Tuesday, December 21, 2010


One of Canton Mayor William J. Healy, II's proudest achievements is having graduated with an MBA from New York University's Stern School of Business.

In recent years, Stern's most distinguished academic is not (sorry to say) Mayor Healy.  Rather it is economist Nouriel Roubini.  He has been tabbed as being Doctor Doom for his work back in 2005 in correctly predicting that a downturn in the real estate market would have devastating consequences for the American economy.

Roubini's work was published two years before Healy became mayor-elect of Canton in a surprising victory (November, 2007) over Republican Janet Creighton whom had defeated Democrat Bill Smuckler four years before.

Healy should have been paying more attention to his NYU Stern School of Business fellow.  If he had, perhaps, Canton could have prepared for the financial disaster that was on the horizon and mitigated if not avoided the hard times Canton has fallen upon.

One aspect of Roubini's work that has not been focused on enough is his analysis that much that ills the world's economies are owing to mismanagement.  The SCPR's take on Canton's economy and finances is exactly that:  "mismanagement galore."

And the mismanagement has come from the top.  Despite his self-heralded academic credentials, it is clear to The Report that Healy has never been up - management skill wise - to being mayor of Ohio's eighth largest city.

While Healy, on the surface, is a cheery kind of guy, the reality for Canton under his non-leadership is "doom and gloom" and outright despair.  The latest round in bad news for Canton is another projected deficit.  Same as last year.  This year it is at $1.7 million.  But no one should be surprised.

Naturally, he wants to blame global and national circumstances beyond himself.

And there is some basis for his excuse making.

However, for the SCPR, Healy has mismanaged Canton from the get-go.  Initially, it was that he could not work with strong personalities (e.g.  Bernabei and Nesbitt) who has the wherewithal to help Healy perhaps make Canton somewhat of an exception to Doctor Doom's prediction.

Sensing that he was not up to the task, he tried to enlist the help of Cicchinelli, Middleton, and other Stark County mayors with his ill-fated start up:  the Stark County Mayors Association (SCMA).  The SCMA seems to have had the lifespan of a butterfly (6 to 8 weeks).  Hardly enough to prop up Healy's mayoralty skills.

Now that Canton is into the election season, Canton will be a virtual standstill through at least May, 2011 when Canton's Democrats will likely choose who Canton's next mayor will be.  We have already seen Healy veto legislation on mandatory housing inspections pushed by his arch-enemy on Council; namely Ward 1 Councilman Greg Hawk.

Hawk, as finance chair,  is also standing in the way of Healy's "smoke and mirrors" budget.  Healy's enemies on Council will milk this budget proposal for all its worth in terms of negativity for the mayor.

What is saddest of all for Canton is that there appears to be no viable alternative to Healy.

Cantonians may well turn to Bill Smuckler in May, 2011, but to what avail?

There really seems to be no light at the end of the economic/financial tunnel Canton finds itself in these days.

To escape the doom and gloom Canton does need a knight in shining armor.

But alas, none are on the horizon!

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