Last week, Akron Mayor for Life Don Plusquellic had his chief of staff, Dave Leiberth, puffing out his chest for the press and challenging those seeking the mayor’s head to be realistic: Plusquellic was born for this job, trumpeted Leiberth, and he would die doing it. Was the mayor worried about whether there’d be enough signatures on the recall petitions that were due in on May 6? Ha-ha. What recall petitions? “You deal with these kind of people all the time,” Lieberth said.
Plusquellic might not be worried, but his army ants aren’t counting any chickens. A pro-Plusquellic group, Citizens for Akron, recently sent out flyers to many thousands of residents who had signed a petition to put a Plusquellic recall on the ballot this November. The mailer asked them to reconsider their signature (yes, it’s apparently legal to recall your recall petition signature). Then it trashes the recall effort’s leader, former Councilman Warner Mendenhall, the founder of Change Akron Now.
But the group hasn’t stopped there. It’s sending city soldiers out to knock on those people’s doors. Carolyn Fuller said she got some visitors, two people who identified themselves as city workers, at about 2 p.m. Saturday. They asked her to remove her name from the petition.
“I had never experienced anything like that before, but they weren’t rude or anything,” she says. She agreed that it was unusual, but “I didn’t take it off, so…”
“I think they’re probably taking this as a serious matter,” says her husband, John, who wasn’t there for the visit. He’s heard Plusquellic feigning nonchalance about the effort, but everyone knows that candidate Joe Finley just landed within about 1,000 votes of deposing the king. Seems it’s not such an easy fort to defend anymore.