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Why Not Akron


Longtime City residents Eugene Scruggs Sr. and Mary Auerbach share reasons why Akron is a great place.

Akron’s Safety, Services, and Streets


Now is the time to invest in our City and in our future.

Setting Bold Goals


United Way and Akron work together on ambitious goals for the City.

My Akron Neighborhood


Akronites are passionate about and proud of their communities.

A Proactive Plan For Our City With clear vision and defined priorities, Mayor Horrigan sets a path for Akron. Hitting the Ground Running: The Mayor’s first 18 months.


Employee Spotlight Read about two of the City’s star employees.


Resources & Events

We hope you enjoy our annual edition of the Hey Akron Magazine, the first magazine the City has put out since 2015. Due to limited resources, most City communications are digital; however, we feel it is important to communicate with every Akron resident through mailed communications. Feedback is welcome. Just email us at Enjoy!

Cover Photo

Elevate Akron at Lock 3. Photo by Bruce Ford


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Why Not AKRON EUGENE SCRUGGS SR. reflects on his time as a

LIFELONG RESIDENT W hen Eugene Scruggs Sr. looks back on his 91 years in Akron, he sees a community that has transformed itself in many ways. “As a child, young adult and now a senior citizen,” said Scruggs, “I have witnessed changes in our City for the positive, starting with City government, public services, and school options for everyone.” The lifelong resident attended Akron Public Schools, graduating from Garfield High School. After serving in the U.S. Navy, he attended The University of Akron, excelling on the football and track teams. A highlight of his collegiate career occurred in the 1950 homecoming game at the Akron Rubber Bowl.

“I still remember returning a kickoff 94 yards for a touchdown against Mount Union College,” said Scruggs. He went on to earn his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in education from The University of Akron. Scruggs served as the health education director at the Akron Urban League for two years before joining the Akron Public Schools in 1957. During his career, he taught students at Allen, Crosby, and Miller elementary schools. Scruggs has a wealth of good memories about his city. He recalls good times at the Elizabeth Park Recreation Center gymnasium, church picnics at Perkins Woods, and the Soap Box Derby. “I have been happy and proud to live, work, and raise my family in Akron,” he said.

“I have witnessed changes in our City for the positive, starting with City government, public services, and school options for everyone.”

#Wh yN otAkron MARY AUERBACH takes

A LOOK HOMEWARD F or Akron native Mary Auerbach, the years she spent living in other cities gave her a deeper appreciation of her hometown. Auerbach, 69, returned to Akron after living in Chicago, New York, Nashville, Columbus, and Southern Ohio. “Akron has a nice balance of outdoor and indoor life that is missing in many other cities,” said Auerbach, citing a list of her favorite local establishments, including Swensons, Highland Square, Luigi’s Restaurant, Akron Civic Theatre, and Stan Hywet Hall & Gardens. Even Northeast Ohio’s winters are a draw for Auerbach. She cherishes her childhood memories of tobogganing, sledding, and ice skating in the Summit Metro Parks. While growing up in Akron, she watched the City’s post-industrial transition to a more diversified economy. “When I was young, Akron was still a factory town, but once the rubber companies internationalized and kind of left, it created room for a lot of civic activity to move in,” she said. “The City started to find its footing, and off it went.”

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In Auerbach’s view, the revitalization of Akron’s downtown is one of the keys to city-wide growth. Noting that downtown has become a hub for community events, she is optimistic that new businesses, particularly firms started by young entrepreneurs, will eventually occupy the area’s vacant buildings. She is also enthusiastic about Akron’s vibrant music scene and hopes that the City will become an entertainment destination for music fans. Auerbach’s interest in music is homegrown: Her son is Dan Auerbach, the singer-guitarist of the Black Keys, a Grammywinning rock band originally from Akron. Among its many attributes, Akron is a great place to raise children, said Auerbach, who taught French in the Akron and Woodridge school systems. She added, “I appreciate the family-friendly feel of the City. I see a lot of intelligent and educated, family-oriented people living here who want Akron to continue to flourish. That gives me hope that the City will continue its upward trajectory.” — Sierra Allen, Contributing writer at The Devil Strip



