Mayor Jackson defends spending on downtown development

DOWNTOWN CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - The race for Mayor of Cleveland is getting started early this year with a full slate of candidates saying they want the job. One of them is Mayor Frank Jackson, who will likely be a target of all the other contenders.

A certain theme of the others will be spending public dollars on downtown development at the expense of neighborhoods. The Mayor addressed the criticism In a sit down interview with Paul Orlousky saying he's made changes that will ensure both get a fair share.

He believes it is a worn out theme.

"Whenever someone wanted to have a political statement they said downtown versus neighborhoods, but to me it's one city," Jackson said.

Jackson is sensitive to the criticism saying there are investments in the neighborhoods too, but some neighborhoods are not responding quickly.

"We invest heavily in neighborhoods in terms of public dollars, our biggest problem is to get private investors to follow suit and invest in some neighborhoods," Jackson said.

He's setting up a $65 million fund, $40 million of it from private sources.  The money is aimed at making private investors avoid more attractive areas by seeding the profit motive.

"We anticipate that we'll get some serious development going on in neighborhoods that traditionally have been left out because of investment models," Jackson said.

On a lighter note Jackson was asked if he believed research another candidate did showing that as Mayor he had an approval rating of 49 percent and a disapproval rating of 49 percent.  He answered the question with a question.

"Did he give what his approval was or disapproval?  He probably didn't. It was probably worse than mine whatever mine might be," Jackson said

Cleveland 19 will talk to other mayoral candidates to get their thoughts on issues in the city.

Related Links:

Mayor Jackson plans to add about 90 more police officers

1-on-1 interview with Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson

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