Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Patmon: more immigrants, more business retention, better schools

Tom Beres, political reporter for WKYC TV 3, plans to interview all five candidates for Cleveland mayor and post the interviews and stories from them on wkyc.com. He leads off with Bill Patmon, the former city councilman.

Patmon tells Beres that Cleveland needs to fight population loss by attracting immigrants. He says Mayor Frank Jackson should have tried much harder to keep Eaton Corp. from leaving the city. He gives schools CEO Eugene Sanders a mixed review, saying the school system "does not work." Beres' interviews with other candidates should appear on wkyc.com soon.

Henry Gomez of the Plain Dealer also interviewed all five candidates for a package of stories that ran Sunday. Patmon, former chair of council's finance committee, criticized Jackson on a subject that's considered one of the mayor's strengths: City Hall's balanced budget. Patmon thinks Jackson should have saved some of a $29 million surplus for 2010 instead of using it all to balance the 2009 budget.

That gets Jackson worked up. He says the criticism shows a "lack of maturity" and suggests he would've had to lay off employees if he hadn't used the surplus. Doesn't that sound like layoffs might loom next year, if the economy and tax revenues don't roar back?

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