Mayor Jackson: I'm not 'picking a fight' over the Avon interchange; Web extended interview

6:13 PM, Oct 8, 2007   |    comments
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But Mayor Jackson, the County Commissioners, and Bay Village Mayor Deborah Sutherland are demanding the city of Avon agree to a revenue-sharing plan in exchange for their support for the project. Avon and developer Dick Jacobs would pay the cost of the $20 million project at Nagel Road along I-90. The Cleveland Clinic wants to build a medical center there. But the project must be approved by NOACA, the region's transportation planning group. Mayor Jackson disagrees with a report that found the interchange would have little impact on the region's economy. "We cannot continue to talk about regionalism and anti-sprawl. We're creating capacity where there is no additional demand. We can't assume it's not gonna have a negative impact on somebody. It is." Westlake is worried about losing businesses. Other suburbs worry about losing office tenants. And county commissioners believe the interchange would hasten the flight of people, jobs and tax dollars from Cuyahoga County. Avon Mayor James Smith says Cleveland leaders are being unreasonable and unfair demanding that this project be a precedent for future regional development. It's unclear whether Mayor Jackson and commissioners control enough votes under a special weighted system to block the project at Friday's vote. Mayor Jackson says, "The most drastic thing would be to kill it. We're not trying to harm anybody . We just don't want to be harmed. We can't talk about regionalism out of both sides of our mouth." Click "Play Video" to watch Tom Beres' interview with Mayor Frank Jackson.

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