Wednesday, May 12, 2010


"You make a good point," is a refrain that one can hear frequently at North Canton City Council when citizen Chuck Osborne takes to the mike during the "public speaks" portion of a Council meeting.

For every North Canton government issue, Osborne has an opinion.

Moreover, he comes in "armed to the teeth" with facts.  However, his facts often prove embarrassing to the North Canton administration and Council.

Lately, Osborne has been pushing and pushing hard on the North Canton/Aqua of Ohio water supply agreement.  He has been working hard to get what he thinks would be a much fairer agreement for the taxpayers of North Canton than what has been in place.

Much to the consternation of city officials, Osborne has been using the facts generated by a company (Arcadis) commissioned by North Canton to study the cost/price aspects of the now "scraped" 20 year between The Dogwood City and Aqua.

Why consternation?

Because, depending on how one interprets the Arcadis study, one could come to the conclusion that North Canton is not making a fair profit on the water sold to Aqua.  And since Hoover closed its doors in North Canton, the city's investment in its water infrastructure in probably its most important asset.

Edd Prichard of The Repository reported of this past Monday meeting (North Canton officials, Aqua reach a deal):
Councilman Jeff Davies, Ward 3, said the proposed contract changes were discussed and reviewed more than any other matter brought to council over the last two years.
And why was "the proposed contract changes ... discussed and reviewed more than any other matter" over the past two years.

Indeed!  Citizen Chuck Osborne is the reason.  If it were not for Osborne, North Canton would likely be languishing under the terms of the old 20 years agreement;  It is unbelievable to the SCPR that North Canton negotiated a 20 year agreement in the first place.  And now to "improve" it, according to Council president Revoldt (as one of the changed aspects) to being for "only" ten years is absurd, too.

Osborne is not happy with the revised agreement.

The SCPR suspects that Osborne is correct in thinking that the new agreement is not what it should be.

The Report believes that future North Canton councils will dig out the minutes of council meetings on the Aqua agreement deliberations and come to fully appreciate the work of Osborne.

On the other hand, future council members will likely be saying among themselves of the 2010 edition of Council:  "What were they thinking?"

Pritchard reports thusly about Osborne's efforts:
Davies thanked former council member Charles Osborne for constantly raising questions during the course of the discussion. “He held our feet to the fire,
A SCPR "hats off" to Davies for recognizing Osborne and to Prichard for reporting it (Prichard often ignores Osborne's input).

What's next:  A North Canton good citizen award to Osborne?

Don't hold your breath!

For the SCPR has reason to believe that more Council members loathe Osborne than like him.  Hence the graphic "they like, they really like Osborne" is presented "tongue-in-cheek."

Government disdain of citizen critique is a core reason why about 80% of Americans do not trust (and impliedly) do not like government.

Such is not good for government!

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