There’s no question that Cleveland Mayor Jane Campbell wants what is best for Cleveland.
She, like the rest of us, wants to see the ailing economy get better, inner city housing and education improve, sparks of business growth downtown and resolution regarding the proposed convention center.
I’m sure a Browns’ Super Bowl victory or Indians’ World Series appearance are also on the wish list, albeit in a more pie-in-the-sky way. But there are many ills facing Cleveland, and the mayor and our other elected leaders are the ones charged with devising plans to address them.
Despite the mayor’s best intentions, more than a year into her term, we’ve yet to see a concrete vision for the future of Cleveland.
Mayor Campbell is full of ideas. But these ideas do not appear to coagulate into a sum of their parts. There simply isn’t one clear picture about where she sees Cleveland headed, nor a vision of what it will be when — and if — it gets there.
The time for words is at an end. TRW is gone. The whispers of Athersys’ defection out of town have become louder. Poverty in the inner city remains high. And the battle over the lakefront and where the convention center will be has just begun.
It’s time to step up and communicate a vision for the future, then work with civic leaders to develop a succinct strategy to get us there before the future passes Cleveland by yet again.