Tuesday, March 16, 2010


It is said that "dog is man's best friend."  The point is reversed in Stark County these days to read:  "Is man dog's best friend?"

It remains to be seen.

In dismissing former dog warden Evert Gibson last month, the current Board of Commissioners were saying that a predecessor board did not get it right in making Gibson the warden back in 2004.

But will this Board do any better?

Perhaps not.

Why would the SCPR muse such?

After all, they have over 100 applicants to choose from this go around.

Well, one has to be pessimistic because they managed to raise questions on filling a deputy dog warden position recently.  The ultimate hire turned out to be the stepson of former Commissioner Tom Harmon (resigned December 2, 2009).

The SCPR was incredulous when Commissioner Todd Bosley claimed to The Report that the hire had nothing to do with the hire being Harmon's stepson, and that Bosley had actually done a public service by lobbying for the hire and thereby saved the county from hiring someone not qualified for the job.

Not qualified for the job?

How did anyone get to serious consideration when over 30 people applied for the job?

Bosley blamed it on Gibson, saying that he had a handpicked person and only on prodding by the commissioners did the commissioners get more than one recommendation.

The SCPR is not buying.

Why not?

Because the commissioners could have rebid the job and would have gotten a new round of applicants.

Will the commissioners do better this time around?

The Report believes one has to be skeptical.

But we shall see.

There are over 100 applicants that will be considered by a Dog Warden Advisory Board (DWAB).  Lenny Cooper (a communications professor at Mount Union College) is president of the Board and says that he is in the process of the winnowing through the applications to come up with a list of, perhaps, as many as 10 for the commissioners to choose among for a "finalist" interview.

Right now the Board, composed of seven Stark Countians, is looking for a replacement of an October resignee (the veterinarian member) from the Board.

Moreover, he says that the DWAB plans to have its list of five to ten ready by the end of March.

The members of the DWAB include:

Dana Muntean  - Designs by Dana
Steven Swank  - Canton Police Department
Nanci Anderson Miller - American Heart Assoc.
Rosemary Hayne - Perry Local Schools
Sarah Roushe - Colonial Nursing Center
Len Cooper - Mount Union College

Hopefully the Dog Warden Advisory Board will do such a terrific job of narrowing the selection process so as to give the politicized Stark County Board of Commissioners (in the sense that they have to stand for election and as such solicit campaign contributions and campaign worker support) no wiggle room in terms of appointing a political connected person.

The SCPR will be paying close attention to the process and will be the community's "watchdog" so as to provide the Stark County public with the best possible selectee as the next Stark County Dog Warden.

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