Aside from the fact that the Mayor suddenly looks frazzled and desperate, there is little encouraging about Akron’s Mayor Don Plusquellic’ s latest political maneuvering. He accuses Warner Mendenhall of expecting taxpayers to foot the bill for his personal political obsession. That is not only unfounded, since Mendenhall has already said he will not run for Mayor, but would better describe what has been happening in this City for the past 23 years. Talk about expecting taxpayers to foot the bill; the Mayor’s call for a vote to sell our sewers might be admirable if he or his sponsors were paying for it but they expected you taxpayers who already owned it to pay for it again! The 2 for 1 deal didn’t mean you got 2 for the price of 1; instead you would have paid twice for 1 sewer.
There is no secret posse of radicals being lead by some ringleader trying to force Plusquellic out of office. The Recall effort has been forthcoming with ongoing information, facts, truth, and names. Where is the same from the supporters of keeping the Mayor? After all, it is more about a man’s ego and ambition than any concept of good control. Akron is turning into a city of Plusquellic Monuments constructed as a tribute to him; empty monuments at that.
The worst thing about the mayor’s abuse of the governing process is that it will likely damage the process itself. Initiatives and referendums are the application of direct democracy and those of us who truly believe in democracy are wary when politicians attack the process when it does not serve their purposes. Certainly, there should be reform to remove big money and restore the grassroots to the process. No one should be compensated to collect signatures yet there was an event hosted at Tangier’s on Thursday, June 18th offering food, music, and even transportation to the Board of Elections to vote. The real question is: Since we are going ahead with this recall special election, why is the Mayor working so hard to catch the attention of the voter? Should he, could he, would he be Recalled? YOU BET!
That is not the issue now. It is not difficult to understand the Mayor’s motives. Don loves the lights. The Democratic process has shamelessly chosen to stand in his way rather than to continue to turn the other cheek and assist him in the building of his kingdom. Certainly, he would be a suitable Emperor for the next occupation.
I understand the Mayor’s distaste for supporters of the Recall. In spite of operating in a virtual media blackout they tend to read, listen, investigate, analyze policies and events, and communicate their facts to the taxpayers of Akron, family and friends any way they can. This my friend, is “grassroots”. They know a fraud when they see one and Don’s compassionate activist act is growing old. He wants to get rid of those who bring up truths damaging to his image. He is very vindictive.
This is not about his failure to keep campaign promises. That alone would not be reason enough to recall an elected official. However, since being elected in 2006 to his 6th term he has abused the power given him by the people through his incompetent, mismanagement of the public affairs in his office. He has initiated at taxpayers expense; costly tax abatements, sweetheart deals and spent millions in private projects benefiting private owners NOT taxpayers. He has exhibited hostile behavior towards city officials and employees which has embarrassed and violated the trust that we the people have placed in him. Remember the hostility towards the general public? I do, he had the audacity to have a parking lot attendant fired over where he would park his car? His contempt for the public is inexcusable. His excessive international trips, his lavish administrative staff get-a-ways and dinners and his travels about the country to feed his ego and ambition are all at the taxpayers’ expense. His unethical and fiscal abuse must be stopped. WE CAN’T AFFORD IT! I understand the need for growth and reform in rebuilding this City but it is not a pressing matter for a city in fiscal crisis and it is nothing more than self-serving in the hands of this Mayor. Nothing he has done so far has worked. So is it try, try again while we are in this fiscally disastrous state economically? We have severe credit card debt.
What I do not understand is why Recall Don is considered radical. We have asked again and again, for what reasons should he not be recalled? Supporters of the Mayor; Where are your facts? What “honest” information can you give the citizens, property owners and income tax payers of Akron? From the beginning you have remained asleep at the wheel? Gone fishing? Striking poses for the cameras? While we have been getting the facts from “your” public records. There is only one effective way to stop the abuse that began with the multiple elections of Don Plusquellic. Recall! What comes around goes around and all that jazz. Unfortunately, we are saddled with a gutless and self-serving brand of politicians on both sides of the proverbial aisle and we needed someone to organize the effort. A ringleader? No, just an ordinary citizen who knows the truth about what has really been going on at city hall.
It is thick with irony that this special election ballot will offer a proposal to “re-regulate the power industry.” How special indeed. It has been 23 years of fleecing this City’s Taxpayers to the tune of hundreds of millions dollars by a handful of corrupt corporate bureaucrats; it is in fact the reason for our current financial crisis. There is something truly rotten in the bowels of the City. What have we been waiting for? Another episode of massive fraud and redistribution of wealth with the blessings of all parties? The last chapter will end with the gallant effort of those who have tried to expose the realities with accuracy and proof not empty words. Who will take the blame for the next few years? If Don is not recalled, the voters will.
If we have learned anything at all from these sorry facts, it is that neither side offers any real solution to our long-term problems. It becomes a question of which side is more interested in securing their power base and lining their pockets with corporate payoffs and which side wants to stop the corruption. The obvious answer is not to disable direct democracy but to enable greater, broader and uncorrupted participation in politics. Give democracy a chance: vote for a new candidate. When enough people say no to the political plotting of well-established politicians, they will finally begin to listen.
Should the Mayor of Akron be removed from office? Yes, Yes, a thousand times Yes!
“How best can we arm the people to protect themselves? When enough people say no to the political plotting of well-established politicians, the politicians will finally begin to listen”
VOTE FOR THE RECALL