CLEVELAND (WJW) – The FOX 8 I-Team has uncovered big salaries for some new people taking over top jobs at Cleveland City Hall.
While we’re asking questions, so is city council and a local government watchdog.
As soon as new Cleveland Mayor Justin Bibb started appointing top administrators, we started requesting salaries.
We found three people earning $190,000 a year, one earning $184,999 and another earning $175,000.
Aside from top bosses, we noticed four staff members in the mayor’s office making more than $140,000. All of them are making more than the chief of public safety, who is over the city’s police, fire and EMS.
The I-Team started asking city hall about this last week.
On Monday, a spokesperson told us the mayor was unavailable for this story and the office would not be commenting before council starts holding budget hearings.
In fact, those hearings begin Tuesday and the schedule for the first day includes discussion of spending for the mayor’s office.
Council President Blaine Griffin told the I-Team that Mayor Bibb is spending a lot more money on expenses tied to his office than former Mayor Frank Jackson did.
“This will be the mayor’s opportunity to justify why he has a 60% increase in the mayor’s office,” Griffin said. “All we want to do is to make sure this translates to better services and quality services for the residents and the City of Cleveland.”
We also took our findings to Larry Bresler, a professor and activist leading Organize Ohio. The group has carried out rallies focusing on the economy and the poor.
He wondered about the higher salaries by asking, “Why is that needed? Do they have special skills?”
He believes officials taking home more money should take on more responsibility by getting more done for you.
Bresler added, “If it produces quality services, if it produces an expansion of services, if it’s done in such a way that can happen, that’s OK. If things continue to be the status quo, it probably isn’t OK.”
We’ll update this story after monitoring the council budget hearings, and we’ll watch for the salaries of more new city hires.