Tuesday, October 22, 2013




It is so very, very obvious; Canton City Schools (CCS) Board of Education at-large candidates John Rinaldi and Eric Resnick do not like each other.

Here is a LINK to their candidate profiles.

Several weeks ago, the SCPR crossed paths with Resnick at a meeting of the Stark County Black Caucus (SCBC) held in the Canton City Council chambers on September 26th and spoke briefly to him about his face-off against Rinaldi.

Resnick filled out Rinaldi's term in office (2008 - 2011) when Reinaldi abruptly resigned in May, 2009.  Republican Ron Duff was appointed but Resnick defeated him and another candidate in the election of November, 2009.

However, because Resnick could not get his petitions in proper order, he was disqualified from seeking reelection in the November, 2011 election.

A distinguishing characteristic on Resnick in that November, 2009 election insofar as The Report is concerned is his being out front proposing and supporting a tax initiative (which passed, November, 2011) for the CCS as part of his campaign.

In that campaign, it appeard to me that Resnick was running a "high-brow" campaign.

But in this campaign, maybe not.

In the chance meeting with him at the SCBC meeting, Resnick volunteered to confirm a certain piece of sensitive personal information about Rinaldi that may have factored into his resignation from the CCS-BOE in 2009.

I was somewhat taken by surprise as to how aggressive and eager Resnick was to confirm the information which I had heard from a number of sources since the resignation.

The point is that Resnick's zeal in discussing the matter was a tip-off that the Resnick/Rinaldi election was going to get heated.

John Rinaldi showed up at Canton Councilman Kevin Fisher's Town Hall meeting at the former Sourers Middle School on October 16th.

As with Resnick, the SCPR had a brief exchange with him as to the race.

His message:  "Resnick is going negative.  He is out digging up attendance records (2004 - 2008) when I was the CCS representative on the Joint CCS - City of Canton Recreation Board."

Sure enough, from Resnick's Facebook page, I was able to retrieve a copy of his investigation into Rinaldi's attendance.

While Rinaldi himself (at least to me) hasn't gone off on Resnick, I have talked with several of his "politically-aligned" friends who have taken a negative tack on him.

Surprisingly, one thing I have not heard from Rinaldi supporters is a reference to the bankruptcy that Resnick went through during the 2005 - 2008 time span.

Maybe they are not as good as Resnick in doing what politicos call "opposition research?"

Or, perhaps, want to keep the campaign at a higher level so as to contrast with Resnick's campaign.

One Rinaldi supporter compared Resnick and his ego to Canton mayor William J. Healy, II saying that if the two were in a room together one of them would have to get out because both think they are the smartest men in the world and therefore no room would be large enough to contain the ego of two.


Readers of the SCPR know what I think of the seemingly "uncontained" ego of Healy.

While I have not had quite the same impression of Resnick (it could be because I have much more familiarity with Healy in term of frequency of contact than Resnick), I have had enough that I can see that Resnick is "full of himself" and can be a test of one's patience and forbearing.

I will say that he addressed the "real" issues of the CCS much more thoroughly than Rinaldi.

One such issue he addresses is one that came up at the Stark Community Foundation (Neighborhood Leadership Council)  candidate forum (Annual Neighborhood Showcase and Town Hall Meeting) held at the McKinley Grand on October 14th (from which Rinaldi was excluded because he is said to not having "timely filed" a candidate questionnaire).

The issue?

Requiring CCS employees (including the superintendent [Adrian Allison does not live in Canton, but his two daughters attend Cantons schools) to live in the confines of Canton city limits.

While unpopular with some, it appears to the SCPR that Resnick makes a compelling argument that the law of Ohio does not allow such a requirement.

It seems to the SCPR that the forum failed CCS voters in not allowing Rinaldi to appear on the filing of the questionnaire matter.

Which is more important?

Standing on technicalities or getting the opposing candidates side-by-side to voters' to gauge on the issues discussed.

Councilman Frank Morris (Democrat - Ward 9, who is said to be supporting Rinaldi) tells the SCPR that he filed his questionnaire two days late but was permitted to speak.

Here is an excerpt from the Ward 9 Facebook page on Rinaldi's reaction including his answers to forum questionnaire questions:
Here are my answers to the neighborhood association questionnaire that I filled out and turned in to the Foundation for the function Monday night.

I am very proud of my neighborhood association and the work/service they provide us. I'm a single father of two with a full time job and a homeowner in the City of Canton. I have been trained by the Ohio School Boards Association as a school board member and I have also been educated on educational policies at Harvard University.

My concerns are not unlike other Canton citizens. Money. Tax money to be specific. I have over 20 years of professional business experience and will bring that mind set to the board. When elected, I will make sure that all Canton City School Board meetings are televised on TV 11 and available on the CCS Web site.

The community needs to be able to see how their government works and we have a great way of providing this service.

Thanks again to Frank Morris and the Ward 9 Crew!
The difference could be that Morris is running unopposed.

However, the SCPR stands by the assessment that the Neighborhood Leadership Council stood on ceremony over substance and thereby did not effectively serve the voters of the Canton City school district.

I searched "high and low" for a Rinaldi website, but could find none.  If I am able to track one down, I will update this blog with a link.

My take on Rinaldi is, while he may have a significantly friendlier tone to him than Resnick, that he is not nearly as substantive as his opponent.

Rinaldi "went head over heels" in an effort to get former Canton McKinley football coach reinstated when he was let go about two years ago.

The SCPR recognizes that "football is king" at McKinley, but CCS voters should be more interested in the candidates' stands on the very serious issues that the schools face than which candidate is more involved in the sports program.

In any event, this race is set to be one of the most hotly contested in all of Stark County.

Resnick is a close political ally of the mayor of Canton and is said to be Healy's choice for election.

Rinaldi is union connected and has Billy Sherer, Jr. (head of the Ironworkers) as his campaign treasurer.

Both have their core supporters.

The SCPR predicted result?

Too close to call!

But it will be a "knock down, drag out" fight from here to election day.

The stakes for the CCS are very high indeed.

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