It took seven months, but with the January inauguration of Dan Horrigan, Akron has a mayor who plans to lead.
When former mayor Don Plusquellic resigned in May 2015 after 28 years, he left a legacy of a revitalized downtown and business retention. But he also left a crumbling sewer system and tripled debt.
In Horrigan's Akron, planning and information will lead to policymaking. At his Jan. 28 Akron Roundtable speech, Horrigan leaned on a message of culture change that's technology driven and pragmatic.
The Democrat laid out a road map toward modern city governance: the establishment of a human resources department to redefine city employees' roles, installing outspoken urbanist and transit advocate Jason Segedy as director of planning and urban development, and a full audit of city finances by both internal and county auditors.
Horrigan proposed a social media hashtag, #heyakron, as a way to connect with residents.
"I've been working diligently to ask the key question: Why do we do the things we do?"he said at the Akron Roundtable event. "The answer that's always bugged me is: Because it's always done that way. [That] is not an acceptable answer."
It all points to Horrigan wanting a city government that's friendlier and more efficient. Right now he's talking the talk. The next step is the walk.