A man speaks in Cleveland City Council's meeting chambers.
Tom McNair, of Ohio City Inc. talks about the possibilities for Irishtown Bend at Cleveland City Council's meeting on May 15. Credit: Cleveland City Council YouTube

Public commenters questioned spending taxpayer money on repairs to Cleveland Browns Stadium and voiced support for construction of a park at Irishtown Bend.  

Note: Due to technical issue no video was available for several public comments.

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.

Irishtown Bend support

Credit: Cleveland City Council YouTube

Ward 4 resident and Executive Director of Ohio City Inc., Tom McNair, praised City Council for creating the waterfront fund with ARPA money that will result in the Irishtown Bend development.  McNair said he felt it was an opportunity to connect the neighborhood to the waterfront and to the city and the region and beyond.

We always joke that our office is the waterfront neighborhood that can neither see nor touch the water, and we are working to change that every single day.”

Tom McNair, Ohio City Inc.

Watch McNair’s full comment

Diane Howard, of Ward 3, who has lived in Cuyahoga Metropolitan Housing Authority housing for 26 years, said it is important for seniors, the disabled and parents with young children to have access to the park and the waterwaysShe said residents of CMHA often were not considered part of Ohio City because they lived in public housing.

We need [it] where our residents in wheelchairs and children can go with their parents, maybe walk to the Flats — walk on trails because we’ve been blocked off for years.”

Diane Howard, Ward 3

Watch Howard’s full comment.

Stadium spending

Essie Williams, of Ward 2, pushed back on the use of taxpayer money to rebuild and repair professional stadiums in Cleveland. At the same time, Clevelanders are paying for upkeep and repairs to the old football stadium, they also will have higher electric bills this summer, she said.

So where do the city officials stand on this pricey, unprecedented stadium repair and utility increase?”

Essie Williams, Ward 2

Watch Williams’ full comments

West Side Market funding

Turkessa Tenney, a social worker and Cleveland resident, criticized the city’s decision to fund West Side Market repairs with American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) money while 89 to 99% of residents in 15 zip codes suffer from food insecurities, according to Healthy Northeast Ohio 2022. Tenny said ARPA fund should be utilized to take care of our fellow residents who lack access to basic food.

It’s socially unjust to utilize funding designated to to speed up the country’s economic and health effects of the Covid-19 pandemic and ongoing recession on elevated repairs at the West Side Market.” 

Turkessa Tenney, Cleveland

Watch Tenny’s full comment.

Gennifer Harding-Gosnell, Freelance Audio Producer(she/her)
Gennifer is a news writer returning to her first love, radio. She holds a MA in Journalism from Kingston University in the UK, and has spent the last couple years as a Cleveland Documenter.