Thursday, November 29, 2012


There are some mayors of cities that roll up their sleeves and get to work on tackling the city's problems and there are others who take the job as more a ceremonial-esque job and leave the tough day-to-day governing to others.

The SCPR has written prolifically since before the Democratic Primary election of March, 2011 that, if elected, Kathy Catazaro-Perry, challenger to longtime Massillon Mayor Frank Cicchinelli would be the mayor of Massillon in name only and that she would leave the governing in a de facto sense to the likes of Massillon Clerk of Courts Johnnie A. Maier, Jr. (JAM forces).

But maybe she would be a fooler?

Doesn't appear so.

Indications are that she shines up to being a "spit and polish" chief executive who likes to get into the limelight cheering on Massillon with her "City of Champions" public relations forte.

Whether it's appearing in front of the Duncan Plaza complex (the home of Massillon City Government) in a photo-op pose on the front page of the local newspaper or making a celebrity appearance on a charity-fundraising-event (Dancing with the Stars - for the benefit of the Canton Palace Theater), it seems as if madam-mayor has cottoned up to being "the face of the administration."

And, perhaps, this is the role that Massillonians should accept for her.

From what the SCPR has seen of her substantive side of being mayor, the day-to-day roustabout of governance is not her cup of tea.

She has been bounced around like a volleyball by Massillon City Council when she wades into the politics of governing Massillon.

A prime example is her effort to raise desperately needed revenues for Tigerland in view of the draconian cuts in state of Ohio funding (i.e. local government funding, elimination of the estate tax, and the like) that Massillon like nearly all other Ohio local government entities are experiencing at the hand of the Ohio General Assembly at the direction of Governor John Kasich.

She has made several attempts to get a reduction in the credit that Massillon allows its residents who work outside the city and may taxes to other communities.

But she has been unable to get to first base on her initiative.

Her initiative?

Okay.  Point well-made.  Likely not.  More likely the idea of Massillon auditor Jayne Ferrero or perhaps the Karl Rove of Massillon Democratic politics Shane Jackson:
  • who is the politically well connected acolyte of Clerk Maier and others who run the Stark County Democratic Party, and
  • who one would think likes to be thought as the person who engineered the election of election of Catazaro-Perry.
Yesterday, the SCPR was told, as an ongoing confirmation, by a reliable Massillon source that Mayor Catazaro-Perry is seldom seen out of the company of either George Maier (her safety-services director), or his brother Johnnie or Shane or one of the other of a collection of minders who comprise the Johnnie A. Maier, Jr wing of the Massillon Democratic Party.

All of which brings to mind the goings-on at the Massillon Parks and Recreation Board (Board) these days which The Report thinks shows how unreliable having the support of Catazaro-Perry is when her "behind the scenes people" think you have served your useful purpose and now are a liability.

Recently, the Board fired Bob Straughn as Parks and Recreation Director.

And talk about getting "thrown under the bus?"

Here is an excerpt from The Massillon Independent's Matt Rink (Rec Board mum on Straughn firing, 11/23/2012):  (the Maier reference is to Safety-Services Director George Maier)

Mind you, Straughn is perceived by a number of Massillon political figures to have been a longtime supporter of Catazaro-Perry and the Johnnie A. Maier, Jr-led Massillon Democratic Party machine.  He (as the Catazaro-Perry representative) coordinated the handover of power from the Cicchinelli administration about one year ago to this very day.

The SCPR can tell you from personal experience that in the world of politics once one has lost his/her political usefulness to the likes of a Johnnie A. Maier, Jr, it is like instant "I never knew you."

It appears like that is what has happened to Straughn.

The Report doubts that Catazaro-Perry had any part in the calculation.

While she will undoubtedly say and do as told by the JAM forces, The Report believes that she probably dislikes soiling her hands with the messiness of politics.

No, she'd rather be out in front of Duncan Plaza spitting on her political shoes and thereby polishing up her image as the First Lady of the City of Massillon:  "the City of Champions!"

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