Tuesday, June 30, 2009

City Council: Finley's Slate

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.
Hmm. Yes he came out against the recall. But according to the ABJ the bulk of the Democrats for Reform worked on the recall. And Joe himself joined all three pro-recall Facebook groups. I certainly understand Finley not wanting to be associated with the toxic asset that Mendenhall has become, but he probably should have thought of that sooner.

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.


Village Green said...

Re: City-bashing. Right on, Pho! Glad you said that. It is obvious that the people who continually bash Akron never leave here. Somebody should start organizing bus tours to Youngstown, Toledo, Dayton etc for those who keep insisting that Akron is a cesspool of crime filled with rotting neighborhoods.

School of Athens said...

Findey has made his bed with Mende to an extent and certainly has no alliances with the current administration. But make no mistake about it, Finley is a somewhat different animal than Mende....

Mende has almost no game what so ever. The only thing he has is an ego the size of the mayors and some limited organizational skills.

Finley has some ideas, what he does not have (and this is critical) is the political firepower and organizational skills to be an honest player. He does have some speaking skills (like Mende), but (also like Mende) he is also missing some of the bigger connection pieces in politics. Examples of this might include how to successfully form alliances, how to build consensus, how to take a perceived weakness and then bounce that into your own strength. So I give Finley some credit for trying to do things (and not doing them very well). Conversely, I give Mende no credit because he does not even know the meaning of these things...

fargo said...

This really is the point isn't it?
No reasonable person believes that there should be no checks and balances on the mayor or any other elected official for that matter. But with Mendenhall in particular and I suspect with Finley there is no sense of what they are for only what they are against.

I see this same strategy the national Republicans are using against Obama. They are simply opposed to anything Obama says without any counter with what they are for.So I find myselfe

And yes....the Akron bashing is really quite annoying. The city is doing better than most and there is no reason to tear it down to score political points.

Zargon said...

When democracy dies, it's time for people to find a new home. Akron's declining population shows the fascist state it has become under the Don. With the death of residency even more working people will be fleeing the People's Republic of Akron. Only the suburbs contribute to Akron not being a cesspool of rotting neighborhoods.