Friday, November 18, 2011


UPDATE:  5:35 PM

UPDATE/CORRECTION: (ABOUT 11:00 AM)  Notwithstanding that the Stark County Democratic Party apparently thinks Canal Fulton City Council President Linda Zahirsky is a Democrat, Stark County Board of Elections (BOE) records indicate that Canal Fulton mayoral candidate Linda Zahirsky is a Republican and not a Democrat as originally published by the SCPR.

Zahirsky's current political affiliation was brought to the attention of the SCPR by Matthew Moellendick who - BOE records indicate - is a Republican serving on the "officially" non-partisan (a point of emphasis by Moellendick in his email to The Report) Canal Fulton City Council along side of Zahirsky.

BOE Records do show that Zahirsky has voted in Democratic primaries prior to this year.  Moreover, yours truly recalls being at at least one even with Ms. Zahirsky in attendance referring to herself as being a Democrat (probably 2004 or thereabouts).

The SCPR believes that the non-partisan dubbing of certain local government offices (boards of township trustees, some village/city councils and boards of education and the like) is a "legal fiction," for the most part and that it is relevant that Stark Countians to know an elected official's party identification in analyzing actions taken by the officeholder.


The SCPR hears that Stark Countians are likely to know by Monday as to whether or not provisional votes (CLICK HERE TO SEE CRITERIA) will be a difference maker in the November 8th results for Alliance City Council - Ward 2, Canal Fulton City Mayor and North Canton City Board of Education races.


The most likely of the three contests to be reversed may be the one in Alliance in which James Dyke came within a whisker of defeated long time Ward 2 Councilwoman Phyllis Phillips (312 Dykes; 315 Phillips).

Dyke tells the SCPR that he thinks he is entitled to an automatic recount.  His calculation (627 votes times 0.5 [the Ohio statutory factor) shows at little over three votes entitles him to a automatic recount.

However, he tells yours truly that Elections Director Jeanette Mullane doesn't see it that way.

Apparently, by her calculation (undoubtedly assisted by the Stark County prosecutor's office in interpreting Ohio Revised Code Section 3515.011), Dyke would have to be within two votes? 

It will be interesting to see whether or not Dyke obtains legal counsel for advice/counsel on the matter.

Who sits as councilperson in Alliance's 2nd is not the only question though.  The final result could determine which political party controls Alliance City Council.

However, the operative word is "could."

Dyke, if he ends up as the elected official after the 14 provisional votes are factored in to the total count, is said by a source to the SCPR to be a very independent minded person.

Stark County voter registration records indicate "no" party affiliation for Dyke.

Ward 2 in Alliance is a heavily democratic ward and therefore Dyke was an ideal candidate to take on established Democrat Phillips in terms of getting elected.

But if he was to line up with the Republicans on council, he just might have a hard time getting re-elected.  On the other hand, how could he line up the Democrat having defeated one of their most beloved in Phyllis Phillips?

So don't look for Dyke to be an "announced" partisan tipping point if he overcomes his three vote deficit from the 14 provisional ballots.

Council would then be 3 Republicans, 3 Democrats and 1 independent.

Dyke would then have to walk a very careful line in his voting pattern in order to maintain his "independent" status in the eyes of Ward 2 voters.

Of course, he could just flip over to being a Democrat.

Problem solved, no?


In Canal Fulton the outcome of the provisional ballot vote count will be a difference maker as to whether or not a Republican or Democrat is mayor of canal boat city.

Linda Zahirsky is a Democrat Republican (see correction in update above) and Richard Harbaugh (a long time Lawrence Township trustee) is a Republican.

While interesting, with only 22 provisional ballots to be counted (keeping in mind that not all may be deemed to be legally sufficient to qualify to be counted), it is unlikely that Zahirsky (801 votes) can overtake Harbaugh (815 votes).

Zahirsky does not qualify for an automatic recount as the vote stands today.   As the SCPR calculates, she would have to be within eight votes (1616 times 0.5 rounds off to 8).

But while it is unlikely that she can get enough of the 22 provisionals to win, she could get within eight?

Of course, if a candidate wants to pay the costs of a recount; they always have that option.


Their are a considerable number of North Cantonians who do not know that Jennifer Kling in the daughter of Stark County Commissioner Janet Creighton.

The Report is told that Kling did not campaign as Jennifer Creighton Kling.  To her credit, she reportedly told family and friends that if she were to be elected, she wanted to be known as having done it on her own.

However, her name did appear on the ballot itself as Jennifer Creighton Kling.  Moreover, Commissioner Creighton did some campaigning for Jennifer and was recognized by some of those answering the door in door-to-door campaigning.

Undoubtedly, Jordan Greenwald (an incumbent board member) knew all to well about Ms. Kling's family-political connections.

The Report is told and takes it to have been somewhat "tongue in cheek" that Kling was not running to oust Greenwald, but, rather was running for the other slot vacated by Nancy Bundy (in the sense that she decided not to seek re-election).

Kling has a 13 vote margin (4244) over Greenwald (4241) as of the end of vote counting on November 8th. 

But 70 provisional votes remain to be counted.

Unless Kling gets almost all of the provisional votes, it appears to the SCPR that there will certainly be an automatic recount.

If Kling prevails, what difference would it make?

The SCPR was somewhat astounded to see and hear Greenwald be so "over the top" for Superintendent Michael Gallina when yours truly videotaped a candidate forum discussion panel at North Canton High School.

The Report hears consistently good evaluations of Gallina from various quarters but to hear Greenwald Gallina is - though still living - is on the brink of sainthood.

The SCPR does not believe it is healthy for a school system to have a board member who is uncritical of the administration as apparently Greenwald is.

Greenwald pushed through a contract extension of 5 years for Gallina months before it was due to come up in order to spare the new board members (Fulton, for sure; Kling "ironically" likely) having to get up to speed in such a short time (the spring of 2012) to consider an extension.

To be frank, the SCPR does not believe Greenwald.

The Report believes that Greenwald know that Gallina is widely liked to North Cantonians was trying to piggyback on Gallina's community esteem as a way to enhance his re-election.

Another point on Greenwald's seeming servility.  He said at the candidate forum that if Gallina would accept, he would have been for a 10 year extension.

How over the top can one get?

If elected, Kling will be a positive and constructive force on the North Canton City Board of Education.

The Report is told that her approach to governing is much like her mother.

Enough said?

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