Colleagues and residents react to the news that Jackson will not run for a fifth term.
CLEVELAND — Reaction to the news that Cleveland Mayor Frank G. Jackson would not be seeking a fifth term was mixed, depending on how you know him.
Those that know him professionally and personally say the city is losing a great leader, while some residents think it’s time for a change.
“Frank George Jackson was a great mayor for the city of Cleveland,” City Councilman Blaine A. Griffin told 3News.
The news was bittersweet for Griffin, who used to work on Jackson’s campaigns, served as a director under him and is now a colleague and friend. Griffin says he’s happy for Jackson in retirement, but that his leadership will be missed.
“People are going to miss his steady hand,” Griffin said. “They’re going to miss having somebody who made measured decisions, somebody who studied the issues and had the academic smarts but also the street smarts.”
Watch Jackson’s full announcement in the player below:
It was a similar sentiment from Cleveland Metropolitan School District CEO Eric Gordon, who grew close with Jackson over the years. Gordon operates the only municipal school district in the state.
“I have met with the mayor almost every Monday for 10 years as the CEO,” Gordon said. “I sought his advice; he’s given me direction. He helped passed the Cleveland Plan and led that charge. He’s been an integral part of our school community’s success, which means success for our children here in the city.”
Meanwhile, the feeling on the streets of Cleveland after the news broke leaned more toward optimism about a new voice at City Hall.
“I think we’re ready for a change, something new,” Jay Perrin remarked. “He’s been the mayor for a while.”
“Things have been nice, but I’m always up for something new and see something change,” Willie Stickley said. “I want to see some new life brought into my favorite city.”
“Change is always good,” Rita Perry added. “He’s been the mayor long enough. He needs to retire and enjoy his life.”
As far as what’s next for Jackson, Griffin is sure the mayor will be looking forward to spending time with his family. However, both he and Gordon feel he’ll still be around to offer guidance and advice.
“I have a hard time imagining him not still participating in some way,” Gordon said. “He was born to serve, and I’m guessing he’ll probably find another way to serve our community.”
“I want him involved in politics,” Griffin declared. “I want him to give guidance to myself and other young leaders throughout this city.”