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City Government

Akron's history is colorful, painful, diverse and inspiring. Located in the untamed frontier of the Western Reserve, access to the outside world was both arduous and expensive. There was a great deal of talk of constructing a canal through the area.

By 1825, this region - now know as Akron - had its first canal under construction. Because of this exceptional initiative, Akron quickly grew into a significant city on the new frontier.

In the years following, Akron will grow from her humble beginnings as a canal town, into a major municipality, whose name is now recognized throughout the world.

About Council

Akron City Council is the legislative body that creates ordinances, or local laws, and resolutions that guide city government. The Mayor and his cabinet implement and administer laws and policies based upon City Council's ordinances and resolutions.

Council is empowered to render advice and consent with respect to the Mayor's appointments and policy programs, and to investigate when necessary, any branch of the municipal government.

As presiding officer of Council, its President maintains and keeps rules of Council, countersigns all requisitions for the purchase of miscellaneous materials for Council or the Clerk of Council's office, and supervises the employees of Council. In the President's absence the Vice President shall preside. In the Vice President's absence the President Pro-Tem shall preside. In the absence of these officers, Council shall choose a temporary chairperson.

Akron City Council is made up of thirteen members, one member for each of city's ten wards, and three members elected at large who represent citizens citywide. Ward Council members are elected to two-year terms of office, while At-Large Council members are elected to four-year terms. Council elects its own officers from its members and establishes its rules of procedure. Click “Find your Councilperson” to find your ward representative.

Council Committees

City Council operates under a committee system with nine standing committees (the Committee on Committees and Rules Committee are called as needed) and special committees also created as needed. The President of Council is an ex-officio member of all standing committees. Committee members are appointed by a Committee on Committees, which is chaired by the President of Council.

Matters that come before Council are assigned by the President to the appropriate committee. The weekly New Legislation list contains all legislation to be considered by each committee. Click the “Legislation” tab at the top of the page to view new legislation.

Committees hold open meetings every Monday afternoon on the issues before them, and make reports and recommendations to the full body of City Council. The committees' recommendations usually are adopted by Council. Therefore, citizens wishing to be heard on issues are encouraged to voice their concerns at the appropriate committee meetings. Click the “Committee Meetings” link along the right for a schedule of upcoming committee meetings.

Following are the committees of Council.

Committee on Committees
The Committee on Committees consists of the five members of Council with the most seniority who select the members to serve on all standing committees.

Marco Sommerville, Ward 3 & Council President, Chairman
Mike Williams, At Large
Mike Freeman, Ward 9
Jim Hurley, Ward 1
Bruce Kilby, Ward 2

Budget and Finance
Matters referred to the Budget and Finance Committee include the City of Akron operating and appropriation budgets, note and bond legislation, and various contracts.

Garry Moneypenny, Ward 10, Chairman
Mike Freeman, Ward 9
Bob Hoch, Ward 6
Jim Hurley, Ward 1
Linda Omobien, At Large

Economic Development and Job Creation
Matters referred to the Economic Development and Job Creation Committee include legislation concerning development, education and jobs, and those that have potential to retain and attract people and projects that will result in economic growth.

Linda Omobien, At Large, Chairwoman
Jeff Fusco, At Large
Garry Moneypenny, Ward 10
Mike Freeman, Ward 9
Marilyn Keith, Ward 8

Health and Social Service
Matters referred to the Health and Social Service Committee include contracts for materials, supplies and services, including physicians and nurses needed to run Health Department clinics.

Marilyn Keith, Ward 8, Chairwoman
Russ Neal, Ward 4
Donnie Kammer, Ward 7
Ken Jones, Ward 5
Bruce Kilby, Ward 2

Housing
Matters referred to the Housing Committee include contracts for materials and supplies needed for the Housing Division of the Health Department and appointments to the Housing Appeals Board.

Mike Freeman, Ward 9, Chairman
Russ Neal, Ward 4
Jim Hurley, Ward 1
Bruce Kilby, Ward 2
Mike Williams, At Large

Parks and Recreation
Matters referred to the Parks and Recreation Committee include contracts for materials and supplies needed for city parks and community centers, and appointments to the Parks and Recreation Advisory Board.

