Akron mayor Don Plusquellic wasn't at the last Akron City Council meeting before his resignation at the end of May. But his successor, council president Garry Moneypenny, was there on Monday night, running his last meeting before his June 1st move to the mayor's office.
Council was set to deal with replacing Moneypenny at the meeting, but tabled the resolution after discussion at a caucus earlier Monday.
City council is off next Monday due to the Memorial Day holiday. At council's next meeting on June 1st, Moneypenny says vice president Mike Freeman will start the process of filling his Ward 10 seat. "He'll pick a committee, that will select the next Ward 10 councilperson," Moneypenny tells WAKR.net, "then that committee will bring a name to the whole body so the whole body can vote".
Moneypenny says that vote will likely happen by the second meeting in June. That person would have to run in the September election to keep the seat past this year... an election that now includes all council members, and the mayor's post.
Then-mayor Moneypenny will also not be involved in the process to replace him as council president. That should happen at the June 1st meeting. Moneypenny isn't talking about who might replace him either in Ward 10, or in his role leading council.
But council member Tara Moseley-Samples has a favorite for council president. "I would like to see (at large council member) Linda O'Mobien. Absolutely," Moseley-Samples tells WAKR.net. "I think that she is a wealth of information and knowledge. We've never had a woman council president before. Ever."
Until a Ward 10 council member is chosen, at-large council members will handle calls and requests from the ward....as council has done in the past for previous ward council vacancies.
The reaction was largely one of surprise, even though some pointed out they could feel Mayor Plusquellic meant it this time when he hinted privately he would not run for another term. Summit County Executive Russ Pry, Council President and likely Interim Mayor Garry Moneypenny, Councilman and potential Mayoral candidate Mike Williams and fellow Council member Bob Hoch all weighed in on hearing the news Friday that Plusquellic would resign the end of the month and take retirement.
The door is now wide open for candidates seeking Akron's highest elected office with a filing deadling in June and City elections in the fall.
As Ray Horner enjoys a vacation, Jasen Sokol steps in to host the morning show. Akron City Council President Garry Moneypenny joins Jasen to talk about speeding issues in Akron. Moneypenny tells Jasen that speeding in residential areas is the number one complaint received in council. They have put smart machines in areas where complaints have been made. They were place in hopes that people would realize that they are speeding and need to slow down.
These machines will now be used as a warning. Moneypenny says that where you see a smart machine you will soon see an officer with a radar gun. There are kids and pedestrians throughout and it is unsafe for people to be speeding. The council hopes that there will be much less speeding complaints and safety issues once the officers take their posts.
Akron City Council Members Mike Williams and Garry Moneypenny spoke with WAKR's Ray Horner Tuesday morning about the vote to purchase a small lot directly across from Canal Park in Downtown Akron for over $300,000.
City leaders say the property could be seen as part of a possible downtown arena or other development in the future.
The vote was 11-2 Monday night during the city council meeting. Councilman Williams, along with Ward 5's Tara Mosley-Samples voted no on the legislation. Williams said that the funds that were used for the purchase of this lot should be spent on public safety issues and body cameras for Akron police.
Moneypenny said that with the city picking up this piece of land, it would be beneficial to the downtown area for any future use.
He (Moneypenny) says the city agreed on a dollar amount that they will take off of what the property owners owe for the land, and that no money exchanged hands between the city and the property owners.
There are currently no discussions about bringing an arena to Downtown Akron.
Garry Moneypenny, the President of Akron City Council spoke with WAKR's Ray Horner Tuesday morning, commending the Stop the Violence organization for bringing to the forefront the need for dialogue between the city, citizens, and the Akron Police Department.
There was a peaceful protest in a park across from City Hall Monday evening in relation to a number of police/citizen related incidents that have been in the public eye.
Moneypenny said the city has heard some of the group's requests, and said that there is a need for open discussion when it comes to tension in the minority community and relations with the police.
Recently, President Barack Obama called for the use of body cameras for all police officers, and when that issue came up, Council President Moneypenny said that the city has looked into it long before the incident in Ferguson, MO that resulted in the death of a young man.
"We (the city) have been looking at body cameras for quite some time now," Moneypenny explained.
"I know that Chief (James) Nice has sent department leadership to other cities that are using body cameras, so we're looking at it."
Darrita Davis of the Stop The Violence Movement in Akron also spoke with WAKR's Ray Horner about her organization protesting peacefully outside City Hall Monday evening.
Davis also spoke of the need for body cameras to be worn by police as well as the dialogue between the city, its police department, and the citizens of Akron to improve.
"Our voices have been heard," Davis said.
"We want to make sure those who protect and serve the community are doing their jobs properly, and if having a body camera helps with their job and helps ease the tensions of the community, then let's go for it."
WAKR's Ray Horner talks with President of Akron City Council, Garry Moneypenny, about alleged campaign violations and how they plan to investigate the situation. President Garry Moneypenny talks about the plans to hire a new attorney to ensure there will be no question it is a fair investigation.
Akron City Council President Garry Moneypenny spoke with WAKR's Ray Horner about the ribbon cutting and grand opening of the Hilton Garden Inn on Akron's east side Tuesday.
Moneypenny says this new hotel will not only add to East Akron and the Goodyear property, but the whole city and downtown.
"We're very excited about this, the hotel will be the anchor of the East End project," Moneypenny said.
The hotel will feature an indoor pool,banquet facilities, a restaurant/bar, and more.
Ward 5 councilperson Tara Mosley Samples spoke with WAKR's Ray Horner Thursday morning about questions surrounding her residency of Ward 5, which she serves as councilperson.
The morning show spoke with Ward 10 Councilman and City Council President Garry Moneypenny Wednesday morning and he said the investigation is ongoing into the matter.
Ward 10 Councilman Garry Moneypenny spoke with WAKR's Ray Horner about Council approving plans for a new facility for Legacy III.
Legacy III provides housing for homeless women in the Akron area, and Council President Moneypenny says he thinks the new facility will greatly benefit the community and those they serve.