The event, hosted by the Akron Roundtable, was announced by Horrigan in September and held at the John S. Knight Center in downtown Akron.
For the sixth year in a row, the proceeds from the speech will go to the Russell M. Pry Memorial Scholarship at The University of Akron School of Law.
Mayor Horrigan began the speech by stating, “This is a speech I’ve wanted to give for a long time, but it never felt quite right. But as I approach the end of my time serving as your Mayor, I think now is the best time.”
Horrigan spoke about his core values of leadership, what he focused on and the insights he gained during his time as mayor, and what he plans to leave behind for the next person who comes into office.
Horrigan outlined good governance, financial stability and equity as “the core pillars of a strong foundation.”
He also spoke about public safety and the role the community plays in making Akron safer.
Horrigan said, “It has to be every single one of us wrapping our arms of support around the youth and creating a better future for them than they’ve been assured of before.”
During his speech, Horrigan also talked about the importance of housing at a variety of price points, good financial standing and equity.
He then spoke directly to the incoming leaders of Akron and offered advice from his current viewpoint as Mayor.
“There is a difference between management and leadership. Leaders have to lead, and that will mean you won’t be able to please everyone in the process. But this role is not about pleasing the loudest voices in the room, it is about doing the right thing for all of Akron,” Horrigan said. “Good governance is not just picking up the trash on time; it’s also answering the phone with ‘How can I help you?'”
Horrigan ended the speech by saying he believes the people of Akron are what matter most.
“It is the people of Akron who matter most, and it is the people who make Akron what it is, Horrigan said.
In October, Mayor Horrigan announced his decision to not seek a third term in the office.
“My reasons are my own,” Horrigan is quoted in a statement, adding that he would complete his second term, which ends December 2023.
Here’s his full statement:
“After much consideration and self-reflection, I have decided not to seek a third term as the mayor of this great city.
“My reasons are my own, and they are without regret. It is the honor of my professional lifetime to serve as Akron’s 62nd mayor. It is my intention to complete my second term through December 2023 with the same vigor and integrity that I hope I have displayed so far. There’s still more work to be done.
“I’d like to thank the Akron community that continues to place their trust in me as a leader. Many of you have supported my vision for the community throughout my tenure as Mayor, and some through almost 30 years of public service.
“Finally, thank you to my family. My wife Deanna, daughters Cassidy, Kennedy and Camille, granddaughters Luca and Winter, my mom, sisters, brother and all who have supported me throughout this time. I’ve been blessed beyond belief.”
Horrigan took office in 2016 and began his second term in 2020, according to the city’s website.
He was previously elected as Akron’s Ward 1 councilperson in 1999 and held that position for nearly eight years. In 2007, he became the Summit County Clerk of Courts.
About 1,000 people were expected to attend Horrigan’s final state of the city speech.