SAFETY, SERVICES, AND STREETS Akron is losing $15 million a year in state funding, and City resources are strained.



s a lifelong Akronite, I know there is one thing that makes this City great above all else—it’s our people. I am out in the community on a daily basis, and I can see that we have an unending reservoir of goodwill and a supply of energy that bodes well for our City’s future. Those that live and work here truly want to see Akron grow and succeed. This tremendous resource has fueled us in the past, and I believe will again prove to be the catalyst to move us forward.


hile I am inspired by the potential and momentum of Akron in this time of renaissance, I’m well aware of some of the challenges we face. While the overall state of our City is strong—and getting stronger—the financial state of the City is at a crossroads. As Mayor, one of the challenges that I face daily is how to best support our City services and infrastructure, which are two imperative components for any 4

government to maintain. I am not comfortable—nor will I ever be—just to manage our decline.


mmediately after I got elected, I appointed an experienced and diverse Blue Ribbon Task Force to “look under the hood” of our City government. The Task Force found that the City has several

financial strengths, most notably a strong management team, strong asset base and clean audits. I have implemented many of the Task Force recommendations, including health benefits reform, partnerships to reduce city subsidies, more effective revenue collection, and a critical review of City agreements and fee schedules. www.ak ronohi

40% of Akron Police vehicles have more than 100k miles on them.

25% (650 miles) of City streets are in poor condition and are in immediate need of repair.


Local Government Fund. These major espite these efforts, we are still blows to our budget are forcing us facing an uphill battle when it to find ways to become more selfcomes to funding our core services. sufficient. Post-recession Akron is in a similar situation as cities all across the country: We’re facing ever-increasing eanwhile, our first responders state and federal budget cuts, as well and public service employees as decreased income tax revenue are increasingly asked to do more streams, triggered by with less. Our City has unemployment and gone 36 years without From decaying new income tax revenue, underemployment from the Great Recession and it has begun to roadways to of 2008. Over the hurt our most important aging safety past decade, the City assets—our police and vehicles, has lost an estimated fire departments, and $80 million dollars in our essential public Akron’s income tax revenue. In infrastructure. In today’s infastruture is addition, according to modern environment, an independent Policy in serious need our safety forces are Matters Ohio report, called upon to respond Akron has lost $15 million of repair. to changing threats dollars a year in state and emergencies, from revenue sharing from the elimination battling the devastation of the opiate of the estate tax and reductions in the epidemic and fighting back against


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The average age of Akron Fire stations is 53 years.

gun violence, to treating an aging population and safeguarding against cyberterrorism. They accomplish all this while serving as front-line ambassadors in our neighborhoods. Our public service departments are maintaining the same number of miles of City streets and an aging infrastructure, coupled with tackling a massive $1.4 billion federallymandated sewer project. Bottom line: Our employees are asked to do this difficult work with leaner personnel levels, older equipment, and less funding.


o, what does this mean, and how do we move forward? First, I will continue to cut costs and implement efficiency measures that will prevent any unnecessary spending. Second, I will focus on preserving our most critical services—police, fire, EMS, road repair, and infrastructure. These



“Our City has gone 36 years without new income tax revenue for city services, and it has begun to hurt our most important assets — our police and fire departments, and our essential public infrastructure.”

essential neighborhood services keep Akron strong and safe, and we cannot allow them to deteriorate further.


ven as a revenue-challenged City, we must invest in our future. Our safety forces deserve to have the best equipment. Our roads cannot continue to fall apart. And our neighborhoods cannot be left behind.


his is why, after nearly two years of community outreach and listening to residents’ needs and concerns, I asked Akron City Council to bring this issue to the voters. Council unanimously agreed to do just that. This November, there will be a ¼% income tax increase on the ballot,

— Mayor Horrigan

which will be used to maintain the important core services we provide as a City. With the ¼%, the average worker pays $1.68. This proposal is fair: Workers in the highest income bracket will pay more; workers in lower income brackets will pay less; and those who are not working will not pay anything at all. I truly feel this is the right thing to do.


safe City with a strong infrastructure is imperative to growing Akron and moving our City forward. As I work with our citizens to embrace not only the challenges we face, but the amazing opportunities on the horizon, I want you to know that my faith in the people of Akron has never been stronger.