Russ Neal, Ward 4, Chairman
Marilyn Keith, Ward 8
Donnie Kammer, Ward 7
Mike Freeman, Ward 9
Jim Hurley, Ward 1

Planning
Matters referred to the Planning Committee include the capital budget, zoning changes, sale and/or purchase of land, JEDD projects and economic development within the City of Akron.

Jeff Fusco, At Large, Chairman
Mike Freeman, Ward 9
Marilyn Keith, Ward 8
Linda Omobien, At Large
Garry Moneypenny, Ward 10

Public Safety
Matters referred to the Public Safety Committee include contracts for materials and supplies needed for the Police and Fire Departments, approving police towing districts and city safety issues such as speed limits, leash laws and dangerous animals.

Mike Freeman, Ward 9, Chairman
Russ Neal, Ward 4
Jeff Fusco, At Large
Ken Jones, Ward 5
Bob Hoch, Ward 6

Public Service
Matters referred to the Public Service Committee include street improvements, special assessments and contracts for materials and supplies needed in the Department of Public Service.

Jim Hurley, Ward 1, Chairman
Ken Jones, Ward 5
Russ Neal, Ward 4
Mike Williams, At Large
Mike Freeman, Ward 9

Public Utilities
Matters referred to the Public Utilities Committee include sewer rates, contracts for materials and supplies needed for the Public Utilities Bureau, and utilities that provide service in the city.

Ken Jones, Ward 5, Chairman
Russ Neal, Ward 4
Jim Hurley, Ward 1
Mike Williams, At Large
Garry Moneypenny, Ward 10

Rules
The Rules Committee adopts the Rules of Procedure for Council, sets times for City Council meetings and accepts Council member resignations.

Jeff Fusco, At Large, Chairman
Mike Freeman, Ward 9
Garry Moneypenny, Ward 10
Jim Hurley, Ward 1
Mike Williams, At Large

When Council Meets

Council meets each Monday evening at 7:00 p.m. in Council Chambers on the third floor of the Akron Municipal Building, 166 South High Street. City Council does not meet when a national holiday falls on a Monday, and recesses for one month in summer and two weeks in winter.

The general order of Council business during Monday evening meetings is as follows:
* Roll call
* Pledge of Allegiance
* All communications from Citizens and/or Administration
Regular Agenda items are considered and voted on separately and include:
* Reports of standing and special committees
* Ordinances and resolutions held over from previous readings
* First reading of ordinances and resolutions, which are those submitted to the Clerk of Council by 9:30 a.m. Monday prior to the Council meeting
* Announcement of Committee Meetings
* Adjournment

The Council Agenda is a list of items presented or discussed at the Council meeting of the week prior, and is always headed with the date of the previous meeting.

The Consent Agenda is composed of items that are of a routine nature and are acted upon by City Council in one motion. If discussion is requested on any item, it is removed and considered separately.

The New Legislation List contains ordinances and resolutions submitted by committees to be introduced at the next Council meeting.

Special Meetings

City Council may hold a caucus at 5:00 p.m. on Monday evenings prior to regular City Council meetings. Issues to be taken up on that evening's regular agenda are discussed at a caucus and presentations are made on specific issues, but no votes or formal action are taken.

A special meeting of City Council may be called by the Mayor, the President of City Council, or by two City Council members, provided 12 hours notice has been given to each Council member and to the public. An agenda for the special meeting must be provided at that time and only items on that agenda may be considered at the special meeting.

Important Terms

Consent Agenda: Legislation that can be acted on at one time under a single motion.

Requesting Time: Not taking any action on a single piece of legislation or the whole agenda in committee.

Suspension of The Rules: Eliminates the reading of legislation on three separate days so Council can act on the legislation.

Referring of Legislation: New legislation, when not acted upon, is assigned to the appropriate committee

Citizen Information

Can I speak at a Council meeting?

