Mayor Jackson Announces Retirement of Longtime Chief of Staff Ken Silliman

2013 Head Shot Ken SillimanMayor Frank G. Jackson today announced the retirement of his Chief of Staff Ken Silliman.

The veteran public servant held the position for more than 11 years, overseeing administrative duties and negotiating high-level projects on behalf of Mayor Jackson. Silliman is credited with working with community leaders, foundations, businesses and labor to support the mayor’s vision for Cleveland’s future.

“I want to thank Ken Silliman for his eleven and a half years of service as my Chief of
Staff,” said Mayor Jackson. “Public service is an honorable profession that requires
tireless and selfless commitment. To make a career of it, truly shows Ken’s devotion to
Cleveland residents. Ken has supported my vision and as a result, we have the renovated
Public Square, Historic League Park, and The Huntington Convention Center and Global
Center for Health Innovation as well as made capital improvements that range from
streetscapes to parks and everything in between. “He is a true champion for the people
and there is not a corner of this city untouched by Ken’s work. His commitment has truly
helped me shape this city. I commend him for his service, loyalty, strategic vision and
most of all for his friendship. And, I wish him the best in his retirement.”

Silliman attributes his success to Mayor Jackson’s leadership and has been a strong
advocate for City residents. He was instrumental in helping Mayor Jackson honor his
commitments to reinstate the 5-year capital improvement program and leverage
streetscape projects to enhance neighborhood commercial areas.

He has also worked on comprehensive homelessness, workforce and community incentives, including a plan to create more than 500 apartments for people with histories of long-term homelessness and disabilities. Silliman has also created a $2.6 million project to buy and renovate buildings to create transitional housing for the homeless.
Silliman developed a four-year $31 million funding plan for a regional 800 Megahertz
radio communications system. He has also provided staff support to Mayor Jackson’s $6.5 million renovation of the Historic League Park ball diamond. Silliman is one of the nation’s experts on stadium and arena financing and contract negotiations.

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“I’m grateful to have worked for Mayor Jackson, who is dedicated to increasing choices for those who have the fewest choices in life,” said Silliman. “Mayor Jackson is here for what most of us in City Hall are here for – making Cleveland better. He’s 100 percent about Cleveland and Clevelanders. My lengthy tenure as Chief of Staff is solely a result of his leadership, loyalty and vision for making Cleveland better, and providing all Clevelanders with opportunity for equitable health, wealth and prosperity.”

Silliman’s extensive public service career has spanned more than 29 years. He served under three administrations in the City of Cleveland, the late Senator and Mayor George V. Voinovich, Mayor Michael R. White and Mayor Frank G. Jackson. He is a Northeast Ohio native and lawyer who has practiced throughout the country including New York and North Carolina.

The City of Cleveland has not announced an interim Chief of Staff.

City of Cleveland Receives $3.4 Million HUD Grant

This week, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced that the City of Cleveland will receive a $3.4 million grant to reduce the number of children with elevated blood lead levels, and protect nearly 7,600 families living in homes with significant lead and other home health and safety hazards. View the full HUD release here.

In a statement, Mayor Frank G. Jackson thanked senators and congressmen for their support in securing the HUD grant:

“I want to thank the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary, Ben Carson, for selecting the City of Cleveland to receive a $3.4 million Lead Hazard Demonstration Grant. Previously the City lost this grant and we had to reassign management to Community Development who retooled and streamlined the grant management process. I also want to acknowledge the assistance of United States Senators Sherrod Brown and Rob Portman as well as Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur (9th District) and Congresswoman Marcia Fudge (10th District) for their unwavering support while we regained grant support from HUD. This win reaffirms and validates the retooling and management process and is confirmation that we are moving in the right direction. This grant supplements a prior $3.3 million Lead Hazard Reduction Demonstration grant the City is using to complete lead hazard control interventions in 220 units. The grant is in direct alignment with my Healthy Neighborhood Initiative allowing the City to remediate an additional 200 units of housing where a pregnant woman or a child under the age of six resides.”

S&P Upgrades City of Cleveland Bond Rating

S&P Global Ratings has recently revised the outlook to positive from stable and affirmed its ‘A’ long-term ratings on the City of Cleveland’s previously issued non-tax revenue bonds, series 2010 refunding certificates of participation (Cleveland Stadium Project), and series 2010 annual appropriation bonds (Flats East Project).

“This is an exciting time in the City of Cleveland and it is under the leadership of Mayor Frank G. Jackson and the great working partnership with Cleveland City Council and President & Finance Chair, Kevin J. Kelley  that we have been able to focus on strong fiscal management and long term planning, which led to this upgrade,” City of Cleveland Finance Director Sharon Dumas said.

She added, “Over the last 12 years the city has managed conservatively and as a result of same, has maintained flawless audits from the State of Ohio and accolades and inquiries from other municipalities.  One cannot applaud the recent success of the City of Cleveland, without first acknowledging the consistent, strong and detailed fiscal management that resulted in 12 years of a balanced budget in the face of significant cuts at the state and federal levels.”

While the city’s population has declined, the rate of decline has lessened, and S&P believes that the city’s finances are somewhat insulated from the decline given that 90% of the city’s income tax revenue is generated from nonresidents and business profits. In addition, while S&P said it views the city’s pension liability as a credit risk, the city’s history of strong fiscal management and focus on long-term planning should help to mitigate potential pressures from this liability.

“The outlook revision reflects our view that Cleveland’s credit quality is improving as a result of the city’s ongoing economic recovery, its recent track record of surplus operations, and the successful passage of an income tax rate increase in November 2016,” said S&P Global Ratings credit analyst Benjamin Gallovic.

The ratings reflect our assessment of the city’s:

  • Very weak economy,
  • Very strong management,
  • Adequate budgetary performance,
  • Very strong budgetary flexibility,
  • Very strong liquidity,
  • Very weak debt and contingent liability position, and
  • Strong institutional framework score.

The positive outlook reflects S&P’s view that the ratings could be raised within the two-year outlook horizon if the city’s economic growth persists, the population decline continues to subside, and the city’s financial performance remains strong in light of potential budget pressures. The city’s very strong financial management and the anticipated growth in income tax revenue also support the outlook.

Click here to view the letter from S&P Global to the City of Cleveland about the bond rating upgrade.

Cleveland Road Work News: June 28, 2017

road work ahead

Thanks to Mayor Frank G. Jackson’s enhanced budget, made possible by Issue 32, the City of Cleveland is embarking on more street improvement projects in 2017 than years past. Projects span all neighborhoods and wards throughout the city.

Here are some highlights about this year’s road work:

  • Street resurfacing began on April 27, 2017 and will continue through the summer, weather permitting. The first resurfacing project took place in Ward 4 on Parkview Avenue near the intersection of Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard.
  • Potholes are serviced year round, weather permitting. The Department of Public Works has increased its pothole crews from three to 10 as a result of the passage of Issue 32.
  • This year, with the completion of the Pavement Management Study we have a graded system that allows us to select the streets that are in the greatest need of resurfacing. We are using the worst first approach to road resurfacing.
  • We are projecting to resurface 95 streets this year.
  • Thanks to Issue 32 funds, the City of Cleveland has reinstated street sweeping services.

Click here to view today’s roads report.

Updates will be posted Monday through Friday, excluding holidays.