CLEVELAND — Cleveland Mayor-Elect Justin Bibb took a trip to West Side Market Saturday and shared his excitement to get to work on repairing and addressing the issues vendors have long been complaining about.
For years, vendors at the West Side Market have been voicing their frustrations with everything from failing infrastructure to new parking fees. Leading up to the election, Bibb made it a point in his campaigning to make the West Side Market a major focus for his administration, if elected.
On Election Day Tuesday, Bibb received 63% of the votes, winning the mayoral seat with 36,138 votes, compared to Kevin Kelley who received 37% of the votes—21,352 total votes. Bibb, who will be inaugurated in January, will succeed Frank Jackson, who served four terms and was elected in 2005, and who many vendors at the West Side Market have grown frustrated with over the years for lack of action.
"We've dealt with the previous administration for 16 years and all that," D.W. Whitaker Meats owner Don Whitaker said.
On Saturday, Bibb visited the market to grab his groceries and meet with more vendors, taking to Twitter afterwards to express his excitement to get to work on the market and address the concerns of the vendors.
Stopped by @WestSideMarket this morning to greet vendors and get my groceries for the week. This place is a gem and I can’t wait to work with vendors to restore it. #CLECantWait pic.twitter.com/AgAsCkYjOg— Mayor-Elect Justin Bibb (@BibbForCLE) November 6, 2021
Vendors have said they would like for the city to give up ownership, and Whitaker said he's connected Bibb with the Cleveland Metroparks in hopes that they will take over ownership of the market.
"They can't keep it in this box of the bureaucracy of the city, they just gotta get it out and let it run itself, you know," Whitaker said.
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