Join me as I go One on One with Canton Democratic City Councilman Frank Morris who is seeking Reelection
By David Thomas Global Human Rights Journalist
What Lessons do you bring to a possible new term as City Councilman if you are reelected from your previous term? As a former majority leader, and finance chairman I have had the opportunity to be exposed to exactly how local government works. I have learned that you can’t please everyone. You can only do what you think is best for your ward which doesn’t always fit with what your colleagues feel is best for the city. I have also learned that if you don’t ask questions other elected officials will only tell you what they think you need to know. A council person must be willing to push back to serve their ward. If you go along to get along then your ward will get passed over.
How important is it for Workers to have representation in political office? As a person who was raised in blue-collar union household, I strongly believe that workers need a voice in local government. Workers ultimately are the tax base of our community and without a tax base we are limited on what we can do. A loss in tax revenue will decrease our ability to provide services. As an elected official you must fight for the working class. This is a balancing act because we can not forget about the seniors who are retired, they are the backbone of our community.
What are the main issues confronting your ward and the City of Canton as a whole that you hope to tackle? Infrastructure is at the top of everyone’s priority list. I have been able to secure over 20 million dollars in infrastructure projects in our ward. This is a drop in the bucket to what needs done. Many roads have not been paved in 50 years, brick roads are in horrible condition, and we still face drainage issues in some areas. Crime is another priority that needs to be addressed. Canton has had record years on violent crime which has not received the media attention it should. We need boots on the streets, not cameras in the sky. Our police department need to interact with community and need better training on their interaction with people.
What are your thoughts on Governor Dewine's state of the state address for Ohio? I feel the new Department of Child services will help many families and provide much needed services. The Governor is being proactive on the fight to provide funding for mental health issues which s long overdue. I think there is far too much enthusiasm on higher education and far too little on trade schools. I understand that technology is the future however skilled labor is at an all-time low. The governor also never addressed the issue of senior citizens. We need programs to help keep seniors in their homes longer. The need assistance with prescriptions, home repairs and utility bills.
If you could give a few sentences on the State of Canton, what would you say as Councilman? Canton has made major improvements in the city, however grossly negated our neighborhoods. Until there is visible change in our neighborhoods, our population will continue to decline. Infrastructure, public safety, and investment in our neighborhoods has not received the attention that becoming a tourist destination has.
What makes me a better candidate is that I have the experience to navigate through the political red tape that slows many down. I am not afraid to ask questions, hold people accountable and challenge the administration.