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Cleveland mayoral candidates differ on approach to secrecy surrounding Amazon HQ bid

Posted at 6:36 AM, Nov 01, 2017
and last updated 2017-11-01 06:36:42-04

Two weeks after Cleveland joined 237 other cities in submitting a bid to be Amazon’s new second world headquarters, details of the bid remain sealed and Mayor Frank Jackson said it will remain that way for now.

“We can’t give you details of the proprietary kind of thing,” said Jackson of the bid which was the same tactic they used he said when they bid for the Republican National Convention.

“Same approach because once you get into a competitive situation you don't want, Amazon should know what you're talking about the rest of the world should not because they have to evaluate so we’re not sharing that with the whole world.”

Jackson said the city presented Amazon with a single site but would not disclose where that site is.

Jackson’s challenger in the race for mayor City Councilman Zack Reed believes they should at least work with him because he could be the one that would have to honor whatever commitments were made.

"What you're agreeing to I may have to live with,” Reed said. “So I would rather say just don't do it to my campaign let the people see it because they're going to have to live through it to."

Reed said he doesn’t oppose going after a project like this that brings along with it $5 billion in economic investments and a promise of 50,000 high paying jobs.

His concern?

“We're going to spend as much money for businesses to come to downtown and the people uptown are going to pay for it and those neighborhoods are going to suffer," Reed said.

When reminded of the impact those jobs would have on the city Reed said “if those 50,000 are high paying jobs and the thing that we get will be the income tax and we'll take it but I want those 50-thousand jobs, I want the vast majority of those people to live in our communities and live in our neighborhoods because I want to get a two-fer, I not only want you to pay income tax, I want you to pay the property tax.”

Amazon will make a final decision in 2018 but Mayor Jackson said he feels the city has a good shot of making it to the final handful of hopefuls.

"Now once we make the short list of course then you have to step it up,” Jackson said. “It’s the same thing that happened with the RNC when we were just one of many cities everything was close to the vest as we made the short list then as things become a little more intense you have to step your game up a little.”