Just about all you can stand here at the AkronNewsNow link with full video and audio of Joe Finley and Mayor Plusquellic from their appearances this morning on WAKR's Ray Horner Show. If you haven't made up your mind yet -- or just have a hankering to here the subtle digs each other throws at the other -- this one's for you, bud.
- Both agree Akron hired more police but both disagree on the actual number. Reality: both are right because Plusquellic notes he hired 25 new officers and Finley is using his math to note the net result because of attrition on the force.
- Local government should do more to help with predatory lending and mortgage woes. Reality: Finley says the City should hand out free advice to folks with problems and Plusquellic says they already do that in partnership with the County.
- We Love Akron. Reality: both do.
Really not much new to all of this; Finley says we're broke, Plusquellic says debt is moderate and manageable. Joe says downtown gets too much and the neighborhoods suffer for it, Don says downtown needs to be healthy to anchor successful neighborhoods. Both says seniors deserve more help and are important. Both want economic development although Joe's alot more vague than Don. Finley doesn't have a long record of government leadership (four years in council) but he also doesn't have a rep for being a bully. Plusquellic as a long and enviable record of government leadership in this very job but as for the last part...uh, see below.
This election comes down not to the issues glossed over (above) or even those reported on ad nauseum by us and others. My NewsNight Akron comrades discuss tonight the real decision awaiting voters: do you vote against Plusquellic because he may go off on a tear now and then and get a parking lot attendant fired or call reporters and fellow politicians a-holes? Then you are voting against a guy who also gets the job done -- albeit sometimes like a herd of buffalo tramping through the dining room. Do you vote for Finley because you think Plusquellic's act has grown tired and you want to take a chance on a nice guy with an unproven record -- a big gamble if, as Finley says, the City is broke?
Folks from both sides tell me they're out in force this weekend but Akron's already decided and the only job left to do now is get out the vote. Plusquellic Democrats wouldn't mind seeing their business GOP pals cross over in the primary next Tuesday and keep The Don on the throne; Finley Democrats think there's a sign their reformist GOP pals will cross over, too and make a regular Joe the boss.