Thursday, May 28, 2015


Nobody wanted to be a naysayer last Tuesday when the lords of national, Ohio and Stark County economic development and finance rolled out their bus filled with goodies for everyone at the Pro Football Hall of Fame situs on Fulton Drive in Canton, to wit:
05/19/2015 [Press Release] 
Hall of Fame Village, the visionary project concept announced by the Pro Football Hall of Fame last fall, will have a major economic impact according to the results released this morning from a study conducted by Conventions, Sports & Leisure International (CSL).
HOF Village, the study concluded, will generate $15.3 billion in cumulative net new total economic output within Stark County, home of the Hall of Fame, over the next 25 years.
Additionally, a total of 13,375 new full and part-time jobs will be created within the county during the peak year of the project. (emphasis added)
For if one had critical questions, that "juiced up" bus rolling down the hill from Fawcett Stadium into the parking area of the Pro Football Hall of Fame complex (HOF) would have flattened the questioner so flat as to make that former person making her/his trek to the parked car indistinguishable from the asphalt making up the parking lot.

More than anything else, the overlords of the HOF Village Project need to have sober minded citizens step forward with incisive and meaningful questions.

Only if insightful questions that dig "the devil out of the details" are respectfully entertained and authentically responded to with the HOF Village Project "be - all that it can be."

And the SCPR thinks, since Canton is the site of the HOF and is the county seat of Stark County, every Cantonians and for that matter every Stark Countian (remember 13,995 might be coming to Stark County) should be hoping and praying that Stark County commissioner Thomas Bernabei qualifies on June 17th to run as an "independent" for mayor of Canton.

The Report thinks that Bernabei is the only Stark County political figure and leader who has the capability of striking a balance between asking telling questions and insisting on "makes sense" answers and the obvious hullabaloo and euphoria that is now the order of the day.

The HOF Village Project is something to get excited about.

But as current mayor William J. Healy's handling of the Utica shale (aided ad abetted by the Canton Regional Chamber of Commerce) supposedly coming to and being the economic/financial savior of Canton showed; hype followed up with relatively little in substance (LINK) is the fertile ground upon which citizen cynicism flourishes and abounds.

Canton and Stark County do not need cheerleading; they need "let's roll up our sleeves" and work together to make this thing happen to the advantage of every Canton, Stark County citizen in one fashion or another with a percolating factor to the benefit of citizens statewide and countrywide.

Nobody has stepped forward to admit it, but the SCPR thinks the last minute filing by Thomas Bernabei to run against Healy for mayor was prompted by pressure being applied by private sector movers and shakers who have to be more than a tad nervous with Healy being in place at Canton City Hall over the next "critical" four years as the HOF Village Project gets underway.

While the shale oil phenomenon and wild predictions by Mayor Healy and the brain trust that runs the Canton Regional Chamber of Commerce (Chamber) has pretty much been a bust - as compared to the initial hyped predictions - for Canton and Stark County, the HOF Village Project need not be.

Interesting enough, the Chamber has this event planned for June 10th, to wit:

The Report can hear it already:  that is to say, the excuse making, if not, a continuing the hype - "phenomenal success is just around the corner" jargon.

Officials (public and private sector) should learn a lesson from the Utica experience and back off the euphoria on the HOF Village Project and let real numbers as they evolve "do the talking."

And as the SCPR sees it, there is an essential need for:
  • sober minded, 
  • inquiring and requiring answers to questions that "make sense"
    • thinking, and acting public and private sector officials 
to be in place to ensure that the public can have confidence that the job numbers claimed (13,775) or better will be achieved.

Now that the party is over (May 19, 2015); the real work begins.

And it needs to be productive as it is claimed it will be or it will result in the general Stark County public becoming a consummately cynical public which is a hole that it is nearly impossible to dig out of.

Indeed, the HOF Village Project COULD BE the the cure to all that ails Stark County and her county seat Canton.

But question remains:  Will it turn out to be "all it could be?"

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