Clerk of Council Bob Keith discusses Akron City Council, his life in public service, and the future of Akron’s legislative body

On Tuesday, December 1, Clerk of Akron City Council Bob Keith joined Battleground for a discussion on local government and public service.

Mr. Keith began his career in the private sector, running a local restaurant and then a tailoring business. During that time, Mr. Keith was elected to City Council representing Akron’s Eighth Ward, encompassing the West Side of Akron. The Eighth Ward is the only Republican-leaning ward in the city. Mr. Keith suggested he strove for bi-partisan support and consensus in governing, saying, “I could not have been elected without the Republicans.”

Mr. Keith was not afraid to discuss some of the more contentious aspects of the legislative body, noting factionalism and the city’s precarious financial situation. Though Mr. Keith likes to joke, telling young people to “stay off the Third Floor of City Hall,” where the council offices are located he was optimistic about the future of the city. He noted the coming election of a new council president as well as the gradual incorporation of millennials into local politics as bright spots for the city’s future.

Watch the full conversation below or by visiting the Ray C. Bliss Institute of Applied Politics YouTube channel.

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