(left) Aging fleet of police cars and deteriorating fire stations.

(below) Supports holding up floor of Fire Station No. 2 to prevent collapse.


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is the time to set bold goals for the City of Akron. Recently, we have seen a renewed commitment by community leaders to work together toward an ambitious vision of our future. This unprecedented level of collaboration will initiate fresh ideas and promising new partnerships across all sectors of the City. Just as importantly, it also means that vital and longstanding alliances – like the one between United Way of Summit County and the City of Akron – can move forward with renewed momentum. At United Way’s annual meeting this year, the organization unveiled its list of “Bold Goals for 2025,” which will guide its impact in this community for years to come. The City of Akron is proud to be strategically aligned with the United Way to make this vision a reality. United Way’s Bold Goals include the creation of several Financial Empowerment Centers in the City of Akron, which will be jointly facilitated by the City and United Way. The Centers are intended to provide financial skills and resources to 11,000 of the 42,000 Akron people who are considered working poor. Through the Centers, trained financial advisors will help local families reduce debt and build savings, budget for the future, improve credit scores, and access safe and affordable banking services. Helping families become more financially stable will ultimately lead to stronger neighborhoods, children with fewer distractions from school, and more people with the power to invest in their own community. Achieving these Bold Goals will require support by all of us. Akron, join us in making these pivotal goals a reality by 2025.

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Dan Horrigan Mayor, City of Akron

Jim Mullen President and CEO, United Way of Summit County


We asked what you loved about your neighborhood, and you told us! Thanks to all our proud Akronites that shared their love for this community. Share what you love about your neighborhood with the hashtag #HeyAkron It’s family friendly and family oriented. There are so many amenities within walking distance. I love it! Brick streets, big front porches, King School, The Mustard Seed Market & Cafe, Highland Theatre, and Porch Rockr are a few reasons why Highland Square is my home!

Northwest Akron

— Farrah H, Northwest Akron


Highland Square




— Mary B, Highland Square

I love my neighborhood with beautiful, secluded tree-lined streets and its close proximity to shops, restaurants, and downtown Akron.


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— Cathy B, Fairlawn Heights

Our neighborhood’s annual Fourth of July parade and October Chili Cook-off are two examples of Akron’s small-town feel.


— Nathan E, Wallhaven

My neighborhood is quite a place to live. I have been here since 2000, and I love the neighborly comradery we have. Everyone knows their neighbors, and we look out for each other.

West Hill

— Cynthia L, West Hill

k West A

I love that it’s a center of early Akron history, including the Portage Path, Perkins Mansion, John Brown House, and The County Infirmary. So much happened here!

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— Charlotte G, West Akron

“Growing up, we had access to a lot of recreation: baseball fields, basketball courts, and the community grocery store. We also had a bus stop by the church, and that was great.”

Sherbondy Hill



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— Julius W, Sherbondy Hill

The future is really bright for downtown. This is a really exciting time to be living here and see future projects come to fruition! — Lauren W, Downtown Akron

Our newly-restored Rialto Theatre has brought live theater, performance art, and music back to our Boulevard. And have you seen Old 97 Cafe? — David H, Kenmore

Kenmore I love the way the neighborhood is transforming. It’s slowly but surely transitioning to a “community is family” feel. — Starleene S, Summit Lake

@ AkronOhioMayor 8

Summit Lake Firestone Park is a neighborhood filled with charming homes and walkable streets. It’s great to see the business district attracting new businesses.

