Monday, June 19, 2017


On November 25, 2015, I wrote a blog thusly (LINK to the blog):

Mack's response:  (in part)

Mostly true, but not the entire story.  

I began discussions with firm management regarding joining the partnership in January.  

Initially, the discussions were that I would not run for re-election this year in light of my joining the partnership at the end of this year.  As a result, I had discussions with several persons about running for my position this past spring in my place, including Dr. Ferguson.  However, after further discussions, the firm and I both agreed that is best if I stay on council for at least another term.  

Hence, I ran for re-election.  

I do not intend on resigning mid-term. (emphasis added)

But "Lo! and Behold!! look at this.

Interesting, no?

As I am wont to do, I contacted Mack (who, heretofore, has been a Stark County Political Report [SCPR] favorite) for an explanation.

Although no Stark County-based public official is immune from SCPR political/government performance critique, Mack mostly has received accolades from me.  In fact, he holds one of the spots on my Stark County Top 10 Elected Official List.

For examples of SCPR recognition of some of Mack's more distinguished work as a legislator, take a look at these linked blogs.
But Mack did not distinguish himself in coming out "full-bore" for now former mayor William J. Healy, II when he was taken on by former Democrat and now political independent Thomas Bernabei in the November 15, 2015 Canton mayoralty election.

In the linked blog below, on May 6, 2015, I dubbed Councilman as the leader of "the Mack Pack" for Healy.
I do not criticize Mack for being part of the legal team that represent the Stark County Dems to "keep Bernabei off the ballot" effort, as such is in line with ethical American jurisprudence.

However, for Mack to have supported Healy with campaign contributions and advocacy was a serious mistake in judgement on his part by my standards.  And, in evaluating Mack going forward, voters need to take into account his drifting into political partisanship in aligning with Healy rather than focusing on the damage done to Canton future viability from eight years of Healy administration stewardship.

Had Healy been re-elected, it my assessment that Canton government would be in much more dire straits than it is under the Bernabei administration.  I think Healy's eight years as mayor was of such a poor quality of leadership that he put Canton in such a deep hole that a Bernabei administration is not likely to make much progress diigging out of, even over a four year period of time.

Mack's Healy support,  shows that he, like most politicos, has the capacity to put partisan political party interests and, perhaps, perceived personal political interest over the public interest.

In hindsight, Mack now says he is impressed with Mayor Bernabei.

But if he had had his way in November, 2015, Canton government would still be saddled the highly politically manipulative William J. Healy, II who, again, I think put Canton in a deep, deep hole.

The main point of this blog is Edmond Mack changing his mind about running again to retain his seat on Canton City Council.

In and of itself, there is nothing inappropriate of a person including a politician in changing his/her mind.

However, in the case of a politician, the public has a right to know the reason(s) for the change of heart.

So I e-mailed Mack to find out what those reasons are, to wit:

Mack's response:

Edmond J. Mack <>  May 1 at 12:59 AM
To:  Martin Olson


My decision to run for re-election was informed by several considerations, and was something I thought very hard about.  The views of Plakas, Bernabei, and Schulman were all weighed and very influential.  I have time tomorrow evening, so I will put together a more thoughtful email tomorrow evenings that explains. 



After about a week and no follow up on his promise to provide "a more thoughtful" response "that explains," I did follow up on May 9th.

Here it is June 18th and no response.

I did attend the June 5th Canton council meeting, but not a word from Mack.

Obviously, someone has counseled Mack not to provide the "more thoughtful" explanation he committed himself too.

I am somewhat surprised to get stonewalled by Mack.

Perhaps, I will get a "I did respond—but it got lost in the 'e-mail."'

In these days of American, Ohio and local politics, it seems that politicos only respond to media inquires when they think it is going to be good public relations for them.

And they wonder why the general public confidence in government keeps trending downward.

My thinking about the propensity of public officials/figures to only want glorifying publicity and tend to stiff-arm penetrating questioning is that such is a preeminent factor as to why more and more of the general public is holding them in less and less esteem.

As suggested by his partisan stance in supporting Healy's run for re-election as mayor (a stance that I have taken as Mack's history of coming out for "good government" measure more than any other Canton councilperson), nobody including myself should ever doubt the capacity of a politician to put political party/self-interest above the public interest.

Although he is running uncontested and therefore set to be re-elected, he will, undoubtedly, be running for a contested political office probably the not too distant future.

That Mayor Bernabei and Allen Schulman are among his councillors and perhaps even his law office boss Lee Plakas, one who can read the political tea leaves might come to believe something is up and these Canton/Stark County political "powers that be" are not quite ready to share that "something" with the Canton/Stark County public.

Mack, at the very least, having initiated the promise to respond thoughtfully on his own, as a matter of personal accountability should have written back and told me he has changed his mind about becoming forthcoming err  being "thoughtful."

Of course, doing a respectful thing like that might not look good for this Ward 8 councilman.

Naturally a "I changed my mind" comment might just might prompt somebody to raise the question:  What is he hiding?

That question is seemingly stock-in-trade for many of a politician across the American political landscape these days, no?

This past week I have published a number of blogs on North Canton government which seems to be rife with mysterious processes of government and politics.

There seems to me that there may have been something akin to a political dance going on between Mack and former Stark County commissioner Pete Ferguson during the run up to filing petitions for the 2017 primary election.

Ferguson took out petitions in this year's primary election cycle for both a Canton council-at-large slot and for Ward 8 apparently while Mack was deciding what he was going to run for re-election or not.

Had Mack decided not to run again, it appears that Ferguson was being positioned to take over in Ward 8.

As in his bid to return to the Stark County commissioner's office in November, 2016, Ferguson turned out not to be a serious contender for either job.

Former commissioner Ferguson is a tremendously nice guy, but an effective public official he is not.

Canton can ill-afford genial office holders who are not up to the job.

And, believe me, Pete Ferguson is no Edmond J. Mack!

His ascension to Ward 8 councilman would have been a step down in quality of representation/input re: Canton city government.

Nonetheless, Edmond Mack needs, as his political star rises, to understand that a promise made is a promise kept whether to local media or to a constituent.

It could be that Mack is a future mayor of Canton.

There is no better standard for him to emulate than Canton mayor Thomas Bernabei, the SCPR's top rated Stark County elected official.

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