Monday, October 1, 2012


Back in June the SCPR wrote that Massillon Mayor Kathy Catazaro-Perry had all the makings of being "her own worst enemey." (LINK)

One would think that she'd take steps to "quit shooting herself in the foot."  But apparently such is not the case.

Area media reports and Stark County Political Report sources keep surfacing with accounts of the actions of Catzaro-Perry that suggesting that she "keeps digging a deeper 'political' hole" for herself.

The latest media report focus on another effort by the mayor's administration to scramble to and fro to generate instant revenues for the city which is said to be facing a $2.1 million 2013 deficit.  (Proposed street-lighting fee languishes in committee, Matt Rink, The Massillon Independent, September 27, 2012)

This apparently doomed proposal cannot get the necessary number of votes to get it out of committee.

Moreover, even if the $22.28 annual increase proposal (which would pay 98% of the city's annual lighting bill) makes it out of committee by some negotiating, how could it possibly get a majority "yes" vote?

One thing that clearly comes through in Rink's piece is a Catzaro-Perry bulldog attitude, to wit:
I’m going to keep bringing them (council) things.  The auditor says we’ll be $2.1 million short by the end of the year. I’m giving them solutions to decrease that and they are choosing not to do it. I can only bring things to council and let them vote on it.
In some respects such is to be admired.  In others it is indicative of a mayor who is dug in on her position and there is no inclination to do a "come let us reason about this" attitude.

Catazaro-Perry would do well to follow the example of Councilwoman Nancy Halter who painstakingly stayed with legislation designed to help solve Massillon's vacant/unmaintained rental property problems but who was open to discussion with other members of council on tweaks to the legislation that made it palatable to a majority.

It could be that no amount of discussion/tweaking will do the mayor any good.

A key in legislation was mouthed by Councilmana-at-Large Milan Choven:  "imposed!"

It seems as if Choven and likely other members of council are focused on the word imposed.

Had council given into the mayor and passed her request (rejected twice this year) that it agree to "impose" a reduction in the income tax credit that out-of-Massillon taxpayer pay to other local governments, then they and, of course, all of Massillon government could possibly face a taxpayer rebellion a la the Stark County commissioners when they (Bosley, Harmon and Vignos) in December, 2008 passed a 0.5% sales tax imposition on all Stark Countians.

While Massillon's council could pass such a measure as an emergency and thereby avoid a referendum to undo a tax/fee increase; all of the councilpersons do have to run for re-election in a little over one year from now and it is highly unlikely that any of them (even solid Catazaro-Perry council friends Slagle and Townsend, and perhaps, Scassa) want to have to defend having imposed an increase.

The SCPR believes that Catazaro-Perry's problems with council run deeper than the obvious difficulties she is running into on revenue.

The Report is told is that not long after Catazaro-Perry was elected, her chief supporter and confidant Johnnie A. Maier, Jr., (Massillon clerk of courts and former Stark County Democratic Party chairman) had a little sit down with members of council and supposedly telling them or implying that they had better be on board with the new administration's agenda or suffer the political consequences.

Moreover, The Report is told that Catazaro-Perry has taken to meeting regularly with Canton Mayor William J. Healy, II presumably as sort of a mentor type figure for advice on how to run a city and how to manage council.

Kind of seems like Healy is trying to revive his Decmember, 2008 plan for a Stark County Mayors Association.  From a vision of grandeur (LINK) to the current association there has been quite a drop, no?  Now, in the form of a de facto association, it seemingly has a membership of two:  Healy and Mayor Kathy?

A Canton mayor mentoring a Massillon mayor?

Anybody ever heard of McKinley versus the Massillon Tigers?

Let's see:  trying to get council to "impose" revenue raising measures, a politically intimidating Maier sit down with council members, and a Canton mayor mentoring a Massillon mayor.


Massillon Mayor Kathy Catazaro-Perry perfecting the art of "being one's own worst enemy?"

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