|59th Mayor of Akron, Ohio|
January 1, 1987 – May 31, 2015
|Preceded by||Thomas C. Sawyer|
|Succeeded by||Garry Moneypenny|
Donald Lee Plusquellic
July 3, 1949
|Alma mater||Bowling Green University|
Donald L. Plusquellic (born July 3, 1949) is the former mayor of Akron, Ohio. First elected in 1987, he became the 59th Mayor of Akron after previously serving 13 years on Akron City Council. Plusquellic has served his seventh term, making him the longest-serving mayor of the city. Plusquellic announced his resignation effective May 31, 2015, citing unfriendly coverage from the Akron Beacon Journal as his primary motivation.
Personal life and early career
Plusquellic was born in Akron, Ohio, on July 3, 1949. He graduated from Kenmore High School in Akron, and enrolled at the Swanson School of Engineering at the University of Pittsburgh before switching to the Bowling Green State University College of Business Administration, where he received his Bachelor of Science degree in 1972. He played football at Bowling Green. He later received his JD from the University of Akron School of Law in 1982, and went into private practice. He continued to practice law after being elected to the Akron City Council, but ceased after being elected Mayor of Akron in 1987.
Plusquellic married the former Mary Goffee in 1972, and they had a son, David, and a daughter, Michelle. The couple divorced in 2007. Mary Plusquellic, a drug and alcohol counselor, died of cardiac problems at her home in July 2013.
Mayor of Akron
Plusquellic was the President of the United States Conference of Mayors during 2004. Plusquellic currently serves as vice president of the International Mayors for Peace organization. He is well known as an architect of the Joint Economic Development District (JEDD) program in Ohio, and he is a member of the Mayors Against Illegal Guns Coalition, a bi-partisan group with a stated goal of "making the public safer by getting illegal guns off the streets." The Coalition is co-chaired by Boston, Massachusetts Mayor Thomas Menino, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, and Columbus, Ohio Mayor Michael B. Coleman.
Throughout his tenure as mayor, Plusquellic often suggested bold, outsize ideas which energized his supporters. He proposed leasing the city water system to a contractor and using the payments to pay college tuition cost for Akron residents, suggested forming a city-owned construction company to bid on projects and generate revenue for the town, and advocated construction of a baseball stadium at a time when there was little to no support for it. (This stadium, Canal Park, was completed in 1997.)
Plusquellic also focused on more mundane issues, such as encouraging large employers to stay in Akron and successfully advocating for an income tax increase to boost school renovation and construction.
Critics accused Plusquellic of abusing his power. In July 2005, he argued with a downtown Akron parking attendant, and threatened to revoke the business license of the attendant's employer if the attendant was not fired (the company complied). Plusquellic later apologized, and surrendered a day's pay to the city. Cleveland Plain-Dealer columnist Mark Naymik criticized Plusquellic for engaging in "ego-driven politics" that won him re-election and notice from the press but which did little for Akron, allowing the city's finances to decline.
President Barack Obama selected Plusquellic to work with a team of mayors from across America to work on solving the global financial crisis of 2008–2009 at the local level. In February 2009, Plusquellic was one of 20 mayors who went to Washington, D.C., to discuss committing stimulus money to go directly to city governments to fund infrastructure.
Plusquellic led a delegation from Akron to meet with representatives of Mekorot, the Israeli water company, in 2012. The meeting led to an announcement that Mekorot would be opening its first U.S. office in Akron through Akron's Global Business Accelerator. The office will coordinate information exchange relating to water security, water technology and energy technology, with an ultimate objective of commercializing joint ventures, creating jobs, and developing the economy.
- Who's Who in the Midwest, 1996-1997. Wilmette, Ill.: Marquis Who's Who. 1996. p. 504. ISBN 9780837907260.
- Harper, John (May 8, 2015). "Akron Mayor Don Plusquellic to step down May 31". Cleveland Plain-Dealer. Retrieved May 8, 2015.
- Johnston, Laura (May 8, 2015). "Akron Mayor Don Plusquellic alludes to Beacon Journal coverage in resignation letter". Cleveland Plain-Dealer. Retrieved May 8, 2015.
- "Mayor of Akron (Ohio)". City Mayors.com. Retrieved February 2, 2009.
- "Bob Dyer: Plusquellic was a football stud".
- "Office of the Mayor (Bio)". City of Akron, Ohio. Archived from the original on December 20, 2008. Retrieved February 2, 2009.
- "Mary Plusquellic dead from apparent natural causes". Akron Beacon Journal. July 19, 2013. Retrieved May 8, 2015.
- "Coalition Members". Mayors Against Illegal Guns. Archived from the original on March 6, 2007. Retrieved June 12, 2007.
- Naymik, Mark (May 9, 2015). "Plusquellic's departure is long overdue". Cleveland Plain-Dealer. p. A8. Retrieved May 9, 2015.
- "Parking Lot Worker Enrages Plusquellic". Akron Beacon Journal. July 25, 2005. p. B1; "Valet Fired After Row With Mayor". Akron Beacon Journal. July 27, 2005. p. B1; "Akron: News Releases 2005: An Open Letter to the Public From Mayor Don Plusquellic". City of Akron, Ohio. August 8, 2005. Archived from the original on February 15, 2012. Retrieved May 8, 2015.
- Johnston, Laura (December 8, 2008). "Akron's Don Plusquellic adds voice to mayors' plea for economic stimulus money". Cleveland Plain-Dealer. Retrieved May 8, 2015.
- "Voters reject recall; mayor can keep his job". Columbus Dispatch. June 24, 2009. Retrieved March 21, 2014.
- Downing, Bob (February 24, 2012). "Israeli water company to open first U.S. office in Akron". Akron Beacon Journal. Retrieved February 26, 2012.