Kicking the Tires on the Jackson Administration

Newsmaker: Judge Joan Synenberg, Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court
Synenberg returns to the bench after losing her November re-election bid to Cassandra Collier-Williams, a Democrat. Synenberg was appointed by Governor Kasich to fill the unexpired term of Judge Eileen Gallagher who won a seat on the state appeals court in November. Colleagues from both political parties petitioned the Governor to appoint Synenberg.

Roundtable: Leila Atassi, reporter, The Plain Dealer; Erick Trickey, senior editor, Cleveland Magazine; Mike Roberts, freelance journalist.

Trading Grade Books for Picket Signs
Strongsville teachers went on strike this week over wages and benefits. Negotiations broke down and there’s been little movement since. Average teacher pay in the suburb is $64,450 with a starting salary just under $35,000. Substitutes are conducting classes while the strike drags on.

Cleveland Councilman’s DUI Arrest
Councilman Zack Reed faces charges in his third DUI arrest since 2005. Police stopped him downtown early Tuesday morning for a moving violation and he failed a field sobriety test. Reed is one of the higher-visibility members of council. He’s been mentioned as a future mayoral candidate. Ironically, he’s championed legislation against distracted driving.

Mayor Jackson
A lengthy profile in this month’s edition of Cleveland magazine starts with the headline, “It’s Time to Stop Underestimating Frank Jackson.” Jackson wins points for convincing the state legislature to go along with his school reform plan and for persuading voters to back the plan with the proceeds of a 15-mill levy. He also gets high marks for fiscal responsibility. He’s running for re-election in the fall and is expected to win. However, Jackson faces headwinds over the fatal police shooting of a man and a woman at the end of a high speed car chase. And water department customers have long been unhappy over billing issues.

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