Tuesday, November 10, 2015


UPDATE:  5:30 PM

From: Holly Pierpont <holly.pierpont@att.net>
To: tramols@att.net 
Sent: Tuesday, November 10, 2015 1:11 PM
Subject: Today's blog

You wrote: "North Canton voters must be some of the most disengaged and ignorant of their self-interest in all of Stark County."

Yep.  I have to wonder what percentage of North Cantonians, who voted to end city paid health insurance three years ago, showed up last week and still re-elected those who basically ignored, disrespected and lied to them.  I believe we can expect nothing but more of the same for many years to come...  


Jamie McCleaster <rmccleaster@aol.com>  Today at 5:20 PM

To:  Martin Olson


Great blog today! I think this is an accurate assessment of what's happening in North Canton. I think a lot of people would agree that changes need to be made, but sometimes those changes come slower than what people want. Thanks for your honest and accurate reporting.



North Canton's elections last Tuesday had to be a huge disappointment to those North Cantonians/Stark Countians/Ohioans who think Ohio government and specifically Ohio's local government should be accessible, open and transparent.

While the SCPR piles on Law Director Tim Fox and thinks this autocrat richly deserves being unloaded upon, it is clear to The Report he is doing the will of North Canton councilpersons Foltz, Peters (council president), Werren, Fonte, Cerreta, Griffith and Kiesling.

North Canton City Council (NCC) is an embarrassment to Stark County's citizenry in terms of being hostile to its citizens on basic democratic-republican values of accessibility, openness and transparency.

Ohio is rated by the highly regarded Center For Public Integrity as deserving of grade F because of "the struggle" Ohioans experience in trying to "obtain public records from state officials."

CFPI investigators need to come the North Canton, Ohio.  Undoubtedly, if they came to North Canton, they would be horrified at the pillaging of the open government rights suffered by North Cantonians.

For North Canton City Council working in cahoots with Law Director Fox have made it like "pulling teeth" for a citizen to get North Canton government public records.

And the SCPR includes North Canton mayor David Held (ran unopposed last Tuesday) for not showing more leadership in publicly taking North Canton Council and Fox to task for their obvious hostility to any North Canton citizen who appears to looking into North Canton matters and their look might prove to be embarrassing to elected and/or unelected North Canton government officials.

Held implies in conversations with the SCPR that he disapproves of the anti-citizen attitude demonstrated by Fox in his apparent compliance with the seeming "wish of council mandate" to him, but Held does very little of a concrete nature to give credibility for his finessed rhetoric.

The only thing that Held has done of note in this regard is to force the release in February, 2014 of Tim Fox's legal opinion  (LINK)  to council members that North Canton's 72% voter approved health care ordinance was illegal.

But that was January, 2014.  He sat on his duff from November, 2013 until then and let North Cantonians uninformed as to why council was dragging its feet in complying with the North Canton voting public's desire on the matter of part-time council members not being eligible for taxpayer subsidized family coverage.

North Canton voters must be some of the most disengaged and ignorant of their self-interest in all of Stark County.

All that was needed in last Tuesday's election was for one of the challengers as among Pierpont (Ward 2; Peters), Hoagland or Osborne (Ward 3; Werren), McCleaster (at large; Cerreta, Griffith, Kiesling) and even perhaps Snyder (Ward 4; Fonte) to be elected and Mr. Fox's apparent mandate of foisting barrier after barrier after barrier on requesters of North Canton government records would come to a rapid end.

The SCPR trusts that the 2015 incumbent council member challengers will continue their campaigns unabated through to the general election of 2017.

North Canton voters seem to be some exceptionally ignorant in that they cannot see that the denial of others of core democratic-republican core values will likely one day come back on any of them who want the check up on the inner workings of North Canton government.

Also in for a tongue lashing at the hand of The Stark County Political Report are the core Stark County members of the county's delegation to the Ohio General Assembly.

Oeslager (Republican, Ohio Senate, 29th) in particular should ashamed of Ohio "F" grade on public records.

Seemingly, many, many, many years ago he made a name for himself as someone who fought for open records in Ohio has gotten "fat, dumb, happy and disinterested" on this issue and in representing almost all of Stark County (except extreme eastern Stark County).

A couple of years ago he outright rejected a plea from Canton officials to come to Canton City Council to discuss fiscal problems (he was then chairman of the Senate Finance Committee) saying "he was too busy."

Schuring (Republican, Ohio House, 48th) did heed Canton's plea, but proved ineffective in helping not only Canton but other Stark County political subdivisions.  Moreover, he has shown to inclination whatsoever to push for legislative enhancement of fundamental democratic-republican system values.

Hagan (Republican, Ohio House, 50th) seems totally disinterested in doing anything but pushing the agenda of the far right Republican-religious fringe group.

Slesnick (Democrat, Ohio House, 49th; term-limited out after the current legislative session) has been a total waste in terms of being productive for Cantonians/Stark Countians as a member of the Ohio House.

He does have the excuse of being a member of the House Democratic Caucus which because of their exceedingly low numbers get steam-rollered by the supermajority Republicans.

But the SCPR's take on Slesnick is that were he a member of the Republican supermajority he still would be ineffective because is political competence level is a near zero.

Mark the SCPR's word, Slesnick now that he has been a part of government is looking frantically at a way to stay on the taxpayer role.  He is now "entitled," is he not?

All any of Stark's Ohio General Assembly members have to do is to go to the Center for Public Integrity website and pick those aspects of the F grade which make the F grade an F grade and initiate legislative corrective action, to wit:

The foregoing are the "0" scores in the march to Ohio getting a grade F at the hand of the prestigious Center for Public Integrity.  There are moreover other questions that score 25, 25, 50 and 50 which, of course, are failing grades.

Only one of the questions was graded as passing and that question was only scored at 75 which in most grading circles is a middle level C.

So Oelslager, Schuring, Hagan and Slesnick have plenty to work on - if they care about enhancing the rights of North Cantonians, Stark Countians and Ohioans having a greater degree of open government.

And "if they care" is the appropriate overall question to put to Stark County's legislative delegation.

A F grade coupled with their inaction in remediation of a deficiency that has been of many years duration which, if they are aware legislators, have known about or should have known about indicates to the SCPR that they do not care about making all levels of Ohio government more responsive to Ohioans.

On top of the Ohio General Assembly's disinterest you have a North Canton City Council who through its law director takes full advantage of the legislative low priority for fundamental democratic-republican government accountability values.

Shame on North Canton's city council.

Shame on Mayor David Held.

Shame on legislators Oelslager, Schuring, Hagan and Slesnick.

And shame on North Canton voters for not being aware enough to place at least one caring citizen on the North Canton City Council to begin the process of reining-in the rest of council and their beholden law director Tim Fox!

No comments: