Tuesday, March 29, 2011


On March 23rd, the SCPR sat down with Canton mayoral candidate William Smuckler (Councilman-at-Large), who is vying with incumbent Mayor William J. Healy, II in the May 3rd Democratic primary election for the right to run in November's general election, and provided him with the opportunity to - "in his own words" explain to Canton's Democrats why they should select him as the party's standard bearer.

In this part two, Smuckler:
  • blames Mayor Healy of jeopardizing the safety of Cantonians by allowing safety services to be attrited to unsafe levels,
  • blames Healy for dragging his feet, even resisting the consolidation building departments, health departments and 9-1-1 operations across the county over the issue of who is going to be in control after any consolidations/mergers take place,
  • blames Healy because of his foot dragging for the failure of Canton to save about $480,000 in emergency services costs, and
  • says that Healy has proven that he cannot work for the larger good of Canton and Stark County because of his antagonistic relationships with Stark County Commissioners Janet Creighton and Tom Bernabei
As far as the SCPR is concerned, Smuckler makes telling criticisms of Healy.  Take the 9-1-1 issue, here is a copy of a letter dated November 10th in which Healy indicates that the consolidation is a good thing that will save Canton money.

By March 8th of 2011 and the heat of the mayoralty race approaching its zenith, all of a sudden the Healy administration (in response to a Smuckler question at the March monthly forum on Canton finances about why the administration has refused to act on signing a letter of intent to participate in 9-1-1 consolidation and thereby save Canton about $480,000) has to think about the value of 9-1-1 consolidation.

What Healy has apparently figured out is that opponent Smuckler has a long, long, track record of being the leading Stark County politician in favor of blending Canton operations, where feasible, with the operations of the larger Stark County community and thereby save the financially struggling Canton millions of dollars.

So what was good in November, 2010 is no longer good in March, 2011 because it doesn't fit the consummately political Healy's desire to negate anything that reflects well on Smuckler.

Healy's "rationale?" for not signing the "letter of intent" is his concern that the 9-1-1 rehab cannot work because the county add-on sales tax is about to expire and therefore the finances to operate a countywide 9-1-1 will evaporate.

Built into the countywide 9-1-1 rehab is a structure in which each and every political subdivision participating in 9-1-1 pays a proportional fee.  And the fees are set to adjust to match operational revenue needs on an annual basis.

Healy is incorrect.  A mistake in understanding?   Probably not.

As the SCPR has said for years now, Mayor Healy forces everything to fit into the political world he feels comfortable with. 

Here is the video, part two of the SCPR series on Smuckler as a candidate for mayor of Canton.

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