Those in public life also deserve credit when they get it right. Give Mayor William J. Healy II credit for securing the Cleveland Cavaliers’ development league team to an agreement to make Canton its home base.
Former Repository Editor David Kaminski used to keep a sign in his office that read “Hire good people and get out of the way.”
When a public figure or politician flubs it, we love to dog-pile them, thus underscoring the late George Burns’ observation that it’s really too bad the country isn’t being run by the people who cut hair and drive cabs.
But those in public life also deserve credit when they get it right. Give Mayor William J. Healy II credit for securing the Cleveland Cavaliers’ development league team to an agreement to make Canton its home base.
Give him credit for trusting a 27-year-old to take the reins in the negotiations that secured the agreement.
Derek Gordon, a management assistant in charge of special projects for the city, was that point man, in concert with Geoff Tompkins, general manager of Canton Memorial Civic Center.
The good news is that, contrary to the naysayers, Canton has a number of bright and talented people in this city, including some working inside the Big Glass Shoebox.
The bad news is, the secret is out.
Though Canton has seen various minor-league sports franchises come and go, this feels different. There are locals who still burn at the memory of the loss of the Cleveland Indians’ minor-league team to Akron in the 1990s, not to mention that a public park was plowed under to make way for the hastily built Thurman Munson Stadium.
But Akron did it the right way by building a first-class, $35 million stadium in the heart of downtown, a project spearheaded by the city’s mayor, Don Plusquellic, who all but dared team owner Mike Agganis to “pull a Canton” on Akron.
Though Plusquellic and Agganis often fought like cats in a bag, both were smart enough to see the advantages of making the marriage work.
Who knows? Derek Gordon could very well be a mayor in the making — provided Plusquellic doesn’t get to him first.
Americans who grew up expecting America’s first lady to be satisfied with a life swathed in Mamie Eisenhower pink were gobsmacked by Betty Ford’s honesty.
It apparently never occurred to Mrs. Ford, who died last week at 93, to be anything but forthright about her struggles with alcohol and prescription drugs, as well as her battle with breast cancer, a disease once on a social par with leprosy.
Her willingness to be all too human in the most public of arenas enabled her to become more of a cultural influence than many of our presidents. Most Americans couldn’t identify Millard Fillmore in a lineup.
The Betty Ford Center has treated more than 76,000 people for addiction, and who knows how many women were saved because Mrs. Ford brought breast cancer screening out of the shadows?
Page 2 of 2 - Her frankness about things other than baking cookies frequently put her husband’s political ambitions at risk, but no spouse was a greater cheerleader than President Gerald Ford.
Plus, she was just cool.
Betty Ford’s truth about her struggles made her an anomaly among first ladies, but America is a better nation for it.