September 30th, 2015

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Hasn’t the time come for the Plain Dealer to start asking the tough questions of Mayor Frank Jackson? Really tough questions.

The guy the paper has told us to vote for to keep in office.

Columnist Mark Naymik groused that City Council hasn’t been putting the pressure on Jackson. They’re boring. Does he read his paper?

Naymik, a former colleague at the old Free Times, should know that the politicians get unruly when they see they can get ink. In other words, they’ll get hot when the paper gives them encouragement.

I’ve noticed no attempt to build up an opponent for Jackson.

The Plain Dealer long has not given Mayor Frank Jackson the kind of kick in the butt he so richly deserves.

He has been the worse mayor in the last 50 years of my experience.

Yet, the PD—unfortunately, the main source of civic information available—allows him to continue his “it is what it is” nonsensical form of governing. So it never will change. There is no “It is NOT what it should be.”

I last noted Jackson’s lack of concern about the shooting deaths of two children. He got up enough emotion to call them “innocents.”

He has shown no leadership with the police force. Indeed, the opposite.

His inaction at every level is mind-boggling, from the water department to now the airport as one after another debacle becomes public.

Yes, the PD reports these but never seems to have anyone—including Naymik—who adds them up and says, “Hey, what’s going on here.”

It is clear that Jackson never punishes anyone who does badly so why worry, as a city employee, about not doing your job? Nothing is going to happen because “it is what it is.”

And you keep hearing from various private outlets that Jackson feels he should run again. Is this true?

Jackson even fakes his State of the City addresses. He has invented the lazy way to do this, seemingly acceptable to the newspaper, the City Club and certainly the powers that be in town. (They get what they want). Ask me some questions, he says, then answers them with the same “it is what it is” nonsense, usually repeating at least twice his words.

Poverty goes up. Population goes down. Murders go up. The state of children’s health goes down. Police infractions go up. So do city payments to those abused.

Jackson himself rates Jackson poorly. I wrote some time ago:

“Sadly, not that much has changed in 50 years,” said Mayor Frank Jackson, the city’s third black mayor. “We are still addressing aging infrastructure, poverty and issues on the police department.

Actually, a lot has changed.

As Jackson also noted, “You can look at the skyline and see new stadiums and building everywhere, but what you don’t see is the 40-year-old pipeline.” Or, I might add again, the impoverished neighborhoods where little changes.”

Naymik is right about one thing. Someone should be sounding the alarm.

He works for the first and foremost outlet that should clearly let its voice be heard.

We have a mayor who needs to GO!

It’s time citizens should be marching on city hall.

By Roldo Bartimole…


  1. Ed Olszewski says:

    Dear Roldo,

    Just driving across Cleveland in recent days, the , pot holes were ubiquitous, and police patrol cars were nowhere in sight. City Council is a joke. And as you note, the water department is incompetent, the airport is a mess with closed terminals, few direct flights anywhere, and costly fares to nearby locations.


  2. Roldo Bartimole says:

    Thanks Ed.

    And all that is just part of the story, as you already know.

  3. Holly says:

    Wonder who can step up to improve things?

  4. Mike says:

    Many Cleveland residents are dealing with the scars of grinding poverty with no end in sight. At least Jackson understands the problems but he and all of us are unable to “solve” gun violence, family issues, low education levels, gangs, and a bleak future for many of its citizens. Certainly the Plan Dealer doesn’t have answers to these problems…they are trying to deal with their own challenged business model.

  5. Roldo Bartimole says:

    Holly, you ask the right question. My only answer is that now is the time for those who believe they can answer the call to get busy. As time goes by Jackson will believe that we want him again. That won’t do.

  6. Roldo Bartimole says:


    You’ve been reading me for a long time. The problem isn’t simply “solving” gun violence. He has actually promoted top safety officials who are employed to deal with problems as he has others. That hardly sends a message to other city employees that they will be held accountable.

    The Jackson administration seems to have no problem awarding substantial rewards to downtown business development, our sports teams, the east bank of the Flats. I’ve been over these issues time and time again. The PD should spend more time accounting for what the powerful do in town and less time on the Browns and sports.

    Please re-read this accounting, which I expect of the main sources of information to provide the public, but don’t.

    And hit “Roldo” above and check out articles that deal with the rapacious nature of those who want to see Jackson stay forever.

    The PD can deal better with its own challenged business model by being a better, hard-hitting newspaper.

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