Friday, May 29, 2015


On May 5th Massillon voters almost took "a flyer" in terms of taking a risk on who is going to be mayor of Massillon.

While the SCPR thinks that Mayor Kathy Catazaro-Perry has been (be kind now, Martin) "less than satisfactory" as the mayor of Massillon since taking office on January 1, 2012; she is a known quantity.

Had J. David Ress picked up 43 votes in the final total votes cast for mayor in his head-to-head with Catazaro-Perry, he would be the odds-on-favorite to become Massillon's chief executive.

And he is an unknown quantity.

For he has no government chief executive experience whatsoever.  In fact, he has never held any government position; elected or unelected.

That Ress came so close to taking her out, makes it seem as if Massillon is ready to jettison Mayor Kathy.

Let's say for the sake of argument that in November there is a three-way race for the Massillon mayoralty assuming for the moment at both former mayor (for 24 years) Francis H. Cicchinelli, Jr., and Massillon gadfly Scott Graber (both last registered as Democrats) get certified to run as "independents" for Massillon's top administrative job.

And let's take the matter one step further.

We know what to expect from Cicchinelli as mayor.

We know what to expect from Catazaro-Perry as mayor.

Nobody knew what to expect from J. David Ress as mayor, but many Massillon Democrats were willing to take that risk apparently because they did not like what the known quantity was dishing out.

Let's say that the "take a risk" factor persists and grows in the general election.

Are Massillonians ready for this?


In recent days, Mister Graber has copied The Stark County Political Report on a series of his e-mails to a State of Ohio official.

The SCPR thinks the e-mail exchanges show that Graber has - to put the best face on it - a major problem with his thinking processes and seemingly plays pretty loose if not unethically in making representations that most folks would think are untenable.

However, that is nothing new because that is generally the reaction of yours truly when "you've got mail" from Scott R. Graber graces the email account.

The first e-mail is a copy of an electronic letter Graber sent to Ohio Office of Budget and Management Financial Planning Administrator Sharon Hanrahan, the highly competent, engaging and responsive chairperson of the Massillon Financial Planning and Supervision Commission (MFP&SC, Commission).

Hardly someone would want as mayor, no?

But the Ress near miss on defeating the mayor may be a harbinger that Graber might more a factor in the outcome of the November general election (assuming he and/or Cicchinelli make the ballot) than the SCPR currently expects.

In October, 2013, Mayor Catazaro-Perry succeeded in convincing the State of Ohio Auditor Dave Yost - on the slimmest of grounds (a cash flow problem) - that Massillon be placed is fiscal emergency which brought the MFP&SC in to existence.

The Commission under the guidance of the capable Chairperson Hanrahan has been struggling to get a sustainable plan which seems reasonably certain of succeeding on bringing new revenues into Massillon's financial coffers.

The key has been to get Massillon voters to approve a tax increase.  Two income tax proposals (only one of which was directly tied to a Restoration Plan approved by the MFP&SC) have been overwhelmingly rejected by Massillonians.

A factor (probably not a key one given her close call in the May 5th Democratic primary) in the levy rejections has been the outright opposition (the first attempt) and lukewarm at best attitude of Mayor Catazaro-Perry to the levy initiatives.

The missing ingredient in coming up with "a reasonably certain of implementation" plan?

You've got it!

Massillion's very own "Boy Wonder:  Scott R. Graber," candidate for mayor of Massillon.

Yesterday, he sends out this e-mail:

No legal bar to making "extramunicipals" (non-Massillonians who work in Massillon) pay 3.8% of their income to fund Massillon government with residents working in Massillon paying absolutely zero?


And all on the authority of MFP&SC (also Ohio Budget and Management Financial Planning Administrator) Sharon Hanrahan?

That's what Graber said this past Wednesday in this 3:54 a.m. (how about that!) e-mail:

Here's Graber (an extract) of e-mail to Hanrahan on Tuesday:

Hanrahan's response:

How would Chairperson/Adminstrator Hanrahan react to Graber's assertion as her being legal authority for his proposition that it would be legal to have non-residents working in Massillon pay a 3.8% income tax to support all of Massillon government leaving resident Massillonians working in Massillon free of any income tax whatsoever?

Chairperson Sharon Hanrahan is impressive to the SCPR in her conduct of the MFP&SC proceedings and her willingness to deal with the likes of Graber.

The Report trusts that her experience with Graber will not alter her leadership style which is to say:
  • open, 
  • forthcoming, 
  • respectful, and 
  • responsive to one and all.
It will be interesting to see whether or not she is willing to be communicative with Graber going forward.

Of course, it is her choice to make.

Who would blame her if she were to make Graber an exception to her assumed role of being responsive to all to contact her in her official capacity?

But she may have to consider that these are weird political times and it might be that she as chairperson of the Massillon Financial Planning and Supervision Commission might have to deal with?

Mayor Scott Graber!

Wouldn't that be a trip!!!

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