Monday, November 17, 2008

Recall of mayor ill-advised and waste of money

Just because we don't agree with a politician's policy decisions is not a good reason to go through the time and expense of a ballot recall. Local gadfly attorney, Warner Mendenhall has started a web page and drive to recall the mayor. The ABJ reports a list of his reasons, none of which involve criminal behavior, which to my mind would be a driving reason to recall a politician.

The mayor angered many people when he attempted to sell then lease our city sewers to create a college scholarship fund to keep Akron students in our city. The voters were not convinced that this was a viable plan, and that includes me. The plan was defeated soundly and another measure that gives citizens the right to vote on any future plans to lease or sell public utilities was passed.

Instead of spending some $160k to recall the mayor who was reelected in 2007 for another four year term, we would do better to face our city's problems straight on and come up with better solutions to the problem of a dwindling city. Much has been done to improve Akron over the past twenty years, but we have a long way to go to make its population go up instead of down.

Frankly, I want to see some fresher, younger faces on the political scene with ideas that match up to the challenges of the 21st century. I'd especially like to see more women involved in local decision-making. Holding a recall election is not going to make new highly qualified candidates suddenly appear.

One of the mayor's plans that was announced in his last campaign has yet to see the light of day. The long talked about Greenprint for Akron was supposed to be launched this fall, but it looks like the Sewers for Scholarships plan got in the way of its appearance. I am waiting very impatiently for news of what is happening with the Greenprint. If Akron is to be attractive to outside businesses and people looking to relocate, then we have massive greening to accomplish here. Allowing ourselves to get distracted by an unnecessary recall vote will undoubtedly put it on the back burner once again.

3 comments:

redhorse said...

Gadfly. The key word in your essay is gadfly.

They'll get those signatures, a tall order, but I believe they will get enough. Then we're stuck with a costly, unnecessary, and likely unsuccessful recall.

Whatever people's issues with the Mayor, this isn't a good governance answer to them. Isn't that, in part, why WM and others fought against Issue 8?

Unbelievable.

Ben said...

Redhorse, I agree. I think they will get the signatures.

Anonymous said...

I will ask you over the last 20 years, minus Goodyear and the Akron U expansion.....what has the mayor down for the gooder good of this city and it's citizens? We have made some changes to downtown, including a 30 million dollar ballpark.....that we have yet to begin to pay on...(by the way, as citizens, we pay for the Aeros recyclable waste removal....not the owner of the team), let's see what else.....Here's one, Lock 3. What in the hell happens at ock 3, besides ice skating in the winter? The occasional free concert performed by some you have never herd of, and likely will never hear from again is not worth the investment. Ahhh, Downtown Hotel LLC? Ever heard of that little deal? Dave Brennan, wo has more money than God went to the city for a loan to take over the last hotel in the downtown area. Well, it went belly up and since he was an LLC...well, he wasn't exactly liable. So, here's what they did....the city said give us what cash you have and we will take these here parking spaces that are at a premium downtown as the rest of what you owe....and those geniuses we have on city council voted for it! Each and every one! The days of the mayor and his minnions have already seen their day and Akron has begun to move in a different direction. Money? That's what we are worried about? We didn't have the money to pay for a stadium, an ampitheater(and I use that term loosely), or a hotel! We most definitely have the money to run the guy who paid for all of those things out of town on a rail!