Firestone Park

— Brian H, Firestone Park

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It’s a great little nook where people still know their neighbors and take pride in where they live.

Merriman Hills

— Christopher H, Merriman Hills





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I love my neighborhood in Akron because it is so friendly to the LGBTQ community. — Andrew S, High Hampton


Merriman Valley is naturally beautiful in every season, and you get the effect as you enter the area. It’s really an energy of its own.

Merriman Valley


— Diana H, Merriman Valley



I love the unique mix of people who live here. It feels great to have such diversity where you live.


— Nick M, North Hill



h Hil

l We like the diversity of our good neighbors in the Chapel Hill/North Hill area.

Chapel Hill

— Gary N, Chapel Hill

I love being able to have my own garden on the property, as well as my passion project, the Akron Sustainer, and candle business, Urban Buzz. — Kaley F, Cascade Valley

Cascade Valley

I love that Goodyear Heights Metropark anchors my neighborhood. It is at the center of everything.

Goodyear Heights

— J.M., Goodyear Heights

We were 20 years old when we bought our first and only house. Three generations have lived there. People ask us, “Why do we stay?” We tell them we have some of the best neighbors anyone could have. Our kids grew up here and now our grandkids. We continue putting our love into our neighborhood.



— Dean & Donna C, Middlebury

t Ellet has always had a small town feel — from Friday night football games to the family values. It’s a very charming place to live. — Tara S, Ellet



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I’ve lived here most of my life. Just looking at the changes is amazing.

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— Jim K, University Park

We’re more than a neighborhood; we are a community. Immigrant and migrant offspring still claim it as home, living and working side by side.

East Akron

South Akron

I love the diversity and sense of community. The proximity to Firestone Metro Park is also a perk.

— Diane L, East Akron

— Sharon C, South Akron

Coventry Crossing

Our neighborhood park is a great place for kids to play and parents to catch up with neighbors. —Amber D, Coventry Crossing

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Mayor Dan Horrigan:

Akron’s Proactive & Innovative Leader


rom his first day as Akron’s Mayor, Dan Horrigan has made it his priority to improve the education, income, and health of the City’s residents. Mayor Horrigan, known by most close family and friends as Danny, has a deep commitment to the Akron community and a clear vision for its future.

“Dan Horrigan is a visionary and transformational leader who believes in Akron’s bright future. He leads as Mayor in an exemplary manner, with passion, knowledge, and strong collaborative skills,” says long-time friend, Bill Considine, CEO of Akron Children’s Hospital.

“As a teacher and a father,” he noted, “I know there is nothing more important than ensuring that our community remains strong and stable for the coming generations. And as someone well-versed in economics, I

Hitting the Ground Running: THE MAYOR’S FIRST 18 MONTHS Appoints Blue Ribbon Task Force to “look under the hood” of City government. The Task Force recommends improvements to services and operations.

Charter Amendment passes, creating Dept. of Human Resources, and modernizing employment policies and processes. Mayor Horrigan appoints City’s first-ever Director of Human Resources.

The City launches a new website,, to provide traffic updates and timely information about road construction projects.

2016 Akron adopts a Health in All Policies approach to decision-making to ensure that all new City policies support the well-being of citizens and the entire community. 10

The City of Akron wins a $5 million federal TIGER grant to complete the downtown promenade and convert Main Street into a green, walkable, bikeable street.

Stark State and Mayor Horrigan announce construction of a Stark State Akron campus. Akron will no longer be the only major city in Ohio without a public community college.

Mayor Horrigan holds Town Halls across the City and meets with senior classes in every Akron public high school to hear the community’s concerns and share his vision for the City.

