Tuesday, December 11, 2012


The Stark County Political Report has come to expect the unexpected at Canton City Council.

Last night was no exception.

The tone at the meeting was a la Howard Beale in the classic movie Network (1976):  "I'm mad as hell and I not going to take this anymore."

The Report highlights three citizens who stepped up to the lectern each with his/her version, more or less, of being mad as hell.

First up, Mike Myers owner of "Your" Pizza Shop, 420 12th St., NW, Canton.  In his presentation, Myers relates the following:
  • His business at Cleveland and 12th St NW  (Tom West's Ward 2) was robbed on Sunday, December 2nd,
  • He feels like his business is located in a war zone (Myers is a 20 year Army veteran),
  • "A week later [after the robbery], and [he] still has not seen a detective,"
  • He's had to make calls to people in the Canton Police Department "because nobody is doing anything,"
  • "We're not going to get people down [to downtown Canton] until we clean these streets up,"
  • Anyone can get on YouTube and hear the exact same lyrics as being descriptive of how the robbery of his business on the 2nd went down,
  • "The detectives don't have time for me because I'm just a little guy."
Here is Myers on video:

After Myers spoke, Mayor Healy immediately got up out of his chair and went to talk to Myers as well he should have.

As Cantonians know, when he ran for mayor in 2007, a main theme for him as a political issue during his campaign against incumbent Republican mayor Janet Creighton, was Zero Tolerance of crime in the Hall of Fame City.

Early on in his administration for non-specific reasons there was a dip in crime (at least according to FBI statistics) in Canton.  Of course, being the political opportunist the mayor is, he was quick to claim that the lesser crime numbers were because of his administration's improved policing over what existed in the Creighton administration.

After 2009, there is no mention by Healy on Canton's website about reduced crime in Canton on account of his administration's policing policy.

Now all we hear from the Healy administration on the obvious policing deficit is a series of excuses such as:
  • there being a shortage of funds to hire policemen with,
  • the loss of 200 beds at the Stark County jail due to the county's financial crisis of 2011 which means that many of those charged with crimes remained on the streets.
But those sound hollow in the light of what Mike Myers and others (including Ward 9 Councilman Frank Morris) are describing about police deficiencies.

Here is another video of Myers meeting with the press after the meeting and after he had talked to the mayor.

At the end of council meeting, Safety Director Thomas Ream made brief remarks on a Repository article which inaccurately stated the number of beds that were lost to area police agencies during Stark County's financial crisis in 2000 and also made a response to Myers' outrage.

Second up, Vicki Boatright owner of BZTAT Studios in the Arts in Stark district of downtown Canton.  Here is the gist of her statement:
  • While she agrees with Mayor Healy that Canton has lured VXI and its 1,000 employees to downtown Canton directly across from her business is something to celebrate, there is another less attractive side to the matter, she says.  For example:
    • having 1,000 people camped out on her doorstep,
    • the employees "are anything but professional and loiter on Fourth Street across from [her] home,"
    • "they are extremely loud and disruptive,"
    • "they speak in vulgar terms" and she goes on to describe other offensive conduct,
  • She makes the point that one cannot have 1,000 people located in a confined area without consequences,
  • The consequence is that "there is a large, unruly crowd on Fourth Street every day,"
  • She has spoken with management at VXI, with her councilman (Thomas West) and Healy administration employee Derek Gordon (in September); all to no avail,
  • She doesn't want the employees gone but she does want their conduct managed so as not to be troublesome to folks like herself,
  • She says that the behavior threatens to destroy downtown and perhaps drive other businesses away.
Here is the Boatright video:

Boatright did get a strong statement of empathy and support from Council President Allen Schulman.

But Healy?  Nothing!

Wouldn't want to offend VXI, heh?

Third up,  John Anderson, owner of Anderson's Flowers, 12th & Cleveland NW.  He was present to express concern about the experience of Mike Myers.

One can sense that more and more Cantonians are getting angrier and angrier, madder and madder and what seems to be the Healy administration's ineptitude at getting Canton's mushrooming crime problem under control.

The "politicizing" worm has turned on Healy and now he must "pay the piper" for having made it a political issue back in 2007 through 2009.

Cantonians increasingly are saying that they are mad as hell and they are not going to take it anymore!

The consequences?

Mayor William J. Healy's future political ambitions are in deep, deep trouble?

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