Council Says No to Indigenous Peoples Day and Travel Budget Increase

September 12, 2017

Two proposals offered by Ward 4 Council Representative Russ Neal were narrowly rejected by Council Monday. At a special meeting requested by Neal to discuss the travel budget, his request to remove a $3,000 limit imposed on all council members be rejected was voted down. Council President Marilyn Keith said that travel costs totaled about $28,000 for each of the last two years, and the budget was increased to $40,000 for 2017. She said the $3,000 cap was imposed to ensure balanced travel opportunities for all 13 council members. During the regular council meeting, Neal proposed a resolution to change Columbus Day to Indigenous Peoples Day. Council voted down the resolution citing the contributions of the Italian American community in Akron and the importance they place on the holiday as a celebration of their heritage. Dozens of Italian Americans attended the meeting and spoke in opposition to the proposal.