); "supermajority" (OGA) is not a good thing for tax paying citizens who have diverse points of view on government action which go unaccounted for the likes of Canton City Council and the OGA.

Such is a perversion of the American/Ohio political system and over time will undermine the viability of our democratic/republican system of government.

And nothing to cheer about as Stark Countian Jane Timken (Ohio GOP chair) did at the Cleveland City Club (2017) in saying that "elections have consequences."

Because during the presidential election of 2016, Stark County commissioner Janet Creighton made of point of telling this blogger on attending a local-sited National Riffle Ass'n  (NRA) supporting then candidate Donald Trump saying  she had a membership in the NRA and considered herself an NRA supporter; the SCPR asked her on Friday what was her take on Stand Your Ground in view of the fact that by the language of HB 228 the burden of proof on the self-defense-esque nature Stand Your Ground switches from a felony-shooting charged defendant having to provide "beyond a reasonable doubt" legal justification for a shooting to prosecutors.

Commissioner Creighton has not responded as of the publication of this blog.

If she does, the SCPR will supplement this blog with her response.

Along with Hagan and Schuring, 49th Ohio House Democratic representative Thomas West took the Howse/Smith confrontation in.

On  Joe Palmisano's show on this past Saturday morning  (The Week that Was [WHBC 1480] West argued for the perspective of Stephanie Howse and derivatively, of course, from his own perspective as a African American man.

West also talked about how Kirk Schuring has been helpful to his "learning the ropes" in the OGA.

The SCPR's take on West is that he has to walk a tightrope of supporting the likes of Howse while not alienating the likes of "the helpful" Schuring.

The Report thinks West is capable of doing so.

But there may be a day when Schuring under the pressure of folks like Smith/Householder gives West the cold-shoulder.

Time will tell.

Of course, there are Democrats who think "elections have consequences" in the form of the ability to "gerrymander."  Right here in Stark County the SCPR believes Massillon clerk of courts, Stark Dems' kingpin and former state representative (1992/2000) Johnnie A. Maier, Jr. (including the tail end of the Vern Riffe speakership era) would "second" Timken's statement.

Pure and simple, "gerrymandering" is one of the most destructive forces affecting "the peoples' ability to heard;" whether it comes from "organized/elected" Democrats or Republicans.

As we see in the Smith/Howse exchange,  the lopsided disparity in the OGA empowered and encourage Speaker Smith to cut Howse off.

If either Hagan, Oelslager (35 years in the Legislature) or Schuring (25 years in the Legislature) cared about our fundamental value of Free Speech (the Ohio/US constitutions), one of them would have (never mind the extremely religious right wing Hagan) would come to the defense of Howse and in the case of Schuring (a temporary speaker earlier this year) he should have stood up and challenged Smith right on the spot.

However, must remember that Schuring when he was running for Congress in 2008 against Democrat John Boccieri told his Ashland, Ohio campaign event "not to go to Canton for they might get shot.

If Schuring disses Canton, what must he think and consequently allow to affect his legislating favorable to urban districts to have on his support or lack thereof, when, he undoubtedly has in mind the notorious Hough section of Howes' 11th District?

And he is not alone in seeming to buy-in to a seeming GOP controlled OGA  hostility towards Ohio's urban centers which just happen to be predominately populated by African-Americans.

Obviously, sensing the antagonism of those who ought to know/act better,  Representative Howse obviously felt compelled to put the supermajority Republicans in the headlines.

One has to do what one has to do in order to make a point, no?

And in America and Ohio one should be accorded one's Constitutional right of Free Speech, no?

Like most political supermajorities, in time they self-destruct.

Republicans should put posters in the offices to remind them of the state of Ohio GOP 2005 Coingate (Noe) political albatross.

Being continuing long terms members of the OGA, Oelslager and Schuring certainly will remember how the scandal shook the Ohio GOP to its very foundation.

It appears that Speaker Smith is heading the Republican caucuses in the self-destruct direction.

