Tuesday, March 22, 2011


The conventional political wisdom is that the Massillon 2011 budget got rejected last night a second time by the same 5 (Anderson, Catzaro-Perry, Peters, Slagle and Townsend) to 4 (Hersher, Mang, Manson, and McCune) vote that occurred back in December because of mayoralty politics:  Councilwoman Kathy Catazaro-Perry versus Francis H. Cicchinelli, Jr.

And undoubtedly, such is a huge part of the reason.

However, it may be that animosities between Councilmen Donnie Peters, Jr. (R-Ward 5) and David McCune (D-Ward 6) over a parking ticket issued to McCune's daughter for parking in a handicap parking spot last year may have caused to vote "no" on the Cicchinelli administration budget.

At a council meeting in late December, 2009 it came to light that McCune had asked Catazaro-Perry (chair of the Rules and Court Committee) to consider legislation to lengthen the time within which to pay fines.

Councilman Peters alleged that McCune made the request to the chairwoman without telling her about the daughter's ticket and what Peters further alleged to be an effort by McCune to gain additional time, if needed, to avoid having to pay a double fine for untimely payment.

Here's the actual exchange as reported by Matt Rink (The Independent), Parking ticket causes racket amongst council members, December 30, 2010.
“He set you up,” Councilman Donnie Peters told Catazaro-Perry. “He knows if he were here, I would jump his (expletive) about it. It’s just because he has a personal vendetta to settle because he is one of those people who got a ticket.

“If I get picked up for a DUI, I’m not going to go change the DUI law,” Peters said.

Peters said McCune’s “motives are off base” and he wouldn’t agree to change the ordinance. He called Catazaro-Perry a “sacrificial lamb” and said McCune is using his political seat for personal gain.
Take a look at this video in which Peters makes it clear that he believes that a McCune statement (see video below) was the reason that the vote turned against Cicchinelli.  Whose vote did the McCune statement cause to go anti-Cicchinelli?  The Report's belief:  Councilman Donnie Peters, Jr!

And here is the McCune statement:

So what's next?   A city shutdown?

Probably not.  But it is anybody's guess as to how the impasse is going to get resolved as it must by midnight March 31st.

As Councilman Slagle pointed out in post-council meeting conversation (reference:  the coming local government fund cuts from Ohio), it is hard to see how Massillon can get through the rest of 2011 without some cuts.   It appears that Catazaro-Perry and friends want to force Cicchinelli to make the cuts as the price he pays to get his budget passed. If they succeed, then her election becomes more plausible.

A way around Catazaro-Perry et al (Anderson and Townsend), with Slagle marching to his own drumbeat, is for Cicchinelli to broker a "reconciliation" between Peters and McCune, if such is possible.  In addition, Peters - a Republican, may be fronting for Milan Chovan who will be opposing the Catazaro-Perry/Cicchinelli Democratic primary winner.  If that's the case, then there seems to be little prospect of converting Peters.

Should Peters prove impossible, then it is on to Councilman Slagle.

What will it take for Slagle to support the Cicchinelli budget?

"A Cicchinelli 'Plan B,' [apparently accounting for the certain 21% loss in state of Ohio revenues this year] so said Slagle to the SCPR as he made his way through the parking lot to his car.

 Make no mistake about it, Mayor Cicchinelli is incensed that he has been put in the position he is in.  Here is a video of his press conference with yours truly and Matt Rink of The Independent.

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