Akron City Council will swear in five new members at its final meeting of 2019, which some officials say could spark some big changes.
Over the past few years, Monday night council meetings at times became a bit of a a battleground.
Sniping between members in at least one instance became an angry altercation, all while the public meetings are streamed live online.
Council Vice President and At-large Representative Jeff Fusco has served on council since the late 1980s. He said change is coming.
“We’re going to revisit our rules, the way we operate so we can operate maybe in a little more professional manner, kind of tighten down the Robert’s Rules of Order, and how we operate ourselves and police ourselves,” he said. “We need to communicate better, not only with ourselves within city council, but also to the community.”
Among the new faces on council is Goodyear Heights activist Sharon Connor who says she has big plans for Ward 10.
Connor made two previous runs for Akron City Council before unseating Zack Milkovich, who won the seat in 2015.
Connor said with no ward meetings held over the past year, restoring communication with constituents is among her top priorities.
“It’s exciting to be that positive change in the neighborhood, and it’s exciting to give Ward 10 a voice that it hasn’t had in a long time," she said. "People have felt that frustration.”
Connor is also president of the RIGHT Committee, a group that’s worked for more than a decade to improve Goodyear Heights’ housing and green spaces and expand historic designations.
Those efforts will increase, she said.
“Ward 10 is ready to rise. We’ve been at this a long time, and we’re ready,” Connor said. “We’ve got things to do with housing. We’ve got things to do with the neighborhood. I think the east side is moving in a good direction. It’s been a long time coming, and I’m glad to be a part of that."
Akron’s new city council will meet for the first time Jan. 6.