If Householder defeats Smith in January for the speakership, having been speaker before, will he be wise enough to authentically include Democrats in the processes of legislation or will he just be a different face playing a highly partisan power game at the expense of everyday Ohioans?

Remember:  "pride goeth before a fall?"

Saturday, November 17, 2018


According to WHBC News/Talk (1480), Canton City Council president Allen Schulman passed away Friday morning at home.

Allen Schulman's career in terms of time span pretty much paralleled that of this blogger.

Allen Schulman:  1975 through 2018.

Martin Olson: 1963 through 2014 (inactive).

So this blogger knows first-hand of the outstanding qualities that Schulman possessed as an attorney.

When The Stark County Political Report (SCPR, The Report) began on March 12, 2008, a top priority in coverage was Canton City Council meetings.

As council president (since September 28, 2006), Schulman was both diplomatic and pointed in approach.

Schulman (a committed Democrat) was especially considerate of and accommodating to (whenever possible) to those citizens who attended Canton City Council in order to participate in Public Speaks.

But he could draw lines.

Here is a SCPR video of him pointing his Canton City Council president finger at area politicians who had joined Governor John Kasich in 2010/2011 to slash state of Ohio local government funding and took away various other taxes (e.g. the estate tax [eliminated]) that provides/provided revenue for Stark County's cities, villages and townships).

With the election of Thomas West (former 2nd Ward Canton councilman) to the Ohio House Representatives (D, 49) two years ago and re-elected on November 6th, Schulman had to be celebrating that he and Canton council's ward and at-large leadership finally had a willing, aggressive but collaborative state legislator to work with.

Schulman in the opinion of the SCPR was "left of center" politically  as, The Report thinks, is Thomas West.

Friday, November 16, 2018



Most Stark Countians might think that Jackson Township Local School System is the very best public school system of Stark County's 17 districts.

Actually the "best bang for the 'educational' buck" is Massillon Perry.

Median income is roughly correlated with the primary source of local education funding (the property tax) in terms of  higher income districts are generally presumed to have more valued overall property tax units and therefore a key indicator what financial resources a given school district has.

The Perry Local School District is 9th out 17 Stark County school district in "median income" and 4th out of the 17 in Performance ranking therefore by Ohio Department of Education (ODE) formulated evaluation Stark County's best overall education in terms of efficient use of financial resources (i.e. "more bang for the buck")

Jackson (the most wealthy by "median income")  is not rated No.1 on Performance.


Lake Local Schools (this blogger is pleased to say being a resident of Lake from which three daughters graduated) is the top Stark County school system in a category which The Stark County Political Report (SCPR, The Report) is the most meaningful; namely,  PERFORMANCE INDEX!

For any who wants a thorough understanding of the significance of the Performance Index (PI), here is a LINK to an Ohio Department of Education website page which is the gospel on how state of Ohio education officials arrive at a PI for each and every Ohio public school system which currently total 659 districts.  Another source for information of the Report Card is to be found in this LINK to a recent (Cleveland Plain Dealer) article.

While the SCPR (of course) prefers the "Performance Index," it appears that the Louisville City School have an arguable claim to have the very best district in all of Stark County.

Perry Local Schools rank 369 in median income and yet a 59 in Performance yet achieves an overall ODE Report Grade of "C"."

Of course, a "C" is not all that impressive by most measuring standards, but one must remember that ODE grading in Ohio has gotten much tougher of late with "no" Stark County districts achieving an "A."

A school officials across Ohio are screaming at the ODE to modify Ohio's Report Card.

At the November 11-13 Ohio School Boards Ass'n, Superintendent Paolo DeMaria indicated that the Report Card will stand for the next school years with, perhaps, some tweaking.

Many educators and parents believe that public education should  not be political.

But the "Stark" reality is that politics is very much political.

