Sunday, November 13, 2011


The SCPR gets really, really excited when anything in a Stark County government unit for "planning" comes out.

This week is a very big week for North Canton and its Chamber of Commerce inspired and led "Master Plan."  The final of three public meetings is set for Wedneday at 6:30 p.m. at Barette Center on the campus of Walsh University.

In the works for some time, the steering committee composed of:
  • Chair: Bill Strohmenger, North Canton Area Chamber of Commerce
  • Michael Grimes, City of North Canton
  • Eric Bowles, City of North Canton
  • Mark Cerreta, City of North Canton
  • Doug Lane, North Canton Area Chamber of Commerce
  • Steve Anderson – Finney’s Inc.
  • Jeff Barber – Architect
  • Rod Covey – Covey-Odell Advertising
  • Dan DeHoff – DeHoff Realtors
  • Sandi Lang – North Canton Public Library
  • Randy Smith – Westfield Bank
  • Dan Suvak – Walsh University
  • Dan Tullius – Tullius Art and Design
has put together a series of community meetings (July 21st, September 20th and this coming Wednesday) designed to get citizen participation in a three-pronged approach:
  1. Understanding the city’s problems, priorities, and goals
  2. Identifying alternative solutions to address these  problems, priorities and goals
  3. Develop a plan that has widespread community support
It used to be in the heyday of The Hoover Company (Hoover) that North Canton had no problems to speak of and was flush in money to boot.

However, that has changed dramatically with the demise of Hoover.

One had to know North Canton was heading downhill when North Canton City Council went along with the then Mayor Tom Rice's plan to buy Arrowhead Country Club with its Fairways golf course.

Perhaps, the idea of getting into master planning is an example of learning from one's mistakes (i.e. purchasing Arrowhead).

Over the last decade or so everything in North Canton government has more or less been "hit and miss" but largely miss.  However, the work being done on the former Hoover complex to turn it into an economic development oasis appears to be well on its way towards being a hit.  Time will tell.

So the news of a Master Plan is good news for North Canton and the meeting Wednesday should be "standing room only" - if - North Cantonians care anything about the future of their city.

Beyond that, Stark County's other major cities (Alliance, Canton and Massillon) should take a close look at what the North Canton Chamber of Commerce is doing with the master planning.

Massillon Mayor-elect Kathy Catazaro-Perry in particular should be keenly interested in the North Canton approach.

A SCPR "hats off!" to the North Canton Chamber of Commerce for being visionary.

To Stark's other cities, the SCPR says "go and do likewise!"

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