A peculiar thing happened in Hunting Valley’s recent council election. First, there was actual competition in the wealthy ‘burb, where it’s often hard just to scrape up enough people to fill all six seats.
But this year the pool was plentiful, and two incumbents — Mary Weber and Williams O’Neill, Jr. — tied in one race. Thus, the Cuyahoga county board of elections decided to break it with a coin toss.
And that’s when something even weirder happened. O’Neill volunteered to call the toss, then picked… the edge. As in the part of the coin that had no possibility of winning.
Apparently, this was O’Neill’s way of conceding gracefully. “I actually believed that the village would be better served by [Weber] being on Council,” he said. “I honestly believe that Mary would be more effective and a better council person than I.”
The incident is believed to be the first genuinely selfless act by an American politician since 1913, when Marvin Katic, a Stansfield, Montana school board member, offered his seat to an elderly woman on a bus. – Lisa Rab