Tuesday, October 13, 2009


Elyria – While the committee to oust Mayor Bill Grace from office on the second floor of City Hall, we spoke to him on the first floor. Mayor Grace did not hesitate to say he had no plans of leaving his office and that if it came down to a recall election – he’ll fight to keep his job.

If the Board of Elections certifies the names on the recall petition, Mayor Grace will have an opportunity to step down as Mayor. That is an option he doesn’t even consider. “No, not at all. I think the people of Akron showed during the recall effort of Mayor Plusguellic it’s a lot easier to reach the number needed to place such a measure on the ballot then it is to get enough votes to overturn an elections that happened less than two years ago.”

“I think that Mr. Bevan and a handful of the other people that have appeared to be leading this effort they have personal issues with me,” Grace said. “I think it all comes down to personalities between us and they don’t care for me. They have found this area of the law that allows for a recall – there have been recall conversations and prelude to recall all over the state of Ohio. This has become a common conversation in older, industrial cities all over the United States brought on in part because of the poor economy and Mayor’s and other elected officials have become a target for this type of action.”

Grace said that these are tough, challenging times for our city. “We’ve been on the edge for a number of years and the national economic downturn that just hit us has almost pushed us over the top. Myself or any other elected Official anywhere – you’re going to have 40 to 45% of the public that doesn’t agree with the positions of that leader, in the best of circumstances. So there’s always going to be people who second guess or have their differences of opinion with me or anyone else and this is just an avenue that this 40 or 45% can exercise – this whole recall effort.”

Grace said he is not sure if the group will have enough qualified signatures or not, he said he will wait and see with the rest of us. But when it comes to the question of him leaving office because of the recall effort he is very clear that he has no plans of going anywhere. “I’m very proud of what we’ve accomplished – we’ve done some very positive things for this community and I believe that most of the community recognizes that fact.”

Communication between City Hall and the community is still something Grace said he would like to see improve. “We can always do a better job communicating with the public, there’s no question about that. I think part of the issue here is newspaper circulation has dropped across the country and we’ve historically relied on newspaper coverage to convey what’s going on in the community and not everybody is reading and fewer people are reading everyday – so we need to find other avenues of getting our information out to the community.”

When it comes to the Route 57 project, Grace believes that there was a lot of misinformation floating around early on but now believes that the true story and numbers are out. “Early on people said that we spent $500,000.00 on rose bushes alone when in fact the entire landscaping budget was 500K and our share of that is less than $50K. And that will be paid back in payments over a 10 year period with the first payment due in January of 2011.”

Grace points out that some of his critics have said that the recent layoffs were done at the expense of the Route 57 project. When in fact Grace says the City has not spent a penny yet on the highway project. “Our entire share has been borrowed and again payments are not even due to start until January 2011.”

Grace wants to assure the people of Elyria that this recall effort will not distract him from conducting the City business. “Mr. Bevan and his group – they have been talking recall for a year and a half. I think they’ve been talking since the day I started this term and it hasn’t been a distraction, around the community a little perhaps. But myself and my administration we’ve been doing the business of the City right along and we will continue. My focus is on the City, always has been. I think if anything I have proven over the 10 years I’ve been Mayor, I’ve put the interest of the City ahead of my own.”


Post a Comment

<< Home

Orbitz Coupons