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Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson Again Ditches Speech for State of the City, Opts for Interview

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Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson delivers his ninth state of the city talk tomorrow, in an event put on by the City Club. ideastream’s Nick Castele reports Jackson is doing away with a traditional speech for the second year running.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014 at 5:56 pm

Jackson will sit down for an interview on stage with WKYC anchor and managing editor Russ Mitchell. Last year, the mayor took questions from News Channel 5’s Leon Bibb.

It’s not clear what Jackson will be asked this time.

Over the past year, the city has edged forward on plans develop lakefront land around the Browns’ FirstEnergy Stadium, and the mayor has said he wants to emphasize securing jobs for Cleveland residents in such projects.

Many are also watching closely how the mayor handles the Cleveland schools’ transformation plan that was endorsed by the state legislature. The district focused a campaign largely on that plan to pass a big levy in 2012, but now it plans to cut $22 million from its budget -- chalking up much of that to declining enrollment, the Plain Dealer reports.

And in public safety, the city faces a federal lawsuit over the shooting of two unarmed people who led police on a lengthy car chase in 2012. A county grand jury is still weighing whether to bring charges against some officers involved.

After a roughly half hour interview with Mitchell, Jackson will take questions from the audience.