Office of Citizen
Rest in Peace,
MIA JACKSON FAILS TO GIVE COMMUNITY CONFIDENCE
Submitted by Roldo on Fri, 11/06/2009 - 14:55.
As if the Cleveland police don’t have enough on their hands. Now they have another missing person: Mayor Frank Jackson.
Where is Frank Jackson?
I’ve covered a lot of mayors going back to Ralph Locher. I don’t know one of them that would not have had a strong public presence in a situation as the one where 11 women have been murdered. And where so much evidence points to an embarrassing lack of policy, execution and service from the city and its bureaucracy.
I don’t know any of the Mayors for more than 40 years who would not be very visible, trying to guide the city, calm the city and give it some assurance of action. I don’t know any of them who wouldn’t be consoling the residents, trying to reassure them in every way, every day that the Mayor has concerned for them, for what has happened and for a just resolution.
This Mayor is absent without leave. He can’t hide behind, “What is, is.”
It won’t fly. Not this time.
The city’s police department has been seen as embarrassingly inept or worse, seriously unconcerned. This is his police department. They represent him.
The absence of the mayor is unforgivable.
It is symbolic of the criticism of Mayor Jackson that should have made it necessary and expected that he would have a viable rival in the just concluded election. He didn’t. He was allowed to waltz into another term. Why? Because it is clear that the corporate leadership wanted it that way.
That says something about the plight of the city. As much, unfortunately, as Imperial Avenue.
That the news media are not pressing Jackson reveals another aspect of Cleveland’s problem.
The headline on the front page of the New York Times today says, “After Gruesome Find, Anger at Cleveland Police.” It is a three-column front story on a day when news is dominated by a dozen or more killed at a U. S. Army Post.
The Times story continues for four more columns of 16 inches depth with three photos. That’s a big story for the New York Times.
Mayor Jackson’s name does not appear once!
It’s distasteful to even say, but does the Mayor even really care?
Jackson in a statement as part of an update on Nov. 4 on the city’s web site said, “There is still a lot of work that needs to be done and a lot of unanswered questions that need to be addressed. Until the family of victims get the closure they seek and ultimately the justice they deserve, this case will continue to be our focus. My thought, prayers and deepest condolences go out to the Carmichael family, friends and relatives.”
A day later in another press release (all of them less than a full page) Mayor Jackson said, “As we continue to make progress with the identification, I want to assure the families of the missing that until they all get the closure they seek and ultimately the justice they deserve, this case will continue to be our focus. On behalf of the City of Cleveland, I offer my deepest condolences to the family, friends and relatives of the victims.”
That’s all there is.
That seems like canned PR that just doesn’t match the needs of the community at this time.
Just as pathetic in my mind was the gathering of ministers and the advice that the community should pray. Pray? Hell, the community out to be damned angry and expressing it.
There’s no leadership at the top. And there’s no leadership at the bottom.
What happens when that occurs? Usually, unpleasant action fills that vacuum.
But I think Cleveland is too dead even for that.