Monday, September 21, 2015


UPDATED:  08:15 AM





More times than not, when elected officials have no political opposition, they are quick to take on a tone of arrogance and start looking after themselves rather than the government/people they were elected to serve.

That is where The Stark County Political Report thinks Massillon auditor Jayne Ferrero and Massillon treasurer Maude Slagle (both Democrats) are as they approach the November 3rd election with no political opposition.

Slagle was appointed initially as treasurer by the Stark County Central Committee (city of Massillon members) in early 2013.

She is the wife or former Councilman-at-Large Larry Slagle.

Insofar as the SCPR is concerned political arrogance is in full play as Ferrero and Slagle have shown how petty they can be on an issue that might cause them some extra work but the absence of which may well cause a lot more work for Massillon's department heads and therefore as a net factor Mactor in the operation of Massillon government may result in department heads and workers in those departments having less time to serve the citizens of Massillon.

As far as the SCPR is concerned "attitude is everything" when it comes to government service, whether or the part of elected officials or appointed officials, and when any of these officials place their individual welfare over that of those they serve then they should be held accountable.

And that is exactly what several Massillon councilpersons have endeavored to do with Slagle and Ferrero but, due to the reality that only one department head (Fire Chief Tom Burgasser) had "the courage of this convictions" to step forward (August 31st work session of council) and object to the insistence by Slagle and Ferrero that Massillon's petty cash fund be terminated, it appears that the effort of those councilpersons will have been in vain as council likely will - accordingly (i.e. other department heads not stepping forward) - tonight pass legislation to eliminate Massillon petty cash fund.

So rather than someone like Burgasser having a $100 petty cash balance to take from to let's say purchase stamps and to document with a receipt for accountability purposes, with the elimination of the petty cash fund he will have to:
  • make a trip to city hall and the treasurer's office,
  • get a purchase order for a roll of stamps,
  • go to the post office and purchase he stamps "out of his own money,"
  • have the city treasurer issue him a check for his personal outlay
All because Maude Slagle and Jayne Ferrero don't want to be troubled with the little extra work (less than the procedure outlined above) in handling petty cash transactions?

At the August 31st council work session Slagle could be heard to say:  (paraphrases)
  • "I wouldn't have to be here if it weren't for Tom Burgasser,"
  • [the fire department] "shouldn't be buying coffee,"
    • SCPR Note:  the MFD is a 24/7 "protect Massillonians operation, no?"
  • [petty cash fund] "more reason for people to steal money from the city,"
    • SCPR Note: Does Treasurer Slagle mean to say that Mayor Catazaro-Perry has "untrustworthy" people in charge of Massillon's department of government?
  • "That's a lot of work."  (converting what should have been a purchase from a city budget line item from a petty cash purchase to the budget line item account),
These are the same public officials who put up "a big stink" in opposition when council as part of its constructing a Restoration Plan for the Massillon Financial Planning and Supervision Commission wanted as a symbol of local official participation in the recovery to include a 10% cut in pay of most of Massillon's elected officials.

Ferrero and Slagle were the primary objectors.

The Report's take on Ferrero and Slagle is that their attitude is primarily:  "it's mostly about me."

Such, when the general public hears about it, is a concrete example of government official actions which cause the voting/taxpaying public to shake their collective heads in disgust.

There were reports some time ago that Jayne Ferrero was not going to run for another term.

Had she decided not to, current Ward current Republican Ward 6 councilman Ed Lewis was poised to jump into the auditor’s race.

Unfortunately, for Massillonians, the SCRP thinks, Ferrero decided to run for reelection.

Like on the “petty cash” matter, The Report’s impression of her is that she has previously taken on the role of being the “tail wagging the dog” on overall Massillon government operations; to speak in metaphorical terms.

And, of course, to name names as only the SCPR, as a media outlet in reporting on Stark County political subdivision officials' conduct, does, Slagle and Ferrero only need look at themselves and their "me first" attitude as being a contributing causative factor in the public's growing disenchantment with government at all levels.

Republican Councilman at Large Milan Chovan spent 2/3rds of a day working on a petty cash policy which would ensure accountability while allowing department heads to more efficiently use their time in serving Massillon's citizens.

It appears to the SCPR that Slagle and Ferrero were subtly trying to put a veneer on this whole matter as doing what the State of Ohio Auditor (SOA) is requiring.

"Not at all," is The Report's take.

All the SOA is about is that there must be a written petty cash policy whatever it is; not that petty cash must be eliminated as a tool for conducting the people's business.

How disingenuous of Ferrero and Slagle, no?

Republican Councilwoman Nancy Halter (Ward 2) tried along with Chovan and several other councilpersons (in favor of accommodating department heads in their efficiency quest), but in the end the lack of public support caused her and Chovan to give up the fight.

Consequently, Democratic chairperson of council's Rules and Courts committee plans to proceed tonight to do the bidding of the overworked and underpaid Slagle and Ferrero.

Normally this kind of pettiness is not something the SCPR much gets into.

But yours truly thinks this is “over-the-top” stuff by a couple of public officials who actually think that they are public officials for their own benefit.

A SCPR “shame on you” Treasurer Maude Slagle and Auditor Jayne Ferrero for putting yourselves above the public interest!

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