Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson said Monday an income tax increase, passed by voters last year, is now funding the demolition of hundreds of abandoned properties near schools.
But Mayor Jackson did not offer many details about which properties would be demolished first or when. He also said he was unaware of a planned mayoral candidate forum scheduled for Monday night.
Jackson said the demolitions were part of his “Clean Cleveland” program, which is also funding additional street sweepers, a new vacuum to clear storm drains and nearly $1 million dollars to deal with dangerous dead trees.
Residents with service complaints can contact the Clean Cleveland program at (216) 664-2510. Anyone concerned about illegal dumping can call (216) 664-DUMP.
The timing of the announcement comes just weeks before primary voters will make their choice for mayor September 12.
“You don’t get re-elected by doing something for one year or for a few months,” Jackson said of the event. "You get re-elected for doing your job and there’s a lot of people who talk about a lot of things who have never done their job.”
Some critics would like to see more money used to improve city services. Steve Holecko with the Cuyahoga County Progressive Caucus references the $88 million the city is planning to spend on Quicken Loans Arena renovations.
“It shouldn’t be used for, what we call, corporate welfare,” Holecko said.
The group planned a mayoral candidate forum for Monday night, with six confirmed guests, including Jeff Johnson, Zach Reed, Bill Patmon, Eric Brewer, Brandon Chrostowski and Robert Kilo. Mayor Jackson does not plan to attend and sa News 5 was the first to bring the event to his attention.
“I don’t know anything about that. They didn’t invite me,” Mayor Jackson said.
But Holecko provided emails showing Jackson’s campaign was notified of the event on July 5.
“Our communications director Diane Morgan followed up with another email last week and then attempted to make phone contact,” Holecko added.
That candidate’s forum is at the Harvard Community Services Center at 18240 Harvard Ave.