Monday, November 12, 2012


UPDATE WITH A NOTE:  (12/07/2012 at 1:00 PM)  

Implicit in touting Young as Canton treasurer is the necessity that he actually be a resident of Canton.  The SCPR understands he lives just outside city limits.

Last week Canton's treasurer Bob Schirack announced that he will be retiring in 2013.

His retirement has been rumored for some time now.

And the political jockeying has been underway ever since the rumors surfaced.

Depending on the timing of Schirack's retirement, the replacement process could be highly political indeed with Canton's major Democratic politicos playing major roles in who is selected as his successor.

The primary election for 2013 is to be held on May 7th.

Already announcing that he intends to file is former Stark County auditor and long time city/county political player Kim Perez.

Also contemplating a run is Canton city councilman (Ward One) Greg Hawk.

One person whom has not expressed any public interest but whom the SCPR thinks should be at the head-of-the-line is Canton chief deputy auditor Gary Young.

Just look at Young's "official" credentials in the graphic at the lead of this blog:
  • 27 years of service to Canton in financial sectors of city government,
    • budget accounting,
    • payroll management,
    • annual financial reporting,
    • office management, and
    • Information Management Systems management
There is more and the "more" could be the most important:  Gary Young has the universal regard and respect of Canton and Stark County's political players and government officials alike.

As far as The Report is concerned, Young possesses all the qualities that one could want in a public official.

Behind this prospective line-up is a subset of Democratic movers and shakers who undoubtedly figure in as to whom becomes Canton's next treasurer.

Names, please?

Okay.  Mayor William J. Healy, II for one.

And The Report believes there are others.

Council President Allen Schulman is likely to be heavily involved in determining which Canton Democrat walks away with the treasurer selection sweepstakes.

Look for Stark Democratic chairman Randy Gonzalez to be actively enmeshed in the process.  Of course, he works for Canton's clerk of courts Phil Giavasis who the SCPR believes has a large say in the fortunes of who gets what in the context of internal Stark County organized Democratic Party politics.

Can anyone imagine Gonzalez doing anything with respect to local Democratic politics without having passed his thoughts by Giavasis and likely to have gotten a reaction?

Councilman Hawk would have a difficult time getting any encouragement from Healy as the two have been seen by many local political observers as being, let's say, not on the best of political terms.

Healy is thought to have been behind a challenge or two to Hawk's remaining as Ward One councilman.

So that only leaves Kim Perez among the announced or contemplating announcing for Healy to support.

One problem for Healy though is that Perez brings political baggage with him.

Rightly or wrongly, the Stark County voting public seems to have ascribed blame to Perez in his role as county auditor for not doing enough to catch former Stark County Chief Deputy Treasurer Vince Frustaci early on while he was stealing money from the Stark County treasurer.

Moreover, many in the Stark public perceive Perez to have been political pals with former county treasurer Gary Zeigler, whom was blamed by many inside and outside of Stark County government for not doing enough in terms of having structural controls in place as well as policy, practice and other mechanisms in place to have prevented the Frustaci theft.

But being the pragmatic and highly skilled politician he is, Healy likely has already looked at how Perez did in the Canton precincts when he was defeated by Republican Alan Harold in Perez's quest for reelection as auditor in 2010 (which he lost countywide by a 58% to 42% margin).

Here is what the Canton precinct numbers will reveal to Healy:
  • Perez won all but a handful of Canton's precincts and in eight of Canton's nine wards.
  • And the average margin of victory in a given ward are as follows:
    • Ward 1 - 63.43% (Councilman Hawk)
    • Ward 2 - 78.51% (Councilman West)
    • Ward 3 - 54.37% (Councilman Griffin)
    • Ward 4 - 87.58% (Councilwoman Smith)
    • Ward 5 - 63.02% (Councilman Fisher)
    • Ward 6 - 77.80% (Councilman Dougherty)
    • Ward 7 - 51.34% (Councilman Mariol)
    • Ward 8 - 45.64% (Councilman Mack)
    • Ward 9 - 63.56% (Councilman Morris)
While the name of Kim Perez might remain a political liability out across Stark County, it does not appear that he has much of a problem garnering votes within the city.

So it could be and probably is likely that Perez will be Healy's man.

But readers can bet that Healy will do an thorough analysis of whether or not it is politically beneficial to him to throw his support behind Perez.

But as mentioned previously in this blog, there are other political players in this matter.  One factor that should not be discounted is where the Democratic councilpersons stand on the matter.

They could be the difference maker as to who would come out of a Democratic primary.

One person who certainly would not fare well in a Democratic primary would be SCPR favorite Gary Young.

Gary Young comes about a close as one can as being a person, while a solid Democrat, who is not viewed across Stark County political circles as being all that political and certainly not in terms of performing his duties as a Canton auditor.

No less a person that Stark County Commissioner (a former Canton mayor) and, the SCPR believes, the county's most pre-eminent Republican has high praise for Young in the integrity and impeccability he demonstrates in the job performance.

The most probable scenario in which this "impartial job performance over political party interest" man could actually become Canton treasurer would be for Schirack to resign right after the first of the year and for Gonzalez and the heavy hitters within the Stark County Democratic Party apparatus to ask the central committee (SDP-CC) in deference to the chairman to select Young as the Party's appointee.

Moreover, Gonzalez and party honchos would have to weigh in with prominent Canton Democrats (such as Perez and Hawk) to stand aside for Young.  Young operates is such a non--political manner, that the SCPR believes he would have a hard time wining a contested primary if numbered among the opponents was a name Democrat.

Alternatively, if Schirack decides to hold out until December 31, 2013 as treasurer, Gonzalez et al could choose to weigh-in on the Democratic primary and make it clear that he and the party leadership that Young is their man.

Readers will recall that there was opposition to Gonzalez's request that the SDP-CC appoint Republican Alex Zumbar as county treasurer when Gary Zeigler retired/resigned.

Sheriff-elect Mike McDonald stood front and center and urged central committee members to support the chairman on the Zumbar selection.

Well, it would take a similar effort of the likes of Gonzalez and McDonald to get the highly qualified Young in as treasurer.

How likely is it Gonzalez and his party hierarchy friends will take up the cause for Young?

The SCPR believes that there is very little chance of such happening.

Neither (Gonzales or Matthews) Stark County political chairmen strike The Report as being a person that will look primarily to the qualifications of prospective candidates as a guiding criterion as to whether or not to push ta certain person for office and thereby benefit the body politic at large.

Nevertheless, to the SCPR, Gary Young is a person who by virtue of his high degree of qualification and actual performance as a public official is the man to succeed Bob Schirack as Canton treasurer.

In the end, it is put up or shut up time for Gonazalez and his local "kitchen cabinet."

As Gonzalez has told the SCPR, he really had no choice in the Zumbar matter as there was a public clamor in favor of the Alliance Republican.

Well, Gary Young is a Democrat and in terms of qualifications, he far and away supersedes anyone who might want to be Canton's treasurer.  And you have the opportunity to do the right thing by the citizens of Canton!

Opportunity knocks for the chaiman.

Will he be willing to strike a blow for the highly qualified Gary Young as Canton treasurer?

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