They walk, they talk, they appear to be alive. A few have been known to breathe hard enough to steam up a mirror at close range. Just don't ask them to think.
They're the really silent majority on Clevo City Council. They've kept Jay Westbrook in as council prez and shuffled along to his "Rubber Stamp Waltz." Last week, they rubber-stamped his clerk of council pick, Cecelia Huffman, with a 12-8 vote. Yep, Cecelia was an assistant to Mayor Mike White. Yep, she led Hizzoner's failed petition drive to limit council's campaign funding. Yep, she worked on campaigns for opponents of Ward 6 Councilwoman Pat Britt and Ward 13's Joe Cimperman.
Gee, why would anyone on council object to having Cecelia represent them? Well, those deviant "dissidents" did. Britt, Cimperman, Ed Rybka and the usual crew. How dare they keep trying to use their own brains? It's so much easier to let Hizzoner do your thinking. Just ask the council prez. (Not in public, though.)
Or ask the silent 12, if you can jolt these zombies to life. Here's a shocker--The Plain Feeler got a few to speak! One was Ward 16's Larry Moran, who manages to drag himself to about 20 percent of his committee meetings. He said the Zombie Coalition "put the city's welfare ahead of their own personal agendas." Heh-heh, as if a walking corpse could actually assemble an agenda.
Yeow, the Mouth must give Mayor White another burp of approval. Know that $600 million Hopkins Airport expansion? Well, Hizzoner decided to spend $2.2 mil of it on Burke Lakefront Airport! It's for new technology to help planes land in low visibility, which Hizzoner says will lure more corporate jets to Burke and lessen congestion at Hopkins.
We gotta agree. Now those corporate honchos who always fly to New York and D.C. can use Burke more. But don't stop there. The lakefront is less hassle for long-term expansion than landlocked Hopkins. Why blow millions acquiring the I-X Center when you could build a runway going northeast into the lake? That'd be the end of residential ire about plane noise. Who's gonna complain, the fish? They'll all be out at the stadium reef anyway.
Start filling in some of the lake inside the breakwall right now, and we'll easily have a new runway by 2010. Hell, with all the stadiums due to be demolished (Detroit, Cinci, Milwaukee, et al), we may be able to pave a road to Canada.
It's a damn good thing for Mouth that Akron city government ain't as sleepy and secretive as Clevo. Them Rubberites know how to rumble. They claw each other, declare a winner, and move on. Like last week. Some councilmen decided to dump council prez John Valle. The prez got the hint and stepped down.
Wacky Marco Sommerville is the heir apparent, and that's good for Mouth, too. Get him riled and put a zoot suit on him, and the guy could pass for a young Redd Foxx. Hell, a couple weeks back, Bruce Kilby called him "a bagman." So Marco called Bruce "a kook" and threatened to sue him. And now? Kilby's supporting Sommerville for the prez post. Hey, can't we just get along? Rodney King would be proud of these two.
Then there's Kilby's ex-pal, Ernie Tarle. Fresh from a bribery acquittal, he's busy campaigning for the Ward 7 seat he lost in a November 3 recall vote. Ern's been called "The Bagman," a "Rat Packer," and "the first ten-year-old elected to Akron City Council." And that's just from fellow politicos.
Now Mayor Don Plusquellic, who created the Rat Pack moniker, has weighed in on the Ward 7 race. The Mayor Don wouldn't endorse any candidate during a press con he called to herald holiday happenings in Akron. But we don't think Tarle's his first choice, since he interrupted the holiday cheer to call Ern "a snake."
Wanna be an appointed bureaucrat with the City of Clevo? If you can swallow doing Hizzoner's dirty work, you get unchecked power and a good pension. And no matter how abusive you get, count on our Iron Curtain media to ignore you. Hey, it's more important to report on the rights of deer than people, right?
Take the inspectors at Clevo's Building & Housing Commission. The City Hall basement is an electrical code nightmare, but do they start there? Nope, better to shut down strip joints on West 25th, where you can get away with breaking in when no one's around. Hey, whatever it takes to get the job done.
On October 29, they broke down a door at Monroe's and boarded it up. When Monroe's filed suit December 3, they boarded up Attitudes, Sam's Showbar, and Bugsy's. But oops, the inspectors forgot they already granted Bugsy's building permits, so that joint reopened.
Funny thing is, some of these joints are among the best-looking buildings in the area. They invested in renovations, and now they're closed. But the inspectors' contribution to urban blight ain't going totally unnoticed. Monroe's has saluted the chief building inspector with this addition to its marquee: "Frank Koscho School of Urban Design."
Comrades, there could more bureaucratic job openings on the horizon! Wanna help the Ohio Liquor Control Commission and Attorney General Betty Montgomery in a dangerous duty? Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to skulk around strip joints in search of an exposed nipple. If you can handle it, there may be a slot for you on Battleship Betty's new "Pastie Patrol."
Yep, the liquor controllers' infamous "Rule 52" on nudity in Ohio taverns is new, improved, and awaiting federal approval. If it passes judicial review, Mouth's got a great way for dancers to honor Montgomery for her heroic Rule 52 rewrite. How about special commemorative pasties with Betty's picture on 'em