Thursday, April 29, 2010


At the last Canton City Council meeting it appears that Councilman William Smuckler was the one playing politics rather than Mayor William J. Healy, II.

Smuckler is holding in committee a proposal for Canton to demolish 95 decrepit homes. 

Why is Smuckler getting in the way of progress "for the time being?"

According to a source in a position to know, it is because Smuckler is trying to advantage himself to the maximum degree possible on the matter. 

Okay, but why he looking for political advantage on this issue?

The SCPR believes he is positioning himself to cut his electoral losses in more blighted wards of Canton when he goes head to head with Healy in May, 2011 to determine who will be the Democratic nominee for mayor of Canton in November of 2011.  Accordingly, he appears to be scouring the list of properties to be demolished for any perceived political benefit he can derive by taking credit with voters in Canton's depressed neighborhoods.

Apparently, Smuckler has learned from his defeat to Janet Creighton in 2003 by 300 plus votes that he, as a Democrat, failed to appeal to voters in the core Democratic wards of the Hall of Fame City and therefore ended up a loser to a Republican in a city which had, at the time,  a 9 to 1 Democratic registration edge.

Democrat Smuckler, in fact, lost Wards 1 and 3 to Republican Creighton.

The SCPR believes that all of Canton's inner city wards will be a huge plus for Healy in 2011 and that Smuckler understands this and is trying to lessen the blow; hence the flap over demolition.  Moreover, The Report believes Healy was looking towards 2011 in holding yesterday's State of the City event at the Edward L. “Peel” Coleman Community Center on Sherrick Road SE located in Ward 4.

Councilwoman Chris Smith (Ward 4) and Councilman Tom West (Ward 2) will lead the way for Healy in core Canton.  However, Healy does have a problem in Ward 1 because of his antagonistic relationship with Councilman Greg Hawk who many believe Healy tried to unseat in the 2009 Council elections.

Expect a line of issues focusing on inner-city Canton a la the proposed water park and demolition conflicts to be the fare of choice at Canton City Council between now and May, 2011.  Smuckler seems determined to mire Canton City Council mayoralty politics over the next year.

So look for the 2011 Democratic primary battle between Smuckler as being a battle with Smuckler strength being in Wards 7, 8 and 9 and Healy with predominant strength in Wards 2, 3 and 4. 

The remaining wards?

Ward One

Councilman Greg Hawk a publicly proclaimed ally of Smuckler.

Depends on how effective Hawk is.  Does he have enough clout with ward voters to persuade them to provide Smuckler with a majority?

Ward Five

Councilman Terry Prater

First Vice President of Council (Assistant Majority Leader).

As a member of the leadership of Council and therefore (in the opinion of the SCPR) apparently in thrall to de facto Council leader Smuckler.

But maybe not.  As a lame duck councilman who cannot run again because he has a position with the Stark County Board of Elections. does this mean that he will not be that enthusiastic about going out into the neighborhoods for Smuckler?

Ward Six

David R. Dougherty

Vice President of Council (Majority Leader)

Dougherty is a definite to be likely to put forth a major effort to help Smuckler.  You can bet that Dougherty (as de jure Majority Leader) and Smuckler (as de facto Majority Leader) spend a lot of time together plotting political strategy in the looming Smuckler effort to retire Mayor Healy from office.

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