Thursday, August 1, 2013


UPDATED:  09:00


See/hear Mayor Healy tell Councilwoman Cirelli and the rest of Canton City Council about his effort to get all $2.3 million of the Stark County Land Reutilization monies

In 1992 Summit County's Green Township became the City of Green.

By his actions, one might think that Canton's mayor William J. Healy, II thinks that Stark County and the city of Canton are one and the same.

Can you imagine Healy as the mayor of a 378,000 metropolis?

Evidence of such possibly being his mindset came out at Monday night's Canton City Council meeting.

The setting was a Q&A between Councilwoman-at-Large Mary Cirelli and the mayor over $1 million that Canton is covering for the Stark County Land Reutilization Corporation (SCLRC) which is Stark's vehicle for handling state of Ohio grant money for demolishing Stark County-based abandoned/foreclosed residential housing.

For those readers who are not familiar with Ohio's program (Moving Ohio Forward Demolition Grant Program), CLICK HERE to see a July 3, 2012 blog explaining the background of the program.

Back in 2012, Mayor Healy was acting like Canton might have to pass on the program because of the necessity of a local match (50/50) required for each SCLRC dollar that a Stark County community gets.

The Stark County Land Reutilization Corporation was formed in 2013.

Two members of the board include Healy antagonists and Stark County commissioners Tom Bernabei and Janet Creighton.

Stark County's grant from Ohio is $2.3 million.

In the last census (2010), Stark County had a population of about 378,000 citizens whereas incorporated Canton has about 73,000 or about 19% of the county's total population.

So it was astonishing to the SCPR that Mayor Healy would be dismissive of the rest of Stark County on Monday in terms of his saying that Canton really should have been granted $2.3 million of the county's $2.3 million, and that had the SCLRC seen it his way, Canton was prepared (remember, at one time [July, 2012] there was a question of whether or not Canton had the financial wherewithal to participate at all) to spend $2 million of its own money to be matched with SCLRC money for a total of $4 million to be spent demolishing Canton dilapidated residential housing.

Canton is currently in the process of demolishing some 517 units by December 31st with the total of $2 million ($1 million in city of Canton money; $1 million in SCLRC money) which  if expanded to $4 million ($2 million/Canton - $2 million/SCLRC) would presumably lead to over 1,000 blighted Canton city properties being demolished.  It is believe that Canton has roughly 5,000 blighted residents that need demolished.

But, of course, there is no way a "Stark County" Land Reutilization Corporation was going to allocate 100% of state of Ohio total funding to an entity that has 19% of the county's population.

Yesterday yours truly crossed paths with Alex Zumbar (chairman of the SCLRC; also Stark County treasurer [Republican - Alliance]) and mentioned to him Healy's Monday night insinuation that the SCLRC had its priorities screwed up and that Canton should have gotten $2.3 million rather than $1 million.

Hence Zumbar's response:  "That's why its named the Stark County Land Reutilization Corporation."

Healy has a history of thinking that the only thing that matters in Stark County is its county seat Canton which he happens to be the chief executive of.

Whether it is named consolidating/merging/collaborating or whatever one wants to label the process, the only way the city of Canton under Mayor William J. Healy, II is going to be part of the effort is if Canton government ends up in charge.

Efforts at bringing efficiency through countywide integration to various health departments, building departments, emergency call dispatch scattered across Stark County seem always to get sidetracked by the city of Canton factor.

Recent progress was reported on the effort to achieve a countywide emergency forces dispatch operation (or at least 75% countywide, since Nimshillen Township's CenCom remains opposed) because Warren Price, at the time newly named as Canton's safety director, had taken charge and convinced Healy that integrating Canton into the operation was the thing to do.

Originally, Canton had been on board with countywide dispatch (2009, 2010) only to change to not being on board in 2011.  Such is life with William J. Healy, II.

But with Price now out as safety director, the SCPR would not be surprised to see Healy reverse himself once again on that matter.

And there is the situation with the Canton-Stark County Crime Lab.
In essence, earlier (February) this year Healy tried to water down the requirements of the director of the Canton-Stark County Crime Lab (CSCCL) to non-scientist status so that he could pick Rick Perez as director.

And "all Hell broke loose" on Healy at the hand of the Stark County Council of Governments (SCOG) Executive Committee.

The issue?


You've got it:  Who was in charge of the Canton - Stark County Crime Lab?

Most of the money and nearly all of the equipment has been anted up by SCOG, and Canton under Healy wants to be in charge?

Again, Warren Price stepped in and the controversy seemed to be headed towards resolution.

But now that Price is gone, are we back to square one on that issue?

The SCPR asked SCOG chairman Tom Bernabei the question yesterday whether or not 9-1-1 countywide consolidation and figuring out who is in charge of the CSCCL are now off track with Price's departure.

Answer:  "We shall see."

In a way, it is good to see Healy try to dominate Stark County.



Because out in the county there are public officials who have no trouble at all with reining Hizzhonor in.

As Chairman Zumbar says:  "That's why it's named the 'Stark County Reutilization Corporation" Mayor Healy!!!

And look for SCOG chairman Tom Bernabei to do pretty much the same with him on the Canton-Stark County Crime Lab situation.

After Bernabei gets done with Healy, do not look for what remains of the Canton-Stark County Crime Lab to be under Canton's control.

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