After “resetting the tone” with the EPA and Justice Dept., Mayor Horrigan announces that the first amendment to the City’s Consent Decree for its AWR project was accepted, allowing the City to replace “gray” projects with green alternatives that achieve greater environmental benefit at a lower cost to Akron ratepayers. www.ak ronohi

understand the simple truth that the pathway to a productive, healthy life requires giving people opportunities for a good education and a good job.” Horrigan, who began his mayoral term on January 1, 2016, brought 16 years of distinguished public service to the position. He began his political career in 2000 as Ward 1 Councilperson, representing the North Hill and Highland Square neighborhoods. As a Council member, Horrigan gained a reputation for being responsive to constituents’ needs and directly empowering citizens. He also understood the importance of directly empowering citizens. In addition to his Council responsibilities, Horrigan served as an educator for 10 years— he taught social studies at his alma mater of St.Vincent-St. Mary’s High School, and then history at StowMunroe Falls High School. Horrigan left Council in 2008 when he was named Clerk of Courts for Summit County, where he managed 87 employees and $120 million in public funds. During his eightyear tenure, he was credited with a

Akron joins OhioCheckbook. com and puts the City’s finances online for the convenience of residents.

Mayor Horrigan requires that all Akron police cars carry Narcan, a drug that reverses opioid overdoses.

“I wanted to be a voice for my neighbors, and I wanted a seat at the table where the decisions impacting our city were being made.” — Mayor Horrigan number of accomplishments, including the implementation of new technology to enhance efficiency and customer service. Along with his political experience, Horrigan also brought his strong work ethic and can-do attitude to the Mayor’s Office. The second-oldest of four children, he grew up in North Hill, where his family has deep roots. Horrigan’s father was employed at Mohawk Rubber, and his mother was a nurse. Horrigan attended Kent State University, earning a bachelor’s degree in economics. He also earned a bachelor’s degree in education from The University of Akron.

City of Akron equitably aligns benefits for retirees and City employees to reduce costs and modernize practices.

While earning his degrees, he worked several jobs, including stints as a delivery driver for DiFeo & Sons Poultry and House of LaRose. And he was a “curb boy” at Swensons Drive-In. So what inspired Horrigan to become a City Councilperson and then Mayor of one of the largest cities in Ohio? “I wanted to be a voice for my neighbors, and I wanted a seat at the table where the decisions impacting our City were being made,” Horrigan explained.

A New Perspective During his career in public office, Horrigan has gained a national reputation for his balanced and effective leadership. He has proven himself just as comfortable negotiating complex deals with business leaders and advocating for Akron in Washington, D.C as he is visiting local schools to talk with students or sitting with residents to discuss their concerns and ideas.

Mayor Horrigan swears in the most diverse class of new firefighters in the history of the Akron Fire Dept.

2017 Akron partners with local entrepreneurs at Launch League to host the first “Hack N Akron,” a recurring hackathon that enables participants to brainstorm solutions to City problems. w w w. ak ro n o h i o . g o v

The City of Akron and Downtown Akron Partnership complete Phase I of Downtown Akron Redevelopment Plan to bring jobs, people, and vibrancy to the City’s urban center.


Mayor Horrigan gives 2017 State of the City Speech, emphasizing the “Why Not Akron?” theme. The Mayor donates the proceeds to the Russ Pry Memorial Scholarship.

Mayor Horrigan hosts the City’s Inaugural Health Equity Summit to discuss the issues of premature birth and infant mortality in areas of Akron.


As the City’s CEO, Horrigan is committed to finding new ways to reduce spending and enhance services. “I’m not comfortable with the mindset that says, ‘It’s the way we’ve always done things.’ And I don’t want my staff to accept it either,” said Horrigan. “Just like private businesses, government must be innovative and adapt to changes in technology. I’ve found that our employees, when empowered, are creative and enthusiastic about helping the City be more efficient, transparent, and engaged with the citizens we serve.” Shortly after he took the mayoral helm, Horrigan and his administration began developing a list of action items. that any proposals align with the City’s goals, all new policies and initiatives will be evaluated according to the following top priorities, key strategies, and core values:

