Wednesday, September 14, 2011

The full measure of Plusquellic in 15 minutes

IN HIS BRIEF ACCEPTANCE speech following his Democratic primary victory Tuesday night, Mayor Don Plusquellic offered the full mosaic of what has led him into his nearly completed bid for a seventh term. He expressed his humility ("overwhelmed and humbled"); his intense commitment to the city's welfare (the election wasn't "just about being mayor"); and his seething resentment of his critics' attempts to "mislead" the public about his policies and occasional abrasive personality ("Lies"). There you have it - and will continue to have for four more years.

Sorry, Republicans. You now have a Medina lawyer as a candidate for November. But let's not kid ourselves.

From the outset, I never considered the Democratic primary as a contest between Plusquellic and Mike Williams, the longtime councilman and fierce opponent, Mike Williams. With a mayor who has served in that office for 24 years, most voters would have made up their minds about Plusquellic and went to the polls to judge him, up or down. A majority decided it should keep him on the job.

The only new element from all of Plusquellic's previous campaigns was that Williams was an African American, which could have served the challenger in some quarters and hurt him in others. Unfortunately, that is one of the realities of politics.

The mayor's strategy from the beginning was to eliminate race as a decisive factor. Other issues could have arisen from a gang that has tried to move mountains in ridding City Hall of Plusquellic. A couple of years ago they futilely tried to have him recalled, an initiative that lost badly in the special election. You would have thought that enough is enough.

There were early signs that the recallers were back but I was told that even Williams decided they would not be helpful to his campaign.

Being mayor is not easy these days , a point that the mayor stressed. Plusquellic has been battered by state budget cuts and local personal assaults, some of which foolishly alleged criminality - an ancient curse that originated back at a frustrated Summit County Republican Headquarters. So, months ago, Plusquellic wasn't even sure that he needed more of the same by running again.

The city benefitted from his decision and the voters rewarded him with a likely seventh term. As the mayor's close friend, Council President Marco Sommerville, said afterward: "The city of Akron is in good hands. The people of this city understands what he's trying to do.'

Good for everyone concerned.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The Bob Smith cabal has been rejected again by the voters of Akron. They have moved on to new allegations against the mayor on the cesspool that is the Beacon Journal forums.