Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson on re-election, next four years in office

Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson on re-election, next four years in office
Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson
Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson

Cleveland voters elected to keep incumbent Mayor Frank Jackson at City Hall.

Mayor Jackson easily defeated his opponent, businessman Ken Lanci, with 66% of the vote.

The mayor stopped by 19 Action News on Wednesday morning to talk about his plans for the next four years in office.

"People are investing in Cleveland, they see opportunity," Mayor Jackson said. "So what we have to do, again, is to create the environment for investments going forward. To use the investments that already occurred in a way that promote additional investments. All that has to translate to the people in the city of Cleveland and the business of Cleveland and the region being part of that."

Cleveland has been in the national spotlight for crime. Ariel Castro and the kidnapping of Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus and Michelle Knight. Also, serial killer Anthony Sowell. 19 Action News asked about the image the city is portraying.

"It's a city, and things happen in the city," Mayor Jackson responded. "And it's always how we respond to those things and what we do to assure those things don't happen in the future. It is a city. It doesn't make it right, but it's a reality of a city life."

"Crime cannot be solved in and of itself," he added. "Cannot be solved by the police (alone) it is really a community effort. In order to get that community effort, you need a good education, job opportunity, business opportunity and ownership of success."

Mayor Jackson was also quick to point out the positive.

"We also have an image where we just came off a successful Senior Games, an image where we host the Rock and Roll Induction Ceremony, we have an image next year when we will host the International Gay Games. So we have things that we are doing in a very positive way. To the point where people are looking at Cleveland for investments, looking at Cleveland for a place to live." 

When asked about criticism from constituents, Mayor Jackson said, "I deal with it by just doing my job. I do my job, I do my job everyday."

When asked about plans to curb job loss in the city.

"By doing the work. Again, that's the part of positioning Cleveland for the future. I don't focus on population growth, I don't focus on just job growth What I focus on is positioning Cleveland so that people choose Cleveland for investment opportunities that will create jobs. For education opportunities that will stabilize population."

His biggest challenge of being mayor so far?

"Managing BS," Mayor Jackson said frankly. "It comes with the job, and BS has a way of being the most unproductive, time consuming, energy consuming thing with no productivity at the end.  I try to get rid as much of that as I can so I can actually do some work."

So what's ahead for Mayor Jackson beyond this third term?

"Whenever I finish being mayor, I'm retiring," Mayor Jackson said with a slight chuckle and smile.

As for when he will be finished with his political career? That's up in the air, the mayor says.

"I always play things by ear in regards to that since I don't have an ambition beyond being mayor. That's always open for me what I do."

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