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New Akron council head Fusco says tension is natural but must be set aside
Filing deadline for Akron mayor and council seats is a week away

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M.L. Schultze
New Akron Council President Jeff Fusco says he's hoping civility will prevail.
Courtesy of M.L. SCHULTZE
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Within hours of Akron’s new council president being sworn in and calling for respect, one of his members and the former council president were close to fisticuffs. WKSU’s M.L. Schultze has more on what promises to be a tense political year, and not just because Mayor Don Plusquellic has resigned.

LISTEN: Fusco says politics and governrment should be separate

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Jeff Fusco says he is “blessed” to take over from Garry Moneypenny as council president now that Moneypenny is mayor. But he acknowledges -- with a bit of irony -- that his call for unity got off to a rocky start.

After yesterday’s meeting, councilman Russ Neal and city Planning Director Marco Sommerville were shouting at each other – with councilwoman Linda Omobien calling for the police officers outside council chambers to break it up. Fusco – who is also Summit County Democratic Party chairman – says he understands current pressures.

“Is there some elbowing going on. Probably, sure. It’s election time. But I think the majority of us needs to focus on moving the city forward again and getting past the politics. Let the politics take care of itself.”

All members of Akron City Council are Democrats and must file by June 10th to run this fall. This is the first year that council members’ terms will increase from two to four years, and every member is up for election the same year as the mayor.

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