Last Thursday the latest salvo in the battle for the soul of Akron began as Joe Finley announced his slate for City Council. Finley is styling his slate "Democrats for Reform," though as the ABJ points out, he hasn't been specific about what needs reform and what these guys plan to do about it.
Here's the Finley slate:
Ward 2: Bruce Kilby (incumbent)Ward 3: Jan David (vs. Marco Summerville - good luck with that)
Ward 5: Willis Smith (v. Kenneth Jones)
Ward 6: Wayne Kartler (open seat -- Terry Albanese is vacating to run at-large)
Ward 7: Dave Reymann (v. Tina Merlitti)
Ward 10: Jay Moore (v. Kelli Crawford)
At-large: Joe Finley
Say this for Finley -- he's not shy about going after hard targets. On the other hand, he does seem to trying to distance himself from Team Mullligan. From the ABJ post-recall story:
- Plusquellic accused Finley of being in league with those behind the recall, noting that Finley appears in a photograph from one of the group's early meetings. He said Finley's slate is the ''same group'' at the ''same time'' who will use the ''same tactics.''
Finley, who along with his ally, Ward 2 Councilman Bruce Kilby, came out against the recall in late March, acknowledged he attended one of the pro-recall group's early meetings. But, he said, he didn't circulate petitions or otherwise help the effort.
As of now, the Finley slate has no web presence, so it's pretty much impossible to know what exactly they are proposing aside from being unfriendly to the Mayor. During the Mayoral primary, Finley seemed to have no position other than the opposite of whatever Plusquellic said, and he famously doesn't have much of a record as a Councilman. His main claim to fame at this point is having come closer than expected to winning the micro-turnout primary in 2007 (then getting horsewhipped in his run at Russ Pry for County Executive). If he wants to be something more than a drag on his slate-mates, he needs to come up with some specific policy goals.
And for God's sake, can he run without bashing the city he wants to serve? Nothing irked me more during that primary than his constant poormouthing of Akron and its prospects. The same thing happened in the recall election. Akron is challenged by economic forces not under anyone's control, but it's better postioned for the Twenty-First Century economy than any other city in the region. Candidates who fail to acknowledge this fact do themselves and the people whose votes they court a disservice.