It's been a Hellzapoppin' couple of weeks for Akron mayoral politics, what with the steady stream of comings and goings for the top job.
In short order (1) Don Plusquellic abruptly resigns as mayor for 28 years (2) City Council President Garry Moneypenny ascends to the fill the unexpired term, (3) Moneypenny withdraws as a candidate for the full term after disclosing an untoward "touch" of a female (4) the anti-Plusquellic Democrats on Council demand that Moneypenny resign as interim mayor, a move that would scuttle the wall-climbing party strategists' best-laid plans to assure his election to the full term (5) with the filing deadline approaching on June 10, the city's fate is blurring as the political class, virtually exhausted of options, reaches what art scholars describe as the vanishing point.
Have I missed anything? Oh, a Beacon Journal report described the Democratic Party as "immersed in scandal". That's a hasty summary judgment of guilt by association, inasmuch as most Democratic officials would argue that they are not scandalized, just as none of the Republican presidential candidates would insist that they have not been scandalized by Dennis Hastert.
Meantime, opportunity quickly arose for candidates like Frank Comunale, a Democratic member of Summit County Council, and City Councilman Mike Williams, a faction leader who has spent a lot of his time trying to disgrace Plusquellic and figured that Moneypenny would do nicely as a surrogate target until somebody else came along.
The somebody-else list - this might come as Plusquellic's after-shock to you - could be Plusquellic himself, who has taken out petitions to run again; term-limited
state Sen. Tom Sawyer, a former mayor: Summit County Clerk of Courts Dan Horrigan, and County Councilwoman Ilene Shapiro.
Democrats have never been known for orderly in-house behavior, which has made them far more interesting to watch on the playing field than the Republican culture of family and stock market values.
Trouble is, with Plusquellic's stormy departure, he left a historically stable city to the uncertain fate of open political warfare if his enemies rise to the throne. Whatever Mike Williams & Council Co. might tell you, there is no evidence to conclude that peace and stability are on the horizon.