Political labels may be deceiving | ParkRecord.com

Political labels may be deceiving

It is a sad state of affairs when two prominent members of the Summit County Democratic Party admit supporting to a Republican opponent.

Last week, The Record learned that Summit County Democratic Party Chair Rob Weyher had given former Democratic Party Chair Mike Marty $250, presumably to support local Democratic candidates, and that Marty had handed the cash off to Republican County Commission candidate Bill Miles. Miles is running against incumbent County Commissioner Bob Richer the Democratic contender.

The move didn’t make sense until Weyher and Marty announced this week that they have begun raising money to ensure the defeat of the proposal to change the county’s form of government.

Their newly established political action committee, Less is Better, is aimed at supporting candidates who oppose moving from a three-member county commission to a five-member council with an appointed manager. Miles says he opposes changing the current form of government. Weyher claims Richer favors the switch.

In November 2004, Summit County voters approved a measure to study changing to a different form of government. The proposition passed by a comfortable margin, 61 percent, and a committee was formed to examine possible alternatives. After more than a year of study, the committee outlined a five-member council with a hired manager and, on a five to two vote, forwarded their recommendation to the county commissioners.

Last month, Commissioners Bob Richer and Sally Elliott voted to put the ultimate decision about whether to expand the county commission on November’s general election ballot. Commissioner Ken Woolstenhulme, however, voted against it and has been forthright in his criticism of the council/manager proposal.

All three of Summit County’s sitting commissioners are Democrats but their split vote on the change of government proposal mirrors a countywide geographical rift. Woolstenhulme, along with several elected county department heads (coincidentally from the East Side), have been vocal in their opposition.

At least we now know what this election is all about — according to Weyher and Marty. It is all about the proposed change of government.

So, with the real issue on the table, Summit County voters, might be better equipped to decide which candidate they want to support whatever their party affiliation.

Finally, The Record offers this note of caution: To the majority of Summit County voters who supported studying a change of government you might want to give your campaign donation directly to the candidate you prefer because if you give it to the Democratic Party, there is no telling where it will end up.

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