Friday, March 13, 2009

Mendenhall's spring offensive begins

WARNER MENDENHALL has begun his spring offensive against Mayor Plusquellic  so I would alert you to be prepared for round-the-clock shelling from his recall regiment.  Recorded phone messages.  Neighborhood blitzes. Petitions circulating like the wind-blown leaflets dropped from World War II bombers. Ahhh...Democracy in action.  Or is it demagoguery in action by an overreaching politician who would have you believe that he isn't a politician at all but rather a savior of all that should be pure and good in his city of Akron. 

He has been planning this 15 minutes of narcissism for several years, I'd guess, and the moment has arrived to bring the Plusquellic administration to its knees.   Although the inquisition  boasts of many Plusquellic sins, the one that stands out  as pure sophistry is that the mayor has been recklessly sending taxpayers dollars on out-of-town trips hither and yon, the last being a visit to the White House with many other city mayors to engage the President's attention on the need for stimulus dollars.   Or his earlier travels  as the head of the national conference of mayors , a distinction not only for Plusquellic but for the city itself.

Excuse me.  Wasteful spending?    If Mendenhall's campaign  goes the full route with a special election and all that follows, it would be a fair guess that the taxpayers'  bill for wasteful spending will be greater than what Plusquellic has spent on his travels.  Besides, with apologies to the poet John Donne, "no city is an island".  Any mayor is not only in charge of filling potholes and snow clearance but also in representing his or her city at the state and national level.  That has been, for all the world to see, one of his strengths.  He does it well. 

As one who spent many days and weeks on round- the-clock reporting of the recall campaign against then Cleveland mayor Dennis Kucinich (which he narrowly survived ), I can assure there are never any winners in these spectacles. The pace of governing slowed  considerably as the Kucinich administration was distracted  by the expenditure of time, energy and treasury , not to mention the newspaper headlines.   And I would challenge anyone to point out any great strides the city has taken in progressive management since Kucinich left office.  

Unfortunately, when these rare spectacles arise they usually have less to do with improving the welfare of the entire community but are rather a scheme by relatively few people inciting enough voters to achieve the ends of those few.    At the core, Mendenhall for mayor.  Seems that way these days, doesn't it?  



Warner said...

Just so you know, although I haven't ruled out a run for Mayor at some time, I have no plans to run and have stated over and over that I would continue to support Joe Finley for Mayor. Joe had the guts to start telling the truth about Plusquellic's behavior a long time ago when he forced Joe Kidder to resign from the administration. Do you understand what Joe Kidder did? You have never condemned his behavior.

Grumpy Abe said...

Warner: Just so you know (as you put it), you still have not addressed the question of how much your misguided slam at Plusquellic is costing the city (i.e, taxpayers) in a desperate national economy. Well?
(By the way, your opening line contradicts itself.)

Anonymous said...

Who is Grumpy Abe? I have not heard of him. Does he have an audience? He doesn't have much use for Mendenhall. He probably will not sign the petition. What does he think that recall machinery is for? Oh, it costs too much, so we shouldn't use it. Well, I think that it makes sense, so I am going to sign it.

Robert M Kraus
Akron citizen for 88 years

Katie said...


Just like Honest Abe you got this one right. Warner has been planning this for years. It comes down to the following. If you want to see change in Akron that is fine but don't skirt the election process to do it. Wait for the next mayoral election and run. You know that you will never beat Mayor Don because of his accomplishments and the fact that you are completely unqualified. Don't give me the line that the Mayor cheated in the last race because you sound like a 1st grader on the playground. The key to winning is having a candidate that is worth voting for - you and Joe Finley are not that candidate. You are costing the taxpayers a lot of money with your petty fight. Not too mention the fact that you are making a good cover for the Republicans who are really behind this. You talk about the Mayor's sneaky tactics. How do you explain that one?

Warner said...

Grumpy, the cost is about $175,000. Less than the millions in EPA fines, less than a couple of the cabinet salaries, less than the land giveaways, and less than the mayor's travel and dining budget over the past few years. Democracy and elections aren't free. It is our civil right to have an election if we get the signatures. Katie, I think the recall is pretty straight forward. Democrats, Republicans, and Independents are supporting the recall. Your position is opposed to our Charter and our democratic rights.