Don Plusquellic recall, Akron, Ohio, 2009
Plusquellic is in his 23rd year as mayor of Akron.
The recall was defeated.
Reason for recall
According to its sponsors, the recall effort is motivated by these beliefs:
- "Mayor Plusquellic has abused his power, the citizens of Akron, city employees, and small businesses for 21 years. He mortgaged our future by burdening us with $760 million dollars in debt from downtown spending. He ignored campaign finance reform laws passed by the voters and raised thousands of dollars from contractors doing business with the City. He sent city employees out to promote his campaign to increase our taxes and his plan to lease the sewers. His insults of hard working city employees, community activists, and political leaders are public record. He has no respect for the great people of Akron."
- "Over the past year, Mayor Plusquellic and the editors of the Akron Beacon Journal tried to deceive the people of Akron about the "leasing" of our public utilities. Thank God they failed. They wanted us to lease our sewers in exchange for a couple of hundred million dollars even though the City of Akron, in its 2008 Annual Informational Statement estimated the replacement cost of the sewer system at $2.2 billion dollars. The Mayor would sell us out cheap and trash generations of taxpayer investment into our public utilities if we let him."
- Insufficient attention to details of running Akron.
Opposition to recall
The Cleveland Plain-Dealer has editorialized against the recall, saying, "Whatever one might think of Plusquellic, Akron's voters are advised to keep Mayor Plusquellic and send the organizers of the recall a message that they don't appreciate being put through a sour-grapes election."
Recall sponsors filed a petitioner access lawsuit in federal court, alleging that their First Amendment rights to circulate petitions on public property were violated when the Akron Metropolitan Housing Authority prohibited the circulation of petitions in public housing complexes.
The lawsuit, Change Akron Now v. Akron Metropolitan Housing Authority, was heard by the United States District Court for the Northern District of Ohio. A panel of federal judges ruled against the petitioners.
Supporters of the recall are seeking city documents under the Ohio Open Records Law. Records requested include:
- The electric bill for City Hall for July 2008
- The bottled water and 5-gallon jug purchases by the city from May to August of 2008.
- All of Plusquellic's emails and cell phone records since January 2008.
Total cost of the recall
More than a month later the Summit County elections board approved the total cost of the recall attempt, which the City of Akron will have to pay. According to county officials the total cost of the Don Plusquellic June recall is $195,604.18. Akron is facing a projected $12 million budget shortfall by the 2009, and the recall, said local residents, was a waste of funds. The total cost covered the cost for election judges; renting, moving, heating and lighting polling places; printing and delivering ballots; and advertising.
- Political recall efforts
- Political recall efforts, 2009
- Akron Save Our Sewers (2008)
- Akron Stools for Schools (2008)
- Change Akron Now, sponsors of the recall.
- Recall group sues Akron Metropolitan Housing Authority over petitions
- Associated Press, "Akron mayor votes absentee in recall election," May 27, 2009
- Akron Beacon Journal, "Akron swamped with public record requests," April 7, 2009
- WKYC-TV, "Akron voters decide to keep longtime Mayor Don Plusquellic," June 24,2009
- Cleveland Plain-Dealer, "At center of Plusquellic recall, no burning issue," May 25, 2009
- Cleveland Plain-Dealer, "Akron should send Mayor Plusquellic's foes and their recall election packing," May 31, 2009
- Akron Beacon Journal, "Recall to cost city $195,604.18," August 27, 2009