Signal Cleveland recently reviewed the personnel file on the city’s former head of economic development, Tessa Jackson, who was fired last month with little explanation. The file offers no clues to what really went down. (Bibb has only said he wanted someone more responsive to the business community.)

Jackson hasn’t gone away. She continues to defend her economic policy and record on social media. 

She recently took issue with the popular real estate blogger Ken Prendergast, who writes NEOtrans-blog and incorrectly asserted Jackson played a direct role in a city transaction that could hinder efforts to extend the historic scenic railroad to Cleveland.

She said in a post on Twitter that had “he done his homework he would’ve known that the lien release was part of a development agreement the City entered into PRIOR to my joining the administration. Then again, running smear campaigns on behalf of developers is how he supports his little blog.”

Prendergast responded with this Tweet: “I inquired to the city with no reply. So not everything is a conspiracy… If an econ dev director is suspicious about a group of people who cause most of the economic development, then it’s not surprising you’re a former econ dev dir and I’m still blogging to 165K views/month.”

Reiterating a point she made as director during this year’s budget hearings, Jackson responded in a post: “The City of Cleveland had to plow nearly a QUARTER OF BILLION DOLLARS into all of those downtown economic development projects, only to have over half of them financially underwater. And you think I was the problem?”

Managing Editor, News (he/him)
Mark is a veteran journalist with experience in alternative media, print, digital and television news. For 19 years, he was a groundbreaking reporter and metro columnist with The Plain Dealer and Most recently, Mark spent three years as an investigative, enterprise and breaking news reporter at WKYC-TV, where his "Leading the Land" series on Cleveland's 2021 mayoral primary race earned a regional Emmy.