A Balanced and Bold Vision for Akron’s Future Mayor Horrigan strongly believes that Akron’s future greatness can best be fostered through City managers who espouse servant leadership. Horrigan has well-defined goals for the City over the next few years. To ensure

Top Priorities Education Ensuring that residents have access to quality educational options from childhood through college/university, including post-

secondary training that can help close the skills gap. Income Creating jobs for Akron residents, helping local businesses grow, and working across sectors to provide residents with the tools of financial empowerment. Health Ensuring that residents have access to primary care, excellent

THE MAYOR’S FIRST 18 MONTHS Continued The City implements a new operating budget that is focused on efficiency and public safety. Under the new budget, general fund spending is projected to decrease over previous years.

The City of Akron introduces a comprehensive nondiscrimination ordinance and creates Akron Civil Rights Commission to protect all residents from discrimination in housing, employment, and public places. Akron becomes 17th city in Ohio to pass similar legislation.

With support from Summa Health, Cleveland Clinic Akron General, and Akron Children’s Hospital, Mayor Horrigan appoints the City’s first Health Equity Ambassador, Tamiyka Rose, to address root causes of racial health inequities, including premature birth and infant mortality.

2017 Akron adopts smart, cost-saving partnerships, including working with Summit County to share the cost of IT services and partnering with First Tee to operate Mud Run golf course. 12

Akron launches Quick Response Teams to address the opioid epidemic. Teams consist of a police officer, medic, and counselor who visit overdose patients to offer treatment and resources for the patients and their families.

City leaders announce “Planning to Grow Akron” report and residential property tax abatement program to jumpstart Akron’s housing rehabilitation and new home construction, with the goal of increasing the City population. www.ak ronohi

“My job is to ensure that the entire community shares in our progress, and that everyone feels seen and heard.” — Mayor Horrigan

water/sewer system, public spaces, and other infrastructure. Safe, Strong, and Stable Neighborhoods Reducing crime, delivering quality neighborhood services, and providing community, civic, and religious groups with the tools they need to improve lives.

Core Values emergency medical services, and recreational opportunities. Building a public infrastructure and environment that encourages walking and biking, as well as tackling health inequities in our community.

Key Strategies Innovation-Based Economy Building on Akron’s celebrated story of innovation to leverage private sector investment, create new jobs, and develop products and services the community needs and the world wants to use. Investing in Akron’s Infrastructure Advancing our future by responsibly investing in Akron’s streets, bridges,

Transparency Mayor Horrigan believes that the City’s records and information belong to residents. He facilitates the implementation of technology that enables an open City government. Accessibility By holding Town Halls across the city, using social media to communicate with residents, and meeting with small business owners, Mayor Horrigan ensures that Akronites have a direct line of communication with City Hall. Collaboration The City administration works with elected representatives in Columbus and Washington, D.C. and leaders in

neighboring cities and Summit County to advance common goals that benefit Akron residents. Fairness & Equality Akron is at a tipping point and making important progress. “My job is to ensure that the entire community shares in our progress, and that everyone feels seen and heard.” said Mayor Horrigan.

Horrigan may have lofty plans for Akron, but his feet are firmly planted on the ground. Swensons remains one of his favorite eateries, he still calls North Hill home, and during his rare free moments, he enjoys spending time with his family. Now, as Akron’s 62nd Mayor, Horrigan knows he has a unique opportunity to help make the City he loves a better place for residents, visitors, and businesses.


yor Horrigan

Akron is one of only 50 U.S. cities to achieve the “functional zero” veterans homeless designation, which indicates the City has sufficient housing to meet the needs of veterans.

Mayor Horrigan assembles the Akron Growth Council to act as a sounding board on his economic development strategies to move the City forward. w w w. ak ro n o h i o . g o v

Akron holds Safety Town and first “Safety Town Plus” Program to educate and engage children with special needs.

The City launches its body-worn camera program for all Akron police officers to enhance safety and transparency.


In Akron in 1962


The grandson of Italian immi grants to Akron, Dan and his wife, Deanna, have three daughters and live in North Hill.

