Friday, March 23, 2012


UPDATE:  03/23/2012 AT 12:37 PM


I read your blog this morning and had to chuckle at your assessment of what you feel is as back room politics.

I appreciate by your your political prognostication and assessment of the outcome of the commissioners race if I had stayed in but, I do not want to be a commissioner.

Bill Smuckler does and he will make a very good one.

If you want to call Bill Smuckler and I meeting on our own and discussing the commissioners race prior to my withdrawl, and the fact it was me on my own volition that called him on the the Monday morning when I did in fact with drawl to tell him I was fully supporting him as our next Commissioner back room politics, I guess it is maybe?

There was absolutely no party political involvement.  This was my decision, nobody was involved in my decision outside of my family.

I know in your line of work where you want to report your supposed dark side of local government you believe exists where you truly believe in all hallways there is always some political conspiracy at works but, when you called me last week and asked me why I had withdrawn from the County Commissioner's race I felt I gave you an honest answer.

You can believe what you wish but if you were going to report what you did  anyway why did you ask me.

I am very happy being a Plain Township Trustee and I could have run for the many various positions over the years even you yourself predicted and reported I would or should.

I am doing what I enjoy, that is representing and working for the community in which I live and, have served now going on 20 years. I have never ran for any other position nor do I  envision running for anything else.

In fact I am going to run again for Plain Township Trustee again next year for a 6th term.

As we ended our conversation last week, if I have any intent or prior knowledge of running for any other position in the near future I would not seek re-election to an office I have held at that point for 20 consecutive years. 

Louis Giavasis

Sent from my iPhone

On March 23, 2012 at 8:59 AM 


Not long ago, the SCPR had a conversation with a Stark County Democratic politico who had his own theory on why Plain Township Trustee Louis P. Giavasis withdrew as a candidate for Stark County commissioner for a post being vacated by Democrat Pete Ferguson.

Commissioner Ferguson announced right before the filing deadline for the recently concluded March 6th primary that he would not seek reelection to a second term.

Earlier this week Cleveland CBS TV outlet WOIO (Channel 19) did an expose type investigative piece revealing that Ferguson has been fined $600 because two unlicensed "to do X-rays" employees were seen doing x-rays by inspectors from the Ohio Chiropractic Board which Ferguson has formerly headed.

It does not appear to the SCPR that this situation had anything to do with Ferguson's decision not to seek reelection.  As indicated above, he decided months ago to step down, as of December 31, 2012, as county commissioner.

"Rumor is," the source suggested "that Nancy Reinbold will retire sometime after being re-elected as Stark County clerk of courts (she stands for reelection in November) and that Louis Giavasis is first in line to succeed her."

Hmm?  Sounds like "backroom politics" in full swing, no?

The Report immediately contacted Giavasis who essentially denied that there was any such plan in mind as a reason he opted out of the commissioner race, but he did say that if the conjecture (which he is highly skeptical of) by The Report's source materializes, he definitely is interested in becoming the top official in the clerk's office.

Interesting enough, Giavasis tells The Report he could have had the clerk of courts post had he wanted it when brother Phil moved on.

As matters stand now, he is Reinbold's right-hand-man and can write his own ticket into the clerkship should the scuttlebutt about Reinbold be true.

While he is somewhat of a maverick on a few issues (e.g. his fight with Giant Eagle on the vacancy at the Plain Township Oakwood Square shopping complex and his alignment with anti-frackers in the on going fight between Chris Borello of the Concerned Citizens of Stark County and the oil and gas industry), the Plain trustee manages to pull off being in good stead with what remains of the Stark County Democratic Party "good ole boy" network.

The Report believes that he is in a strong position to gain a Stark County Democratic Party appointment to the clerk post should it come up for consideration.

Giavasis gives various reasons why he filed and then withdrew as a commissioner candidate.

The preeminent reason seems to be (if one believes him) that after thinking it over and having conversations with his father, wife and others; he concluded that his heart would not be in a race for commissioner.  Ancillary as a reason as given by Giavasis is that he kept coming back to the fact that he is mid-term as Plain trustee and that his constituents in Plain are entitled to have him serve out his full term.

