Tuesday, September 29, 2009


Healy political antagonist Bill Smuckler had it both ways at Canton City Council meeting last night.

The SCPR believes that this is proof positive that God is smiling on Councilman Smuckler these days.  And the divine smile may carry him into the mayor's office come November, 2011.

Smuckler could not make it to Council last night because the meeting fell within Yom Kippur or the "Day of Atonement" for religious Jews:  the holiest day of the year for Jews, the devoutest of which spend the day fasting and prayer.

Undoubtedly it was co-incidental that Smuckler was busy being devout.

But the co-incidence benefited him enormously from a political standpoint.

The issue was whether or not Council was going to clamp down on Healy administration travel because of the huge financial deficit Canton is in the midst of.

To the SCPR, budgetary concerns are a "red herring."  The real political deal is that with the mayoralty election now about two years away, Cantonians will see more and more political theater as Council member Smuckler jockeys with Healy for political advantage come the Democratic primary in 2011.

While Smuckler wanted to embarrass the Healy administration on Monday because its poor pre-2009 financial planning played a major role in Canton's full blown money crunch, he doesn't want to be seen as hamstringing Healy et al on minutia
such as travel.

That is what the 6 to 5 vote accomplished for Smuckler.  Had he been there, he would have been on the spot.  If he votes yes, then the measure passes and Healy is put under travel constraints.  Then in 2011, he hammers Smuckler for having hampered administrative efforts to redeem Canton finances.

If Smuckler votes no, then he sends a confusing message to voters.  Is for or against the debacle being foisted on Canton by the Healy administration.

So God intervenes on Smuckler's behalf.

And its a double blessing.  He doesn't have to vote, but Healy still gets embarrassed.  Moreover, to the religiously inclined, the theistic intervention is a sign from heaven who is right on the Healy/Smuckler fight.

Another thing the "travel issue" vote shows.

What is that?

How Council is lining up on the Smuckler/Healy confrontation, that's it.

However, the line up is malleable because Casar (who the SCPR counts as a Smuckler supporter - at this time) is not running again and there is a least one contested race that could alter the line up.

Which race is this?

The seventh ward, is the one.

There you have Barton (the incumbent who the SCPR believes will side with Smuckler as these "test votes" come along) versus Republican Richard Hart and independent but former Democrat Shane McCartney.

This is likely to be the only Canton council race that the SCPR covers in any depth.  The Stark County Republican Party has written off Canton and therefore there is very little political competition in Canton.  The Stark GOP's failure to compete makes it responsible, in part, for the decline of Canton.

For better or worse, it appears that the Healy administration and the Smuckler forces on Council will be waging political war while Canton slips deeper into the abyss.

For better or worse?

How could it get better?

Sometimes things have to get worse before they can get better.  Apparently, this is the only way for Canton.  Healy, in the opinion of the SCPR, would rather take Canton down "doing it his way" rather than work constructively with the many to turn things around!

No comments: