Clevelanders raised issues about the city’s vetting of building contractors, asked council members to support a resolution to promote peace and de-escalate national spending on nuclear and military weapons, and urged the city to keep its promises to support veterans.

The Public Comment CLE website has all of the week’s comments and transcripts, edited by Cleveland Documenter Gennifer Harding-Gosnell.

Register to make a public comment or learn more about the process in our guide to public comment at Cleveland City Council.

Contractor issues

Credit: Cleveland City Council YouTube

Marlon Blackwell, Ward 6, spoke about an issue with a contractor after not getting a response from multiple city and state offices and agencies. Blackwell said a contractor who was approved to work in Cleveland did not finish work properly on a project. That contractor, Neil Wolfe, of Neil Construction Co., was recently sentenced to serve time in prison. Blackwell wants the city to help him file a claim against the contractor.

There’s no documentation so I’m unsure if even inspectors are even going out and actually doing the work that is deemed associated with the permit.”

Marlon Blackwell, Ward 6

Watch Blackwell’s full comment.

Promoting peace

Maria Smith of Cleveland, of the Cleveland Non-Violence Network, joined several other commenters in asking council members to add local voices to a national conversation around promoting peace and de-escalating spending on nuclear and other military weapons. It has been 55 years since Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated, she pointed out. The year before that, King made his ‘A Time to Break the Silence’ speech.

Also watch comments from Cleveland Non-Violence Network members Michael Melampy and Michael Fiala.

The Cleveland Non-Violence Network invites local communities to break their silence about the human costs of U.S. militarism, why it is jeopardizing health, wealth, and the well-being of our local communities throughout the city.”

Maria Smith, Cleveland

Watch Smith’s full comment.

Support for veterans

Walter Collins, a Cleveland veteran, returned to council to give an update on his efforts to work with local officials and nonprofits to support veterans. Collins asked council members or council staff members to attend regular meetings to plan for this support and create a liaison for veterans along with a program being developed with Rid-All Farm.

Don’t blow it. Don’t blow it. You have people that really, really are working for veterans in this city. Do not let them go away because y’all haven’t named a veteran liaison person. We need representation so that the people and agency and organizations that’s working with us are not working on a city promise [to] us to have a program. We need them to be working on a program.”

Walter Collins, Cleveland

Watch Collins’ full comment.

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