In Akron’s Wards 6, 7 and 8, voters are fortunate to have first-term incumbents who have grasped firmly the important priorities when getting started on the City Council. The three have kept their focus on responding quickly to constituents, channeling concerns to the right offices in City Hall. They have taken the time to learn the ropes, familiarizing themselves with the city and their colleagues on the council.
All three Democrats deserve a second term, their solid work building a foundation from which to move the city forward. We recommend the re-election of Bob Hoch in Ward 6, Donnie Kammer in Ward 7 and Marilyn Keith in Ward 8 on Nov. 5.
Hoch, a retired store manager for Acme Fresh Markets, wisely regards his constituents in Ellet as customers, taking care of everything from high grass to noisy street parties. He also shows a balanced approach on bigger issues such as sewer rates, recognizing the need to make improvements while looking to soften the financial blow for vulnerable ratepayers such as senior citizens.
In Ward 7, Kammer, a real estate agent, is using the skills he developed as a block-watch organizer to stay in touch with his Firestone Park neighbors. He is also making an effort to learn how the City Council functions, avoiding needless confrontation while working with veteran members on legislation and with the administration on attracting and retaining jobs.
On the city’s northwest side, Ward 8 incumbent Marilyn Keith, wife of former councilman Bob Keith, has delivered the consistent leadership she accurately said the ward needed after a series of three representatives from 2009 to 2011. The retired teacher has reached out effectively on a variety of issues. In the Zahn Drive area, she organized a committee of city officials, church leaders and others to work on problems. She is also working with Save the Dream, a private nonprofit, to get help for homeowners facing foreclosure.
The three deserve another term based on their constituent service alone. All promise to make important contributions on larger issues during another term.
Hoch faces Republican Shirley Ann Thompson; Kammer, Republican Paula Beagle; and Keith, Republican Gary Hagen.