The oddest entry in Fairlawn's Fourth of July parade was a big truck with an accordion billboard promoting Cuyahoga Falls Mayor Don Robart. It told us that the long serving Republican was "always putting Cuyahoga Falls first".
A rather strange boast, don't you think, in a Fairlawn event where the local mayor, Bill Roth, is a low-key Republican in a well-managed town.
In recent years, Robart, who is seeking his 8th term in November, has swung over to the Tea Party wing, if not as a card-carrying member, then as a kindred spirit. He showed up at the teabaggers Rescue America Tax Day Rally in the Falls last year (Another of those events with a do-gooder name) to praise the GOP insurgents as the conscience of America. Still, he's not been reluctant to take federal money for his own projects.
He also stonewalled giving a wounded Iraqi veteran and his male partner family rates at the Falls Natatorium. In this instance, the mayor decided that gay couples come second to putting his city first. So it seems fair` to ask: First in what?
Now after three decades in City Hall, he's being challenged by a popular Democratic councilman, Don Walters. It won't be surprising to see more of those Robart Falls-first trucks in the Labor Day parade in Barberton. Maybe even Canton.