Tuesday, August 8, 2017



As elections go, "special" elections in terms of voting percentage can vary by quite a bit.

However, a Stark County Political Report analysis of "special election" (i.e. elections not held in the context of regularly scheduled "primary" and "general" election cycles) shows that on average 30.87% of eligible voters in a given voting district vote in "special" elections.

And, "special" election issues are more likely to fail than pass.

But what about emergency services issues?

Would a voter really be willing to risk a diminished capacity of my local government's ability to respond to me, my neighbor over a few dollars a year in extra taxes?

There is precedent for that in "special" elections here in Stark County.

Nimishillen Township put on an EMS issue in 2007 and look at the result:

Stunningly! no?

It was surprising to get an e-mail from North Canton civic activist Chuck Osborne this morning, to wit:


On August 8, 2017, citizens of North Canton will be presented with a ballot issue asking voters to approve a renewal of an EMS Levy.

Here are a few things to consider before you cast your vote to continue to provide tax dollars to City officials.


The vote to renew the EMS levy could have been presented to North Canton voters at two previous elections at NO cost to citizens.

City officials could have and should have presented this ballot issue to voters in the November 2016 General Election or in the 2017 Spring Primary Election at NO COST to the City.

Who was asleep at the wheel and failed to act?

Council President Jeff Peters?
Council's Chairman of Finance and Property Dan Griffith?
Mayor David Held?
City Administrator Mike Grimes?
Finance Director Laura Brown?
Clerk of Council Mary Beth Bailey?
Law Director Tim Fox?

I would say ALL of the above.

North Canton has renewed its EMS levy at five-year intervals for decades.

This failure on the part of City officials is now going to be expensive as the August Special Election will cost taxpayers approximately $15,000.

City officials could just wait until the November 2017 General Election and place the ballot issue on the ballot at NO cost but they have no trust in the voters of North Canton and want a second opportunity to present the issue to voters should it fail tomorrow.

Well, until there is a change in leadership at City Hall, I refuse to provide more tax dollars for City officials to fritter away.

I have NO faith in the elected and appointed officials at City Hall.

I will vote NO on North Canton ISSUE 1.

          Another example of City officials being asleep at the wheel and causing a huge loss of tax revenue for the community is an illegal tax abatement given to North Ridge Place, LLC.

          I am referring to a tax abatement that was given to investors for a 40-unit apartment complex called North Ridge Place, LLC.

          The exemption of property taxes has saved Developers Bill Lemmon and Bob DeHoff and other investors, nearly $60,000 per year.

          Multiplied by twelve years, and with estimated property appreciation increasing the annual tax savings, the investors in North Ridge are getting a total tax abatement approaching ONE MILLION dollars.

          Not one City official admits being aware of the abatement that was given in November of 2012.

          The largest tax abatement ever given in the City of North Canton was kept secret for nearly three and one half years.

          Whether ISSUE 1 passes or not, Bill Lemmon, Bob DeHoff and the investors in North Ridge Place, LLC. will not be burdened with a tax assessment on their 40-unit apartment complex.

          I should add that four citizens of North Canton have alleged that the abatement was illegal in that it violated City ordinances and Ohio statutes.

          Prominent in alleging the illegality of the abatement is former Mayor Daryl Revoldt.

          City business at North Canton City Hall is NOT well.

          I urge everyone to consider whether current officials should be trusted with more tax dollars.

Thank you,

Chuck Osborne

It could be that North Canton city officials are glad to see Osborne come out against the issue.

Because he so often comes out "I agin' it" on various North Canton government actions, programs, policies and practices, a number of those officials appear to use Osborne's propensity toward negativity as a smear on his civic activism apparently in hopes of generating a "whatever Osborne is against or God-forbid, for— I am the opposite."

So it will be interesting to see how this particular "special" election turns out.

Will it end up being a referendum on Osborne's points-of-view?

Or, will the vote be to follow the Nimshillen 2007 example on an obvious basis of "no or very little confidence in North Canton government" so pervasive that it sinks something that we all care very, very much about:  emergency services?

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