But he says he was never, ever going to run in a primary against former Canton Councilman Bill Smuckler.

Giavasis says (and Smuckler confirms to the SCPR) that the two had agreed after each had filed to run that one would withdraw prior to the final withdrawal date.

Hmm?  Another example of "backroom politics?"

By The Report's assessment, it is highly questionable whether or not (from the interests of the Stark County Democratic Party perspective) the right candidate withdrew?

While highly successful over many years as oft elected official within the political boundaries of Canton, Bill Smuckler has no political base in the rest of Stark County and will have to build countywide support from scratch.

With Smuckler being the Democratic candidate, The Report's analysis is that former Stark County Commissioner and Republican Richard Regula (notwithstanding his own weaknesses as a campaigner) is in a very good position to win and thereby give control of the commissioners' office once again to the Republicans.

Regula's strength is outside of Canton and Massillon, the two Democratic bulwarks in Stark County.

Giavasis, on the other hand, is a Democrat who would have done well in Canton and Massillon and even Alliance in a match up with Regula.  Moreover, Giavasis (a five term trustee in Plain) does have as much of a base out in Stark's townships as any Stark Democrat.

Stark Countians are very familiar with the Giavasis name in that Louis' brother Phil was Stark County clerk of courts for a number of years prior to "willing" the post to Reinbold and moving onto the Canton Municipal Court clerk's office which is more remunerative and a better financial base to build up his retirement account upon.

In the judgment of the SCPR, Giavasis would have been pretty much of a shoe-in to win had he chosen to stay in the race.

So Stark County Dems Chairman Randy Gonzalez (who works for Phil Giavasis in Canton and doubles/triples down as a Jackson Township fiscal officer) appears to be in line to take another political hit in terms of the numbers of Democrats who hold countywide office.

Under former Chairman Johnnie A. Maier, Jr., the Dems had a near stranglehold on countywide offices.

But that all changed on April 1, 2009 when it was revealed that the then Stark County Treasurer Gary Zeigler (a Democrat) had fired his chief deputy Vince Frustaci.  Subsequently, an information was filed by federal prosecutors in U.S. District Court (Northern Ohio) for having stolen several million in Stark County taxpayer monies over an extended period of time.

Though Zeigler was not implicated in the theft, there was a seeming immediate loss of public confidence in the likes of Zeigler who many thought was a quintessential party insider who gained the office back in 1999 as the appointee of the Stark County Democratic Central Committee (SCDCC).

Republican Alex Zumbar, after some twists and turns (in office, out of office, back in again), is now firmly ensconced in the treasurer's office and certainly will be elected, having been placed, ironically, in office via political party appointment by a Gonzalez-led SCDCC on October 31, 2011.

The Report projects that he will win in a landslide come this November.

Another casualty of the Frustaci matter appears to have been Kim Perez, a one-time political pal of Zeigler.  He lost his county auditor post to Republican political neophyte Alan Harold in November, 2010 by a substantial margin.

So if the Dems lose the commissioners' office because their strongest candidate withdrew and if they lose the Stark County sheriff's office (which certainly is doable at the hand of Republican Larry Dordea), Chairman Gonzalez will be sent reeling at the reversal of fortunes since he has taken over the reins of the party.

And that may not be all.

While the SCPR expects Stark County Prosecutor John Ferrero to survive in office on the challenge of political newcomer Republican Michael Grady; Ferrero could be vulnerable if Grady is able to cobble together an effective campaign.

As a former Stark Democratic Party chairman (who, in fact, was chairman when Zeigler was appointed county treasurer), Ferrero ought to be just a tad nervous about his November race.

If any (let alone, all) of the foregoing comes to fruition, it is unlikely that Gonzalez will survive as the Stark Dems chairman.

Backroom politics may be at play in the Reinbold, Giavasis and Smuckler interplay.

If so, it appears that only individual politicians' wants and desires are being served and not the interests of the organized Stark County Democratic Party.

Self-interest is the standard fare of backroom politics!

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