In case you haven’t noticed, Cleveland, Ohio's politics looks little different than it used to some years back. It’s almost boring. Absent from local news stations are the “Breaking News” segments that includes a scandalous politician being carted away in a suit, shoved in the back seat of an FBI cruiser. There was a time where council meetings were full of ward members arguing amongst each other over neighborhood block grants. Embedded in the news archives are the stories of the infamous school’s union members at odds with the Mayor, threatening to strike, hurling insults over the airwaves like a bunch of teenagers at a rival basketball game? Oh yes, there is a definite change.
They have revitalized the city but also the politics.
Cuyahoga County has achieved some great successes through its great plan to centralize the County Services in the Office of the County Executive. Under its first Director, Ed Fitzgerald, the initiative allowed for an unprecedented band of checks and balances that lessened the opportunity of corruption that plagued the county and city for decades.
Cleveland led by the newly re-elected, Mayor Frank Jackson, the Cleveland Metropolitan School District is headed toward a positive future. His plan to overhaul education in Cleveland received praise from Republican Governor John Kasich and is currently being used as a model for other national school reforms. And in a surprising side note, and a true sign that things are really changing with the politics in Cleveland, the teachers Union President and the Cleveland schools CEO have been seen together with one another laughing and in agreement.
Of course, there is the case of Zach Reed still out there, the Ward 2 Councilman has managed to hold on to his position through his multiple arrests for drunkenness. But in his defense, his constituents are very pleased with his representation. His 13 year service for the Ward has helped to improve safety, and drive business toward the southeast rather than drive them away. Let’s hope he finally resolves his addiction to driving drunk.
So there you have it, Cleveland Area politics ending in the year 2013 in calm, progressive and kumbaya state. If you are curious and want to know what helped in the political makeover, look no further than in an interview given by Frank Jackson on Channel 19 WOIO after his reelection. When he was asked, what was his biggest challenge being Mayor? he responded,
“Managing BS," Mayor Jackson said frankly. "It comes with the job, and BS has a way of being the most unproductive, time consuming, energy consuming thing with no productivity at the end. I try to get rid as much of that as I can so I can actually do some work."
Well said Mr. Mayor, well said.