CLEVELAND — Cleveland residents from the Shaker Square, Kinsman, Union-Miles, Buckeye and Mt. Pleasant neighborhoods packed the Zelma George Recreation Center to address Ward 4 quality of life issues.
Shaker Square resident Fred Lissauer, 60, told News 5 he hopes Ward 4 Cleveland Councilwoman Deborah Gray has specific plans on how to help rescue the financially embattled Shaker Square business district, and solve chronic crime and housing issues.
“I understand Blaine Griffin is trying to work with her, but she’s got her own ideas as far as I can see," Lissauer said. "When I spoke to her a few days ago I said what are your ideas, what is your plan, she wouldn’t tell me. I’m still studying it she said.”
Gray told residents in attendance to be patient as she collects more information and said she's taken an extensive tour of all Ward 4 neighborhoods to get first-hand knowledge on all issues that need to be addressed.
Ward 5 Cleveland Councilman and City Council President Blaine Griffin said Gray will soon announce specific development plans.
“There’s multiple strategies that people are working on, there are multiple things that are being developed as we speak," Griffin said. "So yes there are plans being developed.”
Rowland Mitchell, who was part of the Reclaim Ward 4 citizens group, told News 5 working to get more police officers on the streets and addressing neighborhood litter is also core issues that need to be solved.
“Well you know there’s a saying, if you don’t have a plan, then you’re planning to fail, and we need a plan," Mitchell said. “I think she’s new to politics and there is a learning curve. So it depends on what her agenda is going to be.”
"The conditions for a lot of the businesses in these wards are still the same, and I refuse to walk through garbage and trash to spend my money. So many people have left Ward 4, where are the people going? If you go down most of these streets, you’ve got 30 to 40 vacant lots per street.”
"I’m not asking for something to be done and I’m going to see something tomorrow, but give me some hope.”