There is a Public Comment period at the conclusion of each regular Council meeting, and a Public Hearing period during Council meetings when rules require.

Akron citizens can address Council for three minutes on any matter that is within Council's authority during the Public Comment period. You will be asked to give your name and address and sign in for the record, and your remarks will be limited to three minutes.

If Council advertises and holds a Public Hearing on proposed legislation during the regular Council meeting, you may speak only about the legislation being considered.

If you wish to address Council outside of the Public Comment period, you may submit a written request to the President of Council. Submit your request no later than Friday prior to the scheduled City Council meeting at which you would like to speak. Specify the topic you want to discuss. The Council President will consider your request and either instruct the Clerk of Council to notify you of your appointed time to address Council or refer you to your Ward Councilperson or the appropriate committee for action.

How can I voice my opinion at a committee meeting?

Public input occurs best at the committee level. If you wish to be heard at a committee meeting, you need only appear at the meeting and request to speak.

It is advisable, however, that you contact the committee chairperson prior to the meeting or notify the office of the Clerk of Council in writing that you wish to be heard. Committees meet on Monday afternoons prior to the full Council meeting. Click the “Committee Meetings” link above right for a schedule of meetings. Also, check this website early Monday afternoon to learn if any committee metings are cancelled.

How can I participate in a Public Hearing?

City Council will listen to your arguments for or against proposed legislation at scheduled Public Hearings . Notices of all Public Hearings are published in the Akron Beacon Journal classified section and online on this website. Click the “Public Hearings” link above and to the right to learn of any hearings scheduled.

If you wish to be heard, you need only attend the Council meeting at which the Public Hearing is scheduled. Citizens can speak for or against the legislation after being sworn in and signing in. Each citizens is allowed three minutes to voice their opinions.

When you speak:

  • Give your name (including the spelling of your last name) and address for the record.
  • Limit your remarks to the time allotted.
  • Clearly state your point and present any factual evidence to back up your point.
  • Avoid repetition. If a point has been made by a previous speaker, simply indicate your support or disagreement, unless you have new information.

How much can I contribute to a campaign fund?

Campaign finance election laws limit contributions citizens may make to Council members or candidates for Council as follows:

  • $200 maximum to any Ward Councilperson or candidate participating in a primary election.
  • $200 maximum to any Ward Councilperson or candidate participating in a general election.
  • $450 maximum to any At Large Councilperson or candidate participating in a primary election.
  • $450 maximum to any At Large Councilperson or candidate participating in a general election.

These limits are on contributions made by check. Cash contributions to candidates are limited to $25. For a more complete explanation of who is a candidate and what constitutes a contribution, see the Akron Municipal Code Section 30.10.

Legislation

Ordinances and resolutions are introduced as new legislation at Council meetings. Items may be declared emergencies and voted on immediately or referred to the regular agenda for the next Committee and Council meetings. Go to Calendar/Council Meetings and click on the date of the meeting to see the agenda and new legislation lists. Complete ordinances and resolutions, attachments cuh as legislation request documents, related correspondence or other items referenced may be obtained from the Clerk of Council.

Ordinances and resolutions that have been voted on and passed by Council are Approved Legislation. Enter a phrase or key word in the box below to search for related approved legislation passed to date.

Archived Passed Legislation goes back to January 2007.

Municipal Code

The electronic version of the Code of the City of Akron, Ohio is current through Ordinance No. 16-2010, passed January 25, 2010.

For more recent provisions, please contact the City. The Municipal Code documents are in PDF format and require Adobe Acrobat Reader, a free program download. The documents include the following:

  • Preface
  • Charter
  • General Provisions
  • Administration
  • Title 5 Public Works
  • Title 7 Traffic Code
  • Title 9 General Regulations
  • Title 11 Business Regulations
  • Title 13 General Offences
  • Title 15 Land Usage
  • Title 19 Building Code

Click here to view and search the Municipal Code.

Community Links

If you would like to list your organization or service here, please e-mail the Clerk of Council with your group's name, a contact name and phone number, and a link to your Web site for consideration. Space is limited.