The SCPR has run a series of blogs detailing that Stark County (among 88 Ohio counties suffering the same problem in varying degrees) has lost millions upon millions upon millions of dollars to charter/charter online (for profit) schools.

Stark County's Republican legislators (Schuring, Oelslager, Snitchler and Hagan) since  circa 2000 have been "all in" in bringing "for profit" charter schools and funding them by taking away dollars from public schools.

Here is an example from the Hagan, Oelslager and Schuring era as to how many millions of dollars that Stark County alone (not to speak of the other 87 Ohio counties) has lost to the for profit charter schools.

We now know that the quality of K-12 education has not improved with for profit charter schools and charter schools have for the most part over the past 18 years or so not had to deal with strict/demanding state of Ohio ODE oversight due to the intervention of the likes of Hagan,
Schuring, Oelslager and Snitchler.

Charter schools as a panacea are largely a matter of Republican political/economic philosophy that nearly everything can be done more efficiently/effectively and productively than government.mb

The Republicans (in supermajority control of the Ohio General Assembly) have been correct on a number of human activities but NOT on undermining public schools with the for profit charter school movement.

And yet Kirk Schuring has the political gall to advertise himself as doing good things for public education, to wit:

"Standing up for ... taxpayers?"

Give me a break Senator-elect Schuring.

This taxpayer wants $0 to go to for profit charter schools at the expense of public schools.

Charters are fine so long as the pay their own way.  But what Schuring et al are doing now is nothing short of engaging corporate welfare.

Of course, Schuring refuses to return calls/respond to e-mails initiated by this blogger.

Something he is not entitled as an elected official to do.

A man with a pleasing demeanor but as a politician a pretty arrogant guy,  no?

To add insult to injury, former state Rep (the 50th), unsuccessful candidate for Stark County commissioner, and former Marlboro Township trustee John Hagan (a Republican) ran for (on November 6th) and won the 8th District "elected" (note:  there are a "majority" of governor appointments) State Board of Education (S/BOE).

The Report has been told that Hagan's primary reason for running was to get healthcare insurance coverage which he lost when he lost his trustee position in November, 2017.

It appears to the SCPR that this guy will just be a "wallflower" on the S/BOE vegetating there until he is eligible for Medicare.

In the assessment of the SCPR John P. Hagan has always been a political hanger-oner with very little if anything to offer to the public well being.

Either of his November opponents would have, if elected, had some constructive input on the S/BOE.

Hagan seemingly played the "Hagan" name game apparently hoping that Mahoning County voters would confuse his with former 8th District S/BOE member Bob Hagan who is a liberal Democrat in contrast to the right-wing Republican John Hagan.

Hopefully, John Hagan is the exception rather than the rule with respect to the "education" preparedness to be on  the State Board of Education.

The Ohio Report Card is largely a Republican political leader fascination with quantifying everything in sight.

Those of us who have lived on this planet for a number of years know that quantification in human endeavors does not nearly capture the achievement and value of persons.

Until recently, the Cleveland Browns were into "quantification" in endeavor to select "quality" football players.  With a 3 win, 31 loss and 1 tie record of late; need the SCPR say more?

At the OSBA Capital Conference this year, a intriguing workshop was held, to wit:

Voltolini Bio LINK
Podojil Bio LINK

The workshop is further evidence that "politics" is everything when it comes to education in Ohio.

There is a fight going on in the Ohio Republican Caucus as to whether Ryan Smith or Larry Householder, and, of course, there is the overlay of Mike DeWine becoming Ohio's new governor come January 1, 2019.

You can take the "What to expect" aspect of the workshop as being meaningless as Voltolini and Podojil had not insights and only concluded that it will make a pronounced difference.

While the politicos Ohio public education degrades.

Take a look of the following US News ranking of Ohio's K-12 education infrastructure remembering that Ohio population wise ranks 7th among the 50 states:

When will Ohioans and the education community in particular have have had enough and start punishing the likes of Hagan, Oelslager and Schuring at the polls?