Akron’s long-time mayor Don Plusquellic, a pioneer in regional economic development who has been credited with helping double the size of the downtown workforce, is facing a recall.
Former Akron City Councilman Warner Mendenhall, a political rival of the mayor, has gathered the 3,179 signatures needed to hold a special election this summer to recall Plusquellic, The Plain Dealer reports.
The special election will cost Akron taxpayers $175,000. Worse, The Plain Dealer reports that the special election favors Plusquellic opponents and few people in Akron are even aware of the recall effort.
Plusquellic has the endorsement of state senator Tom Sawyer, the Pretender’s Chrissie Hynde (an Akron native) and the county Democratic Party.
Mendenhall, meanwhile, is not eligible to run for mayor because he owes the federal government $169,000.
In a second story titled “At Center of Plusquellic Recall, No Burning Issue” The PD reports that the anti-Plusquellic group’s complaints are relatively mundane. Mendenhall says the mayor has not paid enough attention to city services.
“There’s a principle that, if you are a strong leader, every day you are making difficult decisions that make people upset,” said Stephen Brooks, assistant director of the University of Akron’s Bliss Institute of Applied Politics. “The longer you are in office, the likelihood is the more people you will make upset. . . . After a time, you can collect enough of those folks.”
Robert Stein, an urban-politics scholar at Rice University said, “It’s much easier to defeat an incumbent in a recall than to elect an opponent.”
Toledo Mayor Carty Finkbeiner was subject to similar recall effort this year that was backed by a group of suburban businessmen. The recall effort, named “Take Back Toledo,” would oust the mayor three months before his term ends.