Cleveland’s two mayoral candidates laid out their plans for the city before the Young Professional Senate. ideastream’s Nick Castele reports.
The forum was not a debate in which candidates bombarded one another with attacks, but each did try to draw distinctions between himself and his opponent.
Asked about his plans for downtown, Mayor Frank Jackson said the growing number of residents there is now attracting businesses like Heinen’s grocery store. He described himself as an elected official who addressed city issues methodically—not as one who bends to political winds.
"I don’t come up with pie in the sky," Jackson said. "I don’t come up with quick fixes. I don’t come up with panacea. I put the work in. And when you put the work in, you’re going to get results, but it takes a while. It’s just like being a sculptor, an artist. You chip.”
Ken Lanci suggested that Cleveland under the current mayor isn’t doing enough to address poverty, unemployment or the city’s schools. And he said young professionals in the city would feel the fallout.
“You cannot look at the residents, nearly 400,000, and just assume that hey whatever their problem is is their problem," Lanci said. "It’s all of our problems. As a community we have to come together.”
Lanci again floated his idea of creating a Great Lakes cruise ship to bring tourists into the city. And he proposed erecting parking garages in neighborhoods surrounding downtown. He said that would reduce the price of parking and allow people to ride regular buses into the center of Cleveland.