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Government and Politics

A conversation with the new president of Akron City Council
As a compromise choice by a divided council, Marilyn Keith will have some special challenges

Tim Rudell
Marilyn Keith in the WKSU Akron Bureau
Courtesy of Tim Rudell
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With the New Year, newly elected and selected political leaders are taking over key jobs in in many northeast Ohio Cities. In Akron, Marilyn Keith is now heading up City Council. She spoke at length with WKSU’s Tim Rudell, about what she sees the coming up for Akron.

LISTEN: Council President Marilyn Keith

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Marilyn Keith retired from teaching four years ago to become Akron’s 8th Ward City Council representative. She says she didn’t imagine, or have any interest in, becoming council president.  But a flurry of events, including Mayor Don Plusquellic leaving office last year after 28 years, created a political domino effect that put her in the president’s chair.

Marilyn Keith...unexpected
“I can’t say that I hadn’t been approached, or it hadn’t been discussed.  However, my dear friend Bob Hoch made a choice to run and my support was going to Bob Hoch. When he realized he didn’t have the support, we came up with idea that I would try to find the support. And it was very last minute."

Prospects and challenges for Akron 
"New Mayor Dan Horrigan will be looking at our financial situation and that will be the arrow of where we’re going. But then we need to set priorities. Communications is going to be the key to this, and good information on our finances.”

“I’m going to facilitate an atmosphere of civility and respect, and I’m going to (focus on) relationships with other communities.

"Akron is small enough to ‘get it done’ and big enough to ‘get it out there.’ And we should be connecting with those that surround us.”

New Start
Marilyn Keith will be presiding over what was a divided council, with members who supported former Mayor Don Plusquellic and those who didn’t. Like new Mayor Dan Horrigan, she will have the challenge of moving past those divisions.

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Tuesday, October 13, 2015

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