Tuesday, August 1, 2017





Council President Schulman
Draconian State Local Gov't Funding Cuts


Prospect of Federal Gov't Cuts
Community Development Monies


Council President Schulman
Councilman Bill Smuckler
Call to Action

More than four years ago (April, 2013) Canton City Council president Allen Schulman pled with then-Stark County-based members of the Ohio General Assembly (Oelslager, Schuring, Hagan [all Republicans] and Democrat Slesnick) to do something to help Canton avert a fiscal crisis.

By April, 2013, draconian State of Ohio local government funding cuts were in full swing as imposed on local governments across Ohio, including, of course, Stark County, by Republican governor John Kasich working in concert with the supermajority Republican controlled Ohio General Assembly.

At last night's Canton City Council meeting, The Stark County Political Report learned of two new developments that will aggravate Canton's and likely other Ohio municipalities' financial stress.


On June 26 of this year, Canton treasurer Kim Perez wrote Stark County's Scott Oelslager who represents virtually all of Stark County in the Ohio General Assembly asking him from his perch as chair of the powerful Senate Finance Committee to remove "detrimental to city finances" language from the-then pending approval biennial Ohio Budget (HB 49).

Here is a Ohio Municipal League (OML) detailed explanation of the reasons why centralized collection is not a good idea in that its inclusion in HB 49 will cause a further deterioration in city finances across Ohio and erode city's constitutionally provided for Home Rule.

Back in 2013, when Shulman meet with "a small group of legislators," Scott Oelslager was not among them.

He sent word back that he was "too busy."

Apparently, he is still "too busy."  For it appears that he trash-canned Perez's and totally disrespected Canton government in not making any responses whatsoever to Perez's letter.

According to Chief Deputy Treasurer Mike McEnaney (last night), Oelslager has not responded to the Perez plea.

One would think that out of respect for a Stark County local government elected official, Oelslager would have responded with an "I disagree with you and the Ohio Municipal League"  and "here are my reasons why."

To the SCPR, such a show of disrespect and unaccountability is sufficient reason why nary a single Cantonian or voter of any other of Stark County's local government cities and villages affected by the centralized collection legislation would vote for Oelslager should he decide to play yet another version of musical chairs in which he and fellow Republican Kirk Schuring switch seats (from the Senate to the House and vice versa) every eight years in an "in your face" to Ohio's term limits for state legislators.

Oelslager is a "years and years ago" former aide to former, recently deceased (July, 19th), Congressman Ralph Regula.

The word on the street is that Oelslager became persona non grata on the Regula staff because he became too pushy in urging Regula to retire so that he could be in a position to succeed him.

Though he seemingly has a constant "politician's smile," Oelslager appears to be in reality an arrogant guy.

No matter that Oelslager undoubtedly does some good for Stark County, voters should be highly wary of a "I'm too busy" to deal with you type of politician that "comfortable in Columbus, but not in my district" seems to increasingly apply to.


The above graphic is a copy of a caption of legislation passed by Canton City Council last night.

And here is a SCPR videotaped of last night's discussion 

  • featuring:
    • Mayor Bernabei, 
    • Deputy Mayor Williams, 
    • Ward 4 Councilwoman Chris Smith [Community & Economic Development chair],
    • Councilman John Mariol [Finance Committee chair], 
    • Council president Allen Schulman, and
    • Councilman at Large Bill Smuckler) 
between the administration and council members about the prospect that this funding stream for community development is expected to be coming to an end next fiscal year (January 1, 2018—December 31, 2018).

Here is what the National Community Development Association have to say about the impending cuts:


We're hearing the President's FY18 final budget will be released on May 18. OMB Director Mick Mulvaney recently stated that the final budget will include $200 billion for new infrastructure spending. While NCDA has advocated for a portion of any large scale infrastructure package to be funneled through CDBG, we have argued that it can not come at the expense of the regular appropriated funds for CDBG. Trump has zeroed out CDBG in his FY18 budget. A one-time investment in infrastructure can not come at the expense of ongoing CDBG program funding. NCDA and the CDBG Coalition will continue to push for $3.3 billion for CDBG (and $1.2 billion for HOME) in the FY18 HUD spending bill and we urge our members to continue to do the same.

Thanks for all of your outreach to your Congressional Members.

Call Congress on April 26

Join the Campaign for Housing and Community Development Funding (CHCDF), of which NCDA is a member, on April 26 for a national call-in day to Congress, urging quick passage of the FY17 spending bills and full funding of HUD's programs, including $3.0 for CDBG and $950 million for HOME.

Call the Congressional switchboard toll free at 202-224-3121.


Deputy Mayor Fonda added this in an e-mail response to SCPR follow up questions:

Mr. Olson,

The federal funds that may be cut are CDBG funds, HOME funds, and ESG funds

Programs that could be affected are; Housing rehab,public and social support, summer youth activities,demolition, furnace program, clothing assistance for youth, etc.

Next up is a "call for action" in contacting the likes of Gibbs, Brown and Portman to stop any idea of cutting Canton's community and economic development funds.

So it is not only the state government that has and continues to deliver financial blows to Canton and indeed all of Ohio's urban areas, but, now, it appears, that the federal government is set to follow suit.

As with Oelslager from the State of Ohio perspective, one has to ask whether or not 7th District (which includes Canton) congressman Bob Gibbs (Republican) and Senators Sherrod Brown (Democrat) and Rob Portman (Republican) are going to allow the defunding to actually occur?

As in Ohio, Republicans control the legislative and executive branches of government.

Is Canton and Stark County other urban areas in for a new level of government defunding?

Is there a Republican war on America's and Ohio's cities underway?

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