Wednesday, 06 February 2019 08:55

Ray Horner Podcast - 2/6/2019

:17 - Last week, a report floated out that Don Plusquellic, the long-time former mayor of Akron, may be interested in running again here in 2019. Well, today was the deadline to file is today and his decision is….he won’t be running… the democrat primary. However, this does not mean he won’t rule out running as an independent down the road.

21:14 - A school district in Massachusetts is looking to outlaw the game of tag during recess. The panel delved into the topic, with the consensus that outlawing games such as tag and musical chairs hurts more than it helps in the long-run.

31:28 - Big local matchup tonight in both girls and boys hoops, as Archbishop Hoban takes on St. Vincent-St. Mary. Hoban girls coach Scott Callahan previewed what’s to come in tonight’s rivalry games.

35:47 - Speaking of mayors and the city of Akron, the chief of staff, James Hardy, called in to update listeners on how they have responded to the cyber attack from last week.

Published in WAKR RAY HORNER
Tuesday, 13 November 2018 16:26

Jasen Sokol Show Podcast 11.13.18

On the Tuesday edition of the Jasen Sokol Show podcast Jasen and Bobbi spoke with Jon Hartz of Valiant Comics  to talk about the death of Stan Lee.

City of Akron Chief of Staff James Hardy also stopped by at 10:36 to talk about the new CitiCenter project 

and Dawn Spriggs discussed record expungement and related topics in the studio around 25:35. 


Published in Jasen Sokol
Thursday, 18 February 2016 17:52

Locals React To Akron Report: Call To Action

A report commissioned by the Knight Foundation has a lot of Akronites talking.

Some of its numbers were not at all what local officials and groups expected.

The administration of Akron mayor Dan Horrigan considers it a wakeup call...and the mayor's chief of staff James Hardy compares it to the Blue Ribbon Report recently delivered to the mayor...

"They both show that we need to make signfiicant changes in the way we think, the way we operate as a city, and the way we engage as a community," Hardy tells WAKR's Jasen Sokol, "to change our trajectory."

Hardy says that there are good things listed about Akron in the most recent report, but says the status quo "is just not acceptable anymore".

The lack of growth among the numbers of Akron's young professionals surprised Nicole Mullet, who heads up Torchbearers and the "ArtsNow" group.

"But it also gave us a starting point so that we actually understand what's happening in the city, so we can't fix it if we don't know what's broken," Mullet says.

Mullet suggests that some young professionals just aged out of the 25-34 year old age group, and others may be finding more affordable housing outside of Akron, in suburbs like Cuyahoga Falls...instead of in Akron's neighborhoods.

Published in Jasen Sokol

The current and new Akron mayoral administrations have tapped someone who will manage their transition, and will become the new mayor's chief of staff next year.

Mayor Jeff Fusco and Mayor-elect Dan Horrigan say James Hardy will start Tuesday to ensure "a smooth and effective transition". He'll become Horrigan's chief of staff on January 1st.

Hardy is currently the Assistant Director of Community Health at the Summit County Health Department.

He served as an Akron school board member and became the board president in 2009.


(City of Akron, news release) Mayor Jeff Fusco and Mayor-elect Dan Horrigan announced Monday that James J. Hardy, MPH, will join the administration on December 1, 2015, as an Assistant to the Mayor for the purpose of coordinating transition activities.

"When I assumed the position of Mayor in June, I knew I would be passing the torch to another Mayor on January 1st," Mayor Fusco said Monday. "In my six months as Mayor I've made it a priority to not only advance new initiatives and improve existing services and processes, but to set the groundwork for a seamless changeover between my administration and the next administration. I see significant value to the City in bringing James on board now to facilitate efficient and effective communication and planning as the City prepares for Dan Horrigan's new leadership."

"I have enormous respect for Mayor Fusco and how he has served and will continue to serve this City, and I'm grateful for his partnership in this process," remarked Mayor-elect Horrigan. "Our announcement today affirms our joint commitment to ensure a smooth and efficient transition."

Hardy currently serves as an Assistant Director for Community Health at Summit County Public Health. There he has led the Health Equity and Social Determinants Unit, managing a diverse portfolio of community-based programs and public health services. Previous professional positions include service as Special Assistant to the President and Board of Trustees of Kent State University, as a Regional Director for Ohio Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner, and as an Executive Office Intern for Former U.S. President Bill Clinton.

In 2005, Hardy was elected to the Akron Public Schools Board of Education. During his six years on the Board he served as chair of several committees, including the Joint Board of Review and the district's Finance and Capital Management Committee, which oversees Akron Public School's $313 million general fund budget. In 2009, his peers elected Hardy as Board President.

Mayor-elect Horrigan also announced today that Hardy would serve as Deputy Mayor for Administration, Chief of Staff beginning January 1, 2016.

"I've known James for 15 years, and during that time I've seen him emerge as acommitted, thoughtful leader who cares deeply about his community and the future of Akron," said Mayor-elect Horrigan. "He has always impressed me with his ability to manage complex issues and challenges with integrity and good judgment. His knowledge of Akron, and diverse professional background, makes him well suited for this role."

Hardy brings to the position a Bachelor of Science degree in Political Science-Criminal Justice from the University of Akron, and a Masters in Public Health from Kent State University with a concentration in Health Policy and Management.

A lifelong resident of Akron, Hardy is involved in various community organizations including service on the boards of Community AIDS Network/Akron Pride Initiative (CANAPI) and the Akron Regional Interprofessional Area Health Education Center. He is a past recipient of the Greater Akron Chamber's 30 For the Future Award (2011).

Hardy's salary will be $106,454, consistent with other Assistants to the Mayor.

Published in Local