Friday, July 10, 2009

Mayor Jackson talks at Landerhaven

Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson is heading to Halifax, Nova Scotia next week to try to attract shipping traffic for the city's expanding port, he told a crowd at Landerhaven yesterday.

The mayor was interviewed by Leon Bibb of NewsChannel 5 at the event center in Lyndhurst as part of its Corporate Club speakers' series.

Jackson told Bibb the trip to Halifax is part of an effort for Cleveland to partner with deep sea ports and become more competitive in the worldwide maritime market. Cleveland's port, Jackson argued, could become an alternative for freighters that get stuck in a "traffic jam" on the East Coast. "We'll be more efficient, less costly, and more effective," he said. The port is working on a half-billion-dollar plan to expand and move from downtown to the foot of East 55th Street.

Other highlights of the mayor's talk:

-Jackson criticized the Go Cuyahoga reform effort, saying it was "designed to take advantage of" the FBI investigation of the county government. Bibb asked Jackson if he liked the current form of county government. Jackson said he likes "any form of government that will work."

-Several times, Jackson defended his quiet approach to leadership. Bibb asked him what he thought of the idea that the mayor should be a "cheerleader" for Cleveland. (I call it the bully-pulpit theory.) Jackson played around with the word "cheerleader" for the rest of the talk.

"I don't cheerlead," he said. "I will promote something I believe in." But he's more comfortable dealing with tasks: the "not glamorous," the "nuts and bolts," the "mundane," he said. Then "one day you wake up and things are as they're supposed to be." He focuses on work, he added, not "what sounds good."

No comments: