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2016 PRNDI Awards - Continuing Coverage: Mayor Plusquellic Resigns

Former Akron Mayor Don Plusquellic

It was a shock to most in the city of Akron, Ohio, when Mayor Don Plusquellic announced that not only would he not seek an eighth term in office, but that he would shortly resign after 28 years in office. Since 1987, Plusquellic had gone about changing the face of Akron and moving the city forward and away from its “Rustbelt” association. Among his wins were keeping the international headquarters of Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company in the city and bringing a minor league baseball team to downtown and strengthening Akron business.

His reasons for leaving office include a feud with the local paper, The Akron Beacon Journal, a battle over hiring locals for an expansive sewer project and his anger over being called a bully - a reputation coming from being known for getting his way – no matter the consequences. A strong personality is a plus and a minus in an elected official and when Don Plusquellic was finished, his mic drop was the shot heard around the region. WKSU covered events from Plusquellic’s initial announcement, through his final speech and through Councilman Garry Moneypenny’s installation in the Mayor’s office.

But, the story didn’t stop there. Moneypenny suddenly stepped down days after his swearing in after an incident involving harassment surfaced. Enter Jeff Fusco, who took Moneypenny’s seat as President of Akron City Council, and then suddenly – Akron’s next Mayor. Through all of the, rather confusing, twists and turns of the changes in the Akron Mayor’s office, WKSU reporters relayed events to listeners with depth and clarity with a variety of long and short-form reports.

Andrew Meyer is the Deputy Editor of News at Ideastream Public Media.