Thursday, April 18, 2013


Mayor William J. Healy, II is not on the upcoming May 7th ballot in a literal sense but the SCPR posits that he is figuratively.

His proxy, by accident, is Councilman Joe Cole (currently, at-large) who got hoodwinked into giving up his at-large seat by Councilwoman Mary Cirelli in one of the most humorous, vaudevillian-esque cloak and dagger political dramas in the all time political annals of Stark County.

An excerpt from a prior SCPR blog, to wit:
Probably due to a SCPR political analysis blog showing that if Bill Smuckler, Jimmy Babcock, Mary Cirelli, and Joe Cole were to run for the three slots up for election in Canton's council-at-large race this coming May that Councilman Cole would be the "odd man out," he apparently decided to play a game of "political musical chairs" with Cirelli on Wednesday, February 6, 2013.

A SCPR source (confirmed by Mary Cirelli herself) says that Cirelli and Cole (along with his fellow councilman and pal Jimmy Babcock) were camped out in their cars in front of the the Stark County Board of Elections (BOE) as the 4:00 p.m. filing deadline for the 2013 elections neared.

Cole seemed intent on waiting for Cirelli to declare herself as to whether she was going to run to be Canton's next treasurer or seek to retain her seat as councilwoman-at-large.

And any one who knows Mary Cirelli has to know she would not be outdone.

Cole had taken out petitions for his current seat (council-at-large) and to run against incumbent Democratic 9th ward Councilman Frank Morris.

Finally, Cole enters the BOE and Cirelli follows.

But she does not see Cole when she gets into the building.

She assumes Cole has already filed.  But que sera, que sera, Cirelli tells the SCPR.

She plomps her petitions for council-at-large down on the counter and asks the nearby Jeanette Mullane (deputy director of the BOE) to check them out as to accuracy.

While Mullane is doing the checking, Cirelli excuses herself to go to the ladies room.

Meanwhile, Cole makes his appearance at the counter of the BOE.

Likely, Cole sees Mary's council-at-large petitions laying on the counter and ASSUMES thereby that she has opted to run for re-election as councilwoman-at-large.

So Cole files for the 9th ward against Morris apparently figuring that running in the 9th was his best chance to stay on council.

Out comes Mary Cirelli.  She asked Mullane if the petitions appeared to be in order.

Mullane responds:  "Yes".

Whereupon Cirelli whips out her treasurer's petitions and said:  "Okay, then these must be alright, too."

And she files for treasurer.

Cole has to be utterly shocked.

What a hoot!, no?
Cole is among a gaggle of Healy loyalists (i.e. Babcock, Cole, Dougherty, Griffin, Smith and West) on Canton City Council.

If Cole loses his council seat, Healy most likely is going to be on the down side of a 7 to 5 mix on council, and so the mayor has to go all out for Cole in the Ward 9 race just to have political equilibrium on council in hopes he can get Allen Schulman (council president) to vote his way in a tie-breaker (the only time he votes).

So that is why The Report believes that to some degree, the outcome of the Cole/Morris match up might well be indicative of Healy's political heft in Canton.

The mayor's stakes could not be higher.

To add to the bizarre humor of the Cole situation was his coming out about a week ago to eliminate the council-at-large seats.

To the SCPR, Cole's ploy is so Healy-esque (i.e. spinning a given matter his way no matter how unbelievable, self-serving) that it is as if Cole is the political clone of the mayor.

From Matt Rink's (The Repository) Cole: Reduce size of Canton City Council, April 12th:
  • “Since I’ve been on council I’ve always worked to streamline government and make things more efficient,” Cole said. “People have told me, ‘Joe you can’t do this.’ But it is something we can do, and I just don’t think having nine ward council members and three at-large is the best use of our resources.”
  • Cole said he’s not using the issue as an excuse for running for a ward seat, rather than running for reelection for his at-large position, which he’s held for two terms.
  • “This is why I took out two petitions,” [Cole] said, “because (the idea) took a lot of thought and consideration. This is doable. Your political opponents are always going to say things. You’ve got to have thick skin in this business, so that’s of no concern to me.”
  • Mayor William J. Healy II, an ally of Cole’s, supports the concept.

    “We’ve got 13 members for a city under 75,000 population,” he said. “Columbus has seven council members and they have a population of more than 785,000 people. They (Canton’s seats) probably should have been eliminated years ago. ... It’s a long time coming, but people are afraid of change.
While Cole and his patron are fighting hard to keep him on council, it appears to the SCPR that he is likely in for a political trouncing.

Ardent Frank Morris supporter C. David Morgan (Morris is the incumbent Ward 9 councilman and Democrat as is Cole), recently put out a letter to the ward's voters imploring the reelection of Morris.

Excerpts from the letter:
Joe Cole is Not “Our” Councilman.  Recently you may have received a piece of political literature touting candidate Joe Cole as “our Councilman” and urging us to “Keep Joe Cole.”  In my opinion, this is another piece of misleading advertising from a guy who continues to try to bamboozle the public into supporting him.  Joe Cole is NOT our Ward 9 Councilman.  ...

Joe Cole Does Not Stand for Our Neighborhoods.  Who is this Joe Cole guy?  He says he's standing up for neighborhoods and families, but have you ever seen him at your neighborhood meetings (except when he is running for election)?   ... .

Joe Cole Does Not Stand with Police.  Joe Cole says he supports “intelligence led policing” but does nothing to increase the number of police officers who are to be so led.  In fact, Joe Cole used his position as Council Finance Chairman to quash efforts by hard-working Council members to make starting police salaries more competitive and attract more police officers.  .... .

Joe Cole Does Not Care About Canton Ward 9.
  Friends, do not be fooled by Joe Cole.  Since moving to Canton in 2005, his only idea to become a piece of legislation was the one buying foreign-made hats and shirts through a Summit County vendor to “promote” the City of Canton.   
...  I think Joe Cole is a slick politician - a political hack who makes promises he will not keep to people whose concerns he does not share in order to take taxpayer monies he does not earn and hold on to a position of public trust he does not deserve.
Yesterday, another Ward 9 key civic activist Bruce Nordman, who heads up the Group 175 Vassar Park-based initiative to get Canton police strength up to 175 officers, told the SCPR he is squarely behind Morris and figures that that Cole is in for a political beating.

If Nordman is correct, and the SCPR suspects he is, then Mayor Healy, because of his out-and-out support of Cole, will be sharing in the result.

It appears to The Report that as Canton continues to deteriorate and Healy's non-stop spin of blaming others becomes recognized for what it really is:  excuse making; his Stark County based future political prospects are growing dimmer and dimmer.

Cole is likely to be fading from the local political scene come May 7th.

Can his protege Healy be all that far behind?

After all, "birds of a feather, [do] flock together, no?"

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