Monday, August 31, 2009


Mayor David Held of North Canton seems to be dissatisfying to a number of North Canton elected officials and certainly to community activist and former city councilman Chuck Osborne.

Yet Held runs unopposed in November. Doesn't quite square up, does it?

At the August 24th council meeting (speaking for nearly 13 minutes), Osborne climbed all over Held for Held's part as city administrator and mayor over the lease arrangement and enforcement of the city owned Arrowhead Country Club which has amounts owing to the city in the amount (according to Osborne) of $104,311.74 (55,000 in unpaid security deposits and 49,311.74 in unpaid taxes which North Canton advanced to the Stark County treasurer)

Osborne says that since October 7, 2008, North Canton has been trying to collect the owed amount of Larizza Management Group, LTD (Larizza) under a contract signed by North Canton during the Rice administration (Held was then city administrator) in December, 2003.

Osborne faults Held on these grounds:
  • For not requiring in the lease contract language , as recommended by legal council, the posting of a $500,000 performance bond which Osborne says would have cost Larizza $1.500.
  • For hiring "expert" legal counsel on lease contract provisions, at a cost of $4,000 or so, out of Texas rather than completely relying on North Canton's law director.
  • For the need of North Canton to pay $49,311.74 out of its taxpayer revenues to avoid a tax delinquency on Arrowhead.
  • For not requiring a clause in the lease agreement whereby the owner of Larriza would be personally liable if the company failed to pay according to the terms of the lease.
  • For not requiring, as provided for in Ohio law, that the North Canton law director sign off on the lease agreement with Larizzaa prior to execution of the agreement.
Osborne tells the SCPR that a number of council members and some of Held's administrators agree with him on his criticism of Held.

Several council members has told yours truly that they view Held as a "weak" administrator with a lot of growing to do.

So, the SCPR asks this question.

If Held is so deficient as a mayor, how is it that out of a city of 14,000 plus, no one runs against Held?

Complaining about elected officials, but doing nothing to change things seems to be a prevalent political phenomenon in Stark County.

In 2008 countywide Zeigler (treasurer), Ferrero (prosecutor) and Rehfus (engineerj) had no opponents.

What gives Matthews (Stark Republican chairman)?

What gives Stark County public-at-large?

What gives North Canton?

Where's the political competition?

Republicans are famous for their bromide that free enterprise and its inherent appendage "competition" is a cure all.

Yet Stark County's Republican leadership is "not at home" when electoral politics screams out for competition at the polls.

And the Democrats are not blameless.

State Representative Scott Oelslager: no competition in 2008.

David Held: no competition 2009.

Because Stark County's political parties want no part of political races that "seem" to be unwinnable, Stark Countians lose in the pocketbook and they lose in the overall quality of government.

Shame on Jeff Matthews and shame on Randy Gonzalez (chair of the Dems).

Apparently, neither cares about the overall quality of government in Stark County but only how to pick the "low hanging" political fruit.

If it is tough to see how the party can win, count the party out!

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