Tuesday, November 13, 2012


As the SCPR sees it, the Stark County commissioners' office and the Stark County electorate would have benefited much had former Canton councilman Bill Smuckler been elected as commissioner (to replace the outgoing Pete Ferguson) rather than former commissioner Richard Regula.

One of the problems with the voting public is:
  • how ignorant it can be as to the qualifications of the candidates,
  • how vulnerable voters can be to such things as a well-known political names (Regula), and 
  • the partisan bias they carry against candidates from certain political jurisdictions merely because the candidate of a specific political persuasion hails from a certain locale (a Democrat from Canton, in this instance).
 Regula is okay.  But Stark County cannot afford okay.

He will muddle along as a kind of "5th wheel" as commissioner letting Commissioners Tom Bernabei and Janet Creighton be the mainstays as the county continues it way back to fiscal solvency and effective local government.

Neither Bernabei or Creighton will complain.

But it sure would have be nice to have a fellow commissioner with the ideas and drive of a Bill Smuckler at their side shouldering the responsibilities of office and generating local government initiatives designed to make it more efficient and effective.

Sifting through what Richard Regula had to say in the campaign, it is the SCPR's analysis that he was still smarting from having lost to the-then Nimishillen Township Democrat trustee Todd Bosley back in 2006.

And personal vindication seems to have been his main incentive for running once again for countywide office.

Other than being "bananas" for oil and gas exploration (aka fracking) in Stark and re-building Stark's infrastructure (with no money to do so and no ideas how to generate needed revenues), Regula had nothing to offer other than to sort of suggest that being a countywide official is sort of a birthright for him.

Smuckler, with a solid record of achievement of leadership and substantive ideas that found their way into achievement in Canton government and his track record of and commitment to working to make local government more efficient and effective, clearly had the qualification advantage.

But being a Canton Democrat having to run in the Republican strongholds of Jackson and Lake Townships, he had an uphill fight to win.

And to boot, he was running against the name Regula.

With a name like Regula (the son of long time Republican Congressman Ralph Regula), it is hard to see how Richard could lose to anybody in Stark County, given how hung up Stark County voters appear to be on a well-known political name.

But the Bosley loss was not Richard's first failure to advantage himself with carrying the last name Regula.

Believe it or not, Richard Regula lost to the now former Stark County treasurer Gary D. Zeigler in 2000.

By nearly 14,000 votes.  Hmm?

So now Stark County is stuck with "the Comeback kid."

One of the promising things about a Regula stint as commissioner is that he may end up being a part-time commissioner.

During the campaign, he forthrightly said that such is what he intended to be.

After a firestorm of criticism of being paid nearly $77,000 for part-time work, he backed off the part-time thing and said that he had worked things out with his employer - Mercy Medical Center (MMC) - to work part-time for MMC and impliedly full-time as a commissioner.

We shall see.

The SCPR believes that when all is said and done and looking back four years from now, the record is likely to show that he figured out a way to in fact make being a Stark County commissioner part-time.

We shall also see what value added Regula brings to the commissioners' office.

The SCPR believes not very much.

He is likely to settle in, sit back and enjoy the status of being Stark County commissioner once again.

And enjoying his $77,000 a year for being a part-time Stark County commissioner?

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