Wednesday, April 25, 2012


It is easy for public officials to criticize those who have leadership responsibilities, but when those same officials have to govern it is amazing how often they end up doing what they criticized.

It is becoming more and more apparent that former Massillon Ward 3 Councilwoman Kathy Catazaro-Perry (now Mayor Kathy) is well on her way to adopting a number of the practices (she criticized) of former Mayor Francis H. Cicchinelli, Jr. whom she defeated in the 2011 Democratic Party primary.

One of her main critiques of Cicchinelli was his seemingly annual practice of underfunding police and fire salaries; a criticism, by the way, that the SCPR agreed with her on.

So what does she do in her first budget?

Under-funds police and fire salaries.


Another criticism Catazaro-Perry made as councilwoman was the Cicchinelli administration's practice (as loan guarantor) of paying the mortgage on the Hampton Inn in the form of taking some of Massillon's Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) monies off the top of those funds.

In fact, she voted against some CDBG budgets because of the inclusion of the mortgage payment.  Moreover, she made a big to-do campaign issue over the the matter.

So what does she do in her first budget?

Includes $127,000 to do guess what?

Yes, pay the Hampton Inn mortgage payment.

Not all of Catazaro-Perry's flip-flopping was in the context of adopting practices of the Cicchinelli administration that she had previously criticized.

Some of it was her flip-flopping on herself.

Before she had the responsibilities of being mayor, she appeared to be against any tax increases in Massillon to meet the shortfall between revenues and expenses.  Some of her nearest and dearest supporters (thought by the SCPR to be exemplified by Shane Jackson [in the guise of being an anonymous blogger, The Report thinks]) roundly criticized former Massillon Councilman David Hersher as being "the taxman."

In an interesting twist, the then mayor elect in December of 2011 was all set to support an council proposed (opposed by Cicchinelli, so he tells the SCPR) reduction in the city income tax credit to those Massillonians who paid taxes to other villages/municipalities when one of those who signed off on the legislation (Hersher) said he had not meant to do so.

Immediately, Catazaro-Perry (and two of her supporters on council - Townsend and Anderson) flip-flopped on the matter reversing course and abandoned support for the measure.

Intertesing twist?

Yes, if not ironic.

The Report figures that it dawned on Hersher that there was a political game going on in which he was going to be assigned the role of pushing for the tax increase (after all he is, according to the anonymous [?] blogger the "taxman") in order to deflect from the role of the mayor-elect and her supporters in providing the necessary votes to pass the increase.

And he was having none of it!

So it could be that Catzaro-Perry et al got "hoisted by their own petard."

After she took office, it was very interesting indeed to watch Councilman Tony Townsend to jump ship completely (because, he said, of a strong reaction from his constituents) and vote against his friend and mayor.

In a story by Massillon Independent reporter Matt Rink (100 days in office for Catazaro-Perry, April 8th), he cites the mayor has having said:  "My biggest concern during the campaign was [Massillon government] being financially stable."

Well, the SCPR does not see all the flip-flopping going on with her and her administration as promoting financial stability.

The Report agrees with Mayor Kathy that it is not a good idea to under-fund police and fire salaries.

But she did it anyway in her recently passed budget.

Moreover, it is not a good idea to include in the budget monies speculated to the tune of about $400,000 to be forthcoming from oil and gas leases of city owned property.

Before including the $400,000, wouldn't it have been a good idea to absolutely determine that the city owned the lease rights in the first place?

So in addition to flip-flopping we have an administration that "counts its chickens before the eggs have hatched."

Some kind of financial stability that Mayor Kathy Catazaro-Perry has going on in Massillon, no?

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