In just more than four months, Cleveland voters will elect their next mayor. Four months to decide whether the current mayor has the city on course, or a new vision for the city is in order.
Yes, it's still early. But so far, the campaigns of Mayor Jackson, a handful of legitimate candidates, and some true underdogs has yet to ignite a fire under potential voters.
Jackson has rolled out plans to fight youth violence and demolish aging homes that are well beyond their expiration date. And his biggest challengers, councilors Zack Reed and Jeffrey Johnson, have chimed in with their own proposals.
But one issue seems to have dominated the political landscape -- the controversy over illegal dirt bikes and all terrain vehicles. There's no denying it's a legitimate issue. In just the past month, two people have been seriously injured in dirt bike accidents, including an 8-year-old boy. Now, the mayor thinks building a $2 million bike park is part of the answer. Reed and Johnson want stricter police enforcement. The conflict boiled over at a city hall news conference where the mayor, in a response to a question from Cleveland 19's own Carl Monday, called Reed a crude street name.
But enough already.
Let's get on with the real campaign, focusing on more pressing issues like job creation, population loss, schools, and neighborhood crime. And OK, if figuring out where a playground for bikes fits into this equation, that's fine too.
Before long, we will be counting the votes. It's never too early to start discussing the issues that really count. Here's hoping Cleveland 19 gets you the answers you are looking for. Please let us know what's important in the decision for who you're going to vote for.
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