The Summit/Akron Solid Waste Management Authority

SASWMA is developing long-term solutions to the management of solid waste (trash or garbage) in Summit County, Ohio while simultaneously protecting the Earth.

Summit County Clerk of Courts

The Summit County Clerk of Courts Office is comprised of two Divisions - Legal and Title. The Clerk of Courts - Legal Division maintains records for the Summit County Common Pleas Court - General Division, the Summit County Domestic Relations Court, and the Ninth District Court of Appeals. The Clerk of Courts - Title Division, with three offices throughout Summit County, is responsible for issuing Certificates of Title for watercraft and motor vehicle owners throughout the region.

Summit County Foreclosure Prevention Partnership Program (SCFPP)

The SCFPP Program brings together government agencies, housing counseling agencies, banks, non-profit organizations, professional associations, realtors, non-bank lenders, attorneys, brokers, and many others with the goal of providing prevention education and assistance to homeowners and future homeowners who are or may be subject to predatory, deceptive, and fraudulent lending practices.

Info Line Inc.

Info Line Inc. is Summit County's 24-hour community information and referral service, answering 75,000 incoming calls annually to link people in need of services with the providers of such services. Since its incorporation as a nonprofit in 1975, its central purpose has been to provide access to human service delivery for people in need.

West Akron Baseball & Softball League

The league consists of boys youth baseball and girls youth softball teams. The league is open to all West Akron children ages 6-18 years old.

Akron Community Foundation

Established to improve the quality of life in greater Akron through organized philanthropy, community services, grants and programs emphasizing the arts, culture education and health and human services.

Humane Society of Greater Akron

Rescues, rehabilitates and shelters neglected animals in the area, and encourages better pet care and adoption through educational programs and investigating reports of animal cruelty and neglect.

Akron Zoo

On 50 acres of land west of downtown, the zoo houses more than 700 animals, including endangered Humboldt penguins, snow leopards, Sumatran tigers, jaguars and Komodo dragons. Open daily from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Akron Intergroup Council of Alcoholics Anonymous

This non-denominational fellowship of men and women, founded in Akron in 1935, maintains its sole mission to stay sober and help other alcoholics to achieve sobriety.

State of Ohio

The official source for all government representatives, officers, departments and services in the state.

Summit County Ohio

The official source for all government representatives, officers, departments and services in the county.

Lock 3 Live!

Located next to the Akron Civic Theatre in downtown Akron, home of year-round outdoor concerts, including Rock the Lock Fridays, the July 4th weekend musical celebration featuring national recording acts and the annual Holiday Fest with ice skating at the Lock 3 ice rink beginning every November.

Stan Hywet Hall and Gardens

The historic home and country estate of the Seiberlings, Akron's rubber dynasty.

Buchtel High School Alumni Association

The Buchtel High School Alumni Association Inc. is a non-profit 501( c )(3) organization that has created a first within the Akron Public School District; an established endowment fund.

Progress Through Preservation

Progress Through Preservation (PTP) actively encourages and promotes the preservation, maintenance, restoration and adaptive reuse of buildings, sites and neighborhoods that are of historic or architectural importance in Akron and Summit County.

Downtown Akron Partnership

The Downtown Akron Partnership (DAP) is a non-profit organization focusing on building and promoting a vibrant and valuable Downtown. It is dedicated to bringing people, activity, business and a thriving civic life to the heart of Akron. Through strategic marketing and management of Downtown's resources, we're working to promote Downtown as a gathering place in the center of our community.

Akron-Summit County Public Library

The Akron-Summit County Public Library provides resources for learning and leisure, information services, meeting spaces, and programs for all ages that support, improve, and enrich individual, family, and community life.

Greater Akron Chamber

The Greater Akron Chamber is an economic development organization serving the counties of Medina, Portage and Summit in Northeast Ohio. Our membership includes a diverse array of businesses, ranging from global manufacturers and educational institutions to local machine shops and non-profit organizations. We are committed to building a strong, innovative community.