Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson to Send Neighborhoods Plan to City Council

Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson talks with reporters on Thursday about his neighborhood investment plan.
Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson talks with reporters on Thursday about his neighborhood investment plan. [Nick Castele / ideastream]
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Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson will ask City Council on Monday to review parts of his development plans for economically troubled neighborhoods.

The city aims to spend $25 million to build and repair homes, to offer down payment assistance and to help entrepreneurs. The city also plans to spend $5 million demolishing blighted, vacant homes around elementary schools.

“So it’s how do we move Cleveland into the future and carry everybody along,” Jackson said at a news conference Thursday. “Everybody. Not just these areas of the city of Cleveland that are now doing well.”

Jackson said the city’s been talking with banks about private investment, too, and that none have said no.

He is also proposing to expand violence interruption efforts through the Peacemaker’s Alliance, and to accept grant money to improve safety on students’ walks to school.

Jackson’s opponents in this year’s mayoral race questioned the timing. In 2015, city council approved the bond issuance that included the $25 million proposed for this initiative.

“Suddenly, right before an election, he can come up with a plan to spend the money, and it’s not some rocket scientist plan we’re talking about here?” Councilman Zack Reed said in a phone interview.

Another opponent, Councilman Jeff Johnson, said he would review the proposed legislation before making a decision on it. But in an interview, he asked how soon the city would spend the money.

“There’s a staleness, if you will, with the bureaucracy at city hall right now,” Johnson said. “So the question will be, how long will it take?”

For his part, Jackson said he didn’t want to rush this plan.

“Because at the end of the day, I don’t want to do something, and then it looks good for the day, and then tomorrow it’s gone,” Jackson said at Thursday’s news conference. “I’m looking at doing something that creates true wealth, true quality of life and that’s sustainable.”

Jackson hasn’t yet said which neighborhoods will receive the money.

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