Hobbies: Regular 20+ mi le bike rides around Akron, watching an d critiquing movies, and cookin g for friends and family Favorite thing about Ak

ron: Our people!



Passion for Learning Fuels Career in Fire Department

Dan Dempsey Interim Director, Solid Waste and Recycle Department of Sanitation

Military Skills Lay Foundation For City Service

(l-r) Mayor Dan Horrigan, Lt. Domonica Pierce, Vanessa Pierce, and Chief Clarence Tucker


omonica Pierce’s journey from honor student at Ellet High School to lieutenant in the Akron Fire Department has taken a unique path. While growing up in Akron, Pierce’s career aspirations were focused on computers—not fighting fires. After graduating from Ellet High School, where she was a student leader and academic star, Pierce began studies for a computer science degree at The University of Akron. While pursuing her degree, she was selected for an internship at Akron’s Public Works Bureau. That internship was followed by another at Summit County’s Information Technology Department. “I pursued the IT internship to enhance my computer science degree,” said Pierce, adding that she also hoped to make real-world connections that would help her land a job in her hometown. During her internship, however, Pierce came to the realization that IT was not the career she wanted. Hesitant to tell her parents she was reconsidering her career choice, she continued working toward her degree in computer science. In 1998, Pierce accepted a position at Akron’s Municipal Employee Credit Union (AMECU). She steadily advanced at AMECU,


an Dempsey joined the City of Akron as a temporary sanitation service worker in 2001 and became a full-time sanitation worker in 2004. Prior to that, he and his two brothers each served our country as members of the United States Army. Dan served in the Kosovo War as part of the 94th Company that built Camp Bonsteel. “My favorite job since being employed with the City has been operating the sanitation truck. In fact, it is probably my favorite job of all time. I knew that my City was cleaned up every week, and all year round as a result of the hard work and dedication of our crews. My job gave me the opportunity to operate a $250,000-piece of equipment each day. And like serving in the army, it’s a job that requires a lot of finesse and skill.” – Dan Dempsey, Akron native and CentralHower High School graduate. He resides in Ward 7 with his wife and two daughters.


including a stint as a loan officer and then was promoted to assistant manager. Pierce’s outgoing personality and her employment at AMECU provided her with opportunities to interact with many City employees. Her friendship with James Green, then District Chief of the Akron Fire Department, led to his suggestion that she take the City’s firefighter entrance examination. Intrigued by the prospect of becoming a firefighter, Pierce studied for the exam and scored well. She underwent several months of training and became a member of the Akron Fire Department in January 2009. She was assigned to an engine company and trained as an Emergency Medical Technician. Shortly after, her career was put on hold when an economic slowdown resulted in a large-scale layoff of City firefighters. In July 2010, the laid-off firefighters were called back to work. This past June, Akron Mayor Dan Horrigan promoted Pierce to lieutenant. Reflecting on her career, Pierce said it has been an honor to serve the residents of Akron as a firefighter. For others who are considering a career in firefighting, Pierce has this advice: “Work on your test-taking skills, take advantage of the books available at the library, and remember that helping others is the key to a happy life.” www.ak ronohi






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Bob Keith, Clerk of Council 330-375-2256 w w w. ak ro n o h i o . g o v


Your City Is Here for You For a quick, convenient way to share concerns or address a problem in your neighborhood and get a response, visit Akron 311 at or call 330-375-2311. For frequent daily updates, follow us on: Facebook at or Twitter @AkronOhioMayor. To stay up to date on construction projects and traffic alerts, visit, a City initiative to help communicate the status of ongoing improvements and share the excitement as Akron builds momentum for a better tomorrow.

UPCOMING EVENTS • November 17 Skating Rink Opens

• November 24 Tree Lighting Ceremony

• November 25 Welcome Santa Parade

• December 9, 10, 16, & 17 Breakfast with Santa

• December 31 First Night

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