Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Today in Akron Legal News

In today's column I consider the recall effort. For the most part I discuss the merits of Change Akron Now's arguments only to say that they mostly come down to policy disagreements, which generally aren't considered the stuff of a recall campaign. Mostly the column considers whether Akron should consider raising the threshold for getting a recall on the ballot. Surveying the recall laws in major cities in Ohio reveals that Akron has arguably the lowest threshold. This is from the column:

  • Cleveland uses 20% of the total vote in the last municipal election.
  • Parma uses 25% of the total vote in the preceding municipal election, as does Toledo, whose mayor is also fighting a recall effort.
  • Dayton bases its threshold on the number of registered voters in the city. A recall effort needs 25% to reach the ballot.
  • Columbus also sets the threshold as a percentage of registered voters, requiring 15%. As an additional barrier, Columbus does not allow petitions to be circulated; they are posted in firehouses and the city clerk’s office so that interested citizens must go to the petition to sign.
  • Youngstown doesn’t peg the threshold to any variable, instead having set the threshold at a constant 5000 registered voters, which currently amounts to about six percent of the total population.
  • Neither Canton nor Cincinnati currently allows for a recall, though the local NAACP in Cincinnati is currently spearheading a drive to add recall provisions there.
(BTW, if you want to follow the Toledo recall story, my friend Lisa Renee's local blog Glass City Jungle is a good place to start.)

From there I make arguments in favor of a higher bar. Irate comment coming from Mendenhall in 3, 2, 1. . .


Anonymous said...

The recall threshold would have been "higher" as far as numbers go if there would have been some sort of contest in the last municipal election. With a population the size of Akron, its speaks lowly of interest in voters in a representative democracy.

Village Green said...

I voted for the mayor in the primary, but didn't bother to check his box on the ballot in the general election. I never vote for anyone who is running without opposition. But now that I see how ridiculously low the standard is for recounts, I may be rethinking my voting tactics.

54cermak said...

I got polled on the recall effort yesterday evening. It seemed almost like a push poll, but it was hard to tell who it was push polling for since the "more or less likely" statements were negatives against both the mayor and Mendenhall.

Anonymous said...

Nice of your to bash Mendenhall at any chance you get. He did not write the recall portion of the Charter... infact, Don has been in office long enough to see several changes to the recall law in Akron.

Why not blame the current administration for the recall law in its current form instead of constantly finding a way to make everything Mendenhall's fault.

Why not blame the voters in Akron who at some point VOTED to have it setup the way it is?

If people feel the recall process is being abused, they will change it. Amazingly.. thats how our system of government works.

BTW - before the bashing of me starts... I do not live in Akron, and I am not a volunteer in the recall effort.