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Omobien objects to board appointment

By Stephanie Warsmith Published: July 30, 2013

Of all things one might expect to garner controversy at an Akron City Council meeting, an appointment to a board isn't one of them.

Councilwoman Linda Omobien, however, voted Monday against Councilman Jeff Fusco's appointment to the four Joint Economic Development District (JEDD) boards Akron has with surrounding communities.

Her objection wasn't that Fusco, who chairs the Planning Committee, isn't qualified. It was that she should have been considered.

Omobien chairs council's Economic Development and Job Creation Committee, which she pointed out hasn't met since January of last year. Fusco's committee, by comparison, meets nearly every week.

"I should have been considered or asked," said Omobien, who has previously complained about legislation being assigned to the Planning Committee, rather than hers.
"When you ask questions, you get shut down."

"The culture of this body has to change," Omobien continued, drawing applause from a few in the audience.

After hearing Omobien's remarks, Councilman Bruce Kilby joined her in voting against the appointment, which passed 11-2.

Council President Garry Moneypenny said after the meeting that he was surprised by Omobien's comments and the "public format" in which she made them.

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