Consider a town where the mayor, Don Plusquellic, served 28 years with a brash complexity — thin skin and bold action — and despite a loose-cannon style, suffered no damning scandal.
Then abruptly, he announced his resignation in May with a flaming letter that blamed the "madness" of the local newspaper, which had referred to him as a "bastard" who gets things done, for his decision.
Like Hamlet. The timing allowed his handpicked successor, Garry Moneypenny, to transition from City Council president to the interim mayor's seat, setting him up to win the seat proper in the fall election. This canny move would eliminate Plusquellic's chief nemesis, councilman and mayoral hopeful Mike Williams, from realistic contention.
Moneypenny lasted a week. His first and only official act was to announce his own resignation, admitting to "a too-personal encounter" with a female co-worker. Now, with council president Jeff Fusco as a placeholder and a new mayor to be elected in the fall, Akron will go from nearly three decades with the most stable leadership in the region to four mayors in seven months. A laughingstock that has left the townspeople displeased.
The comeuppance? The perceived frontrunner is now Mike Williams — the very man Plusquellic had so brilliantly blocked on his chessboard.