Sunday, August 8, 2010


One of, if not the prime reason, major reason that Francis H. Cicchinelli is running for re-election for a seventh term as mayor of Massillon is "unfinished business" in bringing Massillon back to full economic viability by the use of what he says is the economic tool of annexation.

Annexation Director Sam Sliman of Canton (the self-described "Darth Vatder to the Townships) has the same quest for Canton.

Though one is a Democrat (Cicchinelli) and the other is a Republican (Sliman) they couldn't agree more on the importance of annexation used to the hilt to help rehabilitate city economies.

On the other hand, there are township-oriented folks like Stark County Commissioner Todd Bosley and state Representative Todd Snitchler that see the matter as more a "preserving the townships" principle that they agree that the annexation law needs to be modified to enhance township preservation.

These annexation differences could factor into the political campaigns underway this year (Bosley v. Snitchler, 50th Ohio House District) and next year for Cicchinelli in his bid for a seventh straight term as mayor.  Also, it could factor into the Creighton (Republican) versus Meeks (Democrat) county commissioner race this year.

Readers will see on the accompanying video that Mayor Cicchinelli is very displeased that former Jackson Township trustee and now Commissioner Steven Meeks voted with Commissioner Todd Bosley to deny the Poets Glen annexation.

While he denies that he will support Creighton,  he qualifies the denial by saying: "in a public way."  Hmm.  Privately?

The Report does not view Meeks as a out and out supporter of the "township" view of annexation as Commissioner Bosley seems to be, even with his Poets Glen vote.  Remember, his close political ally Randy Gonzalez (Jackson Township fiscal officer among a number of other public roles) brokered the annexation agreement between Canton and Jackson Township.

So why did he vote to deny Poets Glen?  The SCPR believes he got caught up in the passion of the moment and got steamrollered by Bosley.

Back to the annexation issue in and of itself.

The SCPR's view?

Annexation is not an "enduring" economic tool.  It is quick fix at best.  And, it by its operation - within Stark County and Ohio - it is designed to take from one entity to add to another.

However, townships should not be content to be as townships have always been.  We are in the 21st century and townships need to be just as much economically engaged as are Ohio's villages and cities.

The Report gets the take that all too many township officials have a idyllic sense of the township form of existence and are not fully engaging nearby cities for the mutual benefits of both types of government.

There probably does not need to be any change in annexation law.

What is needed is township, village, and city officials working in a corroborative and sensitive fashion that is a win-win for both the townships and corporate entities.

The Report has taken videos in the SCPR library and edited into this single video a representation of the importance and significance that Cicchinelli, Sliman, Bosley and Snitchler attach to the annexation issue.

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