August 12th, 2016

roldo 160812

I’ve concluded that Mayor Frank Jackson WILL NOT run for re-election.

I don’t believe he has the fight left in him for a fourth term.

And he has to know that he will not have an open field with only fake opposition as Ken Lanci, who had money but nothing else to offer. In other words, he won’t have a cleared field. Indeed, it may be crowded.

It has been the rule that opposition to Jackson—Jeff Johnson, Zach Reed and even the battering ram Nina Turner—would observe the unwritten Cleveland rule that they wait in line. Wait in line until Jackson decides to call it a day. Then they are permitted by the community to run. I believe that day is over.

There is no doubt that more than one of Jackson’s line-waiters has decided time is not on their side. They can’t wait another four years until 2021. They’re getting literally older, too, they realize. When one jumps, the others must.

So you will see a campaign come 2017—next year.

It would be my bet that Jackson has over-stayed his welcome, just as Ralph Perk did in 1979. Mayor Perk finished third—behind Dennis Kucinich and Ed Feighan—and out of the final race. He had too much baggage. So does Jackson.

The same fate awaits Jackson if he wants to test the voters again.

Too much has gone wrong—police, streets, political hangers on as Marty Flask, Michael McGrath, and his reputation as a people’s mayor faded into the downtown mayor. The headline that 90 had been shot in July and 12 killed suggests there is little concern on the part of the city leadership and the Plain Dealer or, that bewildering mishmash of what was once a newspaper, one that some (mistakenly in my estimation) considered among the nation’s leading daily publications. Sad. Now it seems to be in a perpetual nervous breakdown with few exceptions. Leadership there is a replica of City Hall’s status. And that’s doubly bad for the community. The left hand (Plain Dealer) doesn’t know what the right hand ( should be doing.

It’s hard to believe that this is what we have to inform us.

Joe Marinucci’s kiss of death in a recent op-ed about Public Square described Jackson as showing “strong leadership.” What? You must mean obedient leadership, Joe.

It opens Jackson to criticism for showing leadership to a small portion of Cleveland while so many neighborhoods fester, while so many shootings go unresolved, and why poverty doesn’t get addressed or hardly mentioned.

Jackson has become uncaring. A stooge of the downtown interests.

His latest deal for a $2 million dirt bike track that commenters on suggest results from the needs of one of his grandchildren reveals a state of mind that says Jackson no longer cares about public perception.

That’s the point when you’ve reached the end.

(Ironically, the story of the $2 million for the dirt bike track ran alongside another article about $10 million more to be spent by the city for Browns stadium. Council members showed a lot of anguish about the $2 million; none about the $10 million. And the PD, which slides further and further into irrelevancy, showed no upset about it either. The PD has been backing Jackson as if his performance has been as good as the Greater Cleveland Partnership and Marinucci’s Downtown Alliance applauds. You’d think that at least one of their columnists—who have the opportunity AND responsibility to speak to the community—would notice such odd occurrences. I have been asking the city since May for details of what has been spent on Browns Stadium in 2015-2016 and have been stiffed. Meanwhile, by mistake the city sent me the names of every city employee and their salaries. Could one read incompetence on both here?).

Finally, Cleveland will be asked to raise the income (really payroll) tax from two to 2.5 percent in November. It hits the common wage earner. And while the Cavs, Indians & Browns escape property taxes the schools are asking voters to renew a 15 mill, 4-year tax.

I’m not excited about the challenge to Jackson because the political bench in Cleveland has been weak and unresponsive for so long that it’s difficult to foresee any candidate that will challenge Marinucci ($260,000 total pay) and Joe Roman ($559,000 total pay), old hands at pushing the agenda of the much BIGGER BOYS.

The ones who call the shots on what gets done in Cleveland. And what doesn’t get done.

By Roldo Bartimole…

3 Responses to “FRANK JACKSON IS DONE”

  1. Gloria Hanson says:

    This is another example of the kind of journalism we are missing in the Plain Dealer and The people of Cleveland and the suburbs deserve more so they can exercise their rights to ask more from their governing bodies and encourage responsible politicians to run for office. Then we can hopefully witness the improvement of Cleveland neighborhoods and the prosperity for ALL of its citizens.

  2. Thanks for commenting Gloria. For a good laugh and a good assessment of where journalism is today, John Oliver did a segment that is very revealing and since he uses the Oregon paper owned by Advance, which owns the PD it may be very relevant to us.

  3. Jeff Hess says:

    Good morning all,

    Clearly, Oliver struck a nerve among my peers.

    The only newspaper I read (and pay an annual subscription for) is The Guardian.

    On Friday, the paper posted: John Oliver’s right—journalism is in danger, and here’s why that matters.

    In Homage To Catalonia, George Orwell wrote that: One of the dreariest effects of this war has been to teach me that the Left-wing press is every bit as spurious and dishonest as that of the Right.

    He footnoted the sentence, however, writing: I should like to make an exception of the Manchester Guardian. In connection with this book I have had to go through the files of a good many English papers. Of our larger papers, the Manchester Guardian is the only one that leaves me with an increased respect for its honesty.

    I like being in Orwell’s company on this.

    Do all you can (by subscribing to The Guardian perhaps) to make today a better day,


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