Friday, August 9, 2013


UPDATE:  08/12/2013

Corey Minor Smith, candidate for a Canton Municipal Court judge seat announced that she was laid off from the Stark Metropolitan Housing Authority because of budget cuts effective August 2, 2013.


Christina Morello
(Corey Minor Smith’s PR representative)
(Excerpt from a campaign press release)



Just a few days ago a prominent Stark County official told the Stark County Political Report that if Canton Democrat Mayor William J. Healy, II would just focus on governing the city of Canton and lay aside his seeming obsession with scheming politics that he and Canton would be far better off.

If one digs deep enough, for every political controversy that develops in Canton (and for that matter, more than often than one would think: Stark County-wide political fights), it is believed among many of Stark County's politically astute that one will find the handiwork of William J. Healy, II to be somewhere in the mix.

In the recently concluded May 7, 2013 election Healy was up to his eyeballs in the Joe Cole campaign to unseat incumbent Democratic Councilman Frank Morris, III in Ward 9.  He is also very active in supporting Tim Porter in his Ward 1 challenge to Healy long time nemesis Greg Hawk.

If that were not enough, he was one of Kim Perez's prime supporters in the three person race between Perez, Councilwoman-at-Large Mary Cirelli and former Ward 4 Councilwoman Kelly Zachary.

And, of course, there are:
  • the Stark County crime lab thing, 
  • the Stark County's effort to rehab the countywide 9-1-1 dispatching system, and 
  • moves to consolidate/merge building and health departments 
So it was no surprise when yours truly received an e-mail recently, which, in part, reads:
Some Democratic attorneys are upset because they say Judge Kubilus is as close to being a Democrat as they can get.  They would have preferred she ran against Judge Belden. [Belden ran unopposed in 2011]

Some people are blaming Mayor Healy for encouraging her to run, and are upset with her for doing so.
Along the lines of "some people are blaming Mayor Healy for encouraging her to run," The Report is hearing that the mayor got into let's say "a difference of opinion" with Judge Kubilius (as presiding judge) a year or so ago on Canton's share of the Canton Municipal Court budget.

It seems, at least from Healy's standpoint, that the discussion did not go to his liking.

And, as the SCPR has written many times over, when things do not go Hizzhonor's way:  watch out!

The Report believes he is very much into political payback.

Hence, it is likely that one of the reasons that Healy encouraged Minor-Smith to run was to show Judge Kubilus as a number of sources allege to The Report.

The SCPR is totally in favor of Minor-Smith running against Kubilus if it is her idea and it is not part of a Healy scheme to get back at the judge.

Corey Minor-Smith has every right to run for any office that she wishes to,  including a judgeship, notwithstanding her apparent judicial-related inexperience.

It has been an abiding annoyance to the SCPR that all too often too many offices go uncontested in our democratic-republic and Stark County is no exception.

Just take a look for yourself.  Here is a LINK to the Stark County Board of Elections website and lists of candidates running in November.  Note how many of them are running with no opposition.

When it comes to judicial elections, while the SCPR advocates that qualified candidates who can qualify for the local bar association's highest ratings (Kubilus is "highly qualified;" Minor-Smith "qualified" by Stark County Bar Association member ratings) should contest incumbent judges in each and every election as a check and balance in the sense that elected officials, including judges, should never lose touch with everyday people who come before them.

Moreover, it is important that being a Democrat, Republican, independent or whatever have no bearing whatsoever in who gets elected judge. 

With respect to Corey Minor-Smith (J.D., University of Toledo 2001), there is thinking also (i.e. in addition to the alleged Healy inspired "get back at Judge Kubilus factor") to the effect that Mayor Healy (for whom she once worked as Canton's Compliance Officer [January, 2008 - July, 2011] encouraged her to run to get her name out in the public so that if a Democrat is elected governor in 2014, then she will be in line for a judicial appointment because of her having double minority (African-American, and, of course, being female) status.

This is looking more like a Healy pipe dream inasmuch as the Cleveland Plain Dealer reported recently that Republican governor Kasich is looking more and more like he is a solid choice for re-election.

Nevertheless, knowing the mayor as yours truly does, such thinking takes on credibility especially in light of the alleged "get back at Judge Kubilus factor" and, moreover, if true, should be unacceptable premises for encouraging one to run for judicial office.

On the other hand, it is equally inappropriate for those objecting Democrat attorneys to cite that Judge Kubilus "is as close to being a Democrat as they can get."

A source from Canton's legal community cited a terrific example of what role political considerations should play in a person being a judge in referring to distinguished Stark County Court of Common Pleas Judge V. Lee Sinclair,  to wit:
Another good example of [Democrat] attorneys putting merits above politics is Judge Sinclair – every [Democratic] lawyer at our firm (myself included) has always been firmly behind Judge Sinclair, notwithstanding the fact that he is a [Republican].  The reason is because, above all else, he is a great jurist.  
But there is more to this story.

The Report is hearing that Healy in his wildest dreams does not believe that Minor-Smith is going to defeat Kubilus in November.  That he has a plan in mind to bring her back into his administration. It is just a matter of getting through the election.

And, by the way, yours truly is being told that Minor-Smith did think over abandoning the race altogether.  However, the latest is that she is good to go to the end.

Back to the plan.

The first part of the plan - The Report is told - is to have Andrea Perry (Director of city of Canton Compliance and daughter of Stephen Perry [a retired Timken Company vice president and member of the Bush-44 administration]) to become Canton safety director as of September 1, 2013. Of course, this is one day after Warren Price is officially to be gone.  Though it is said that one does not see very much of Price around city hall these days.

Then, on the presumption that Minor-Smith loses to Kubilus, she replaces Perry as safety director after the election.

The SCPR did attempt to quiz Minor-Smith via e-mail, but she is not responding.

This story sounds a bit far fetched to the SCPR but the information comes from some very good sources.

Can you imagine Canton's safety forces responding affirmatively with the inexperienced - in terms of background in fire, police and EMS services - Perry and Corey Minor Smith at the helm no matter that they may well be gifted and talented in other aspects of government service.

And add to the likelihood of fire, police and EMS dissonance the reaction of someone like Bruce Nordman of Group 175 and just ordinary Canton citizens.  Nothing against Perry and Minor-Smith, but one would think that Cantonians want an highly experienced person in charge of Canton's safety forces.

But just think about it.  Warren Price had no safety forces experience either.  Did that keep Healy from naming him safety director?

Price (appointed in March) had the good sense to realize early on (after about four months on the job) that he wanted no part of remaining Canton's safety director.

If anyone inexperienced could handle being safety director, it would be the likes of Warren Price.

Undoubtedly, he soaked it in as Healy threw the veteran Thomas Ream (a former Canton Police Department captain having served many years in the CPD coming up through the ranks) and after having some differences with the mayor said to himself "You know what, why would I put myself in a position to be humiliated by this mayor" especially in an area of service that is out of my field.

Everyone liked Warren Price and respected his work as service director and chief-of-staff for over five years with the Healy administration.

But being safety director is a whole other thing that takes a Tom Ream or Tom Nesbitt or a Larry Dordea or their like.

Putting someone in charge of safety forces/issues is not like appointing for any other administration position, even if the mayor takes to the streets to assist.

Again, while the SCPR's sources are knowledgeable folks, The Report is skeptical of the Perry/Minor-Smith as safety director story.

We should never forget however that we are dealing with Mayor William J. Healy, II - the magical mayor extraordinaire!

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