Cleveland’s next mayor promises to crack down on city workers’ long breaks

I-Team

CLEVELAND (WJW) – A FOX 8 I-Team investigation has Cleveland’s next mayor promising to put an end to city work crews killing time and wasting taxpayer dollars.

This week, the I-Team once again exposed city workers taking long breaks with no bosses keeping watch.

We asked Cleveland Mayor-elect Justin Bibb how he’ll stop it.

“The first thing I’m going to do is I’m going to spend some time on the front lines, in the service trucks, in the snow plows,” Bibb said. “We’ve got to raise the level of expectations in terms of how we show up every day to do our jobs, inside city hall, having a culture of accountability.”

In our latest report, we found crews killing time on a dead end street, out in the open and simply sitting in a truck for a long time doing nothing.

We’ve been exposing this kind of thing year after year, putting a spotlight on pothole crews in 2015 and 2016, tree-trimming crews in 2018 and pothole crews again in 2019.

Now, the spotlight is on parks and recreation and tree crews.

We’ve shown you how hard it can be finding a manager to take responsibility and how easy it is for taxpayers to get disgusted.

“Making sure we prioritize customer service is essential to me as the next mayor,” Bibb said.

So, what do the workers expect from the new mayor?

The I-Team contacted leaders from two unions representing city workers. Those leaders aren’t talking, but, privately, one union activist told us the workers have had an ongoing battle to have management held more accountable.

The new mayor says everyone inside city hall will even go through customer service training.

“So that everyone knows, at the end of the day, we are there to serve the residents of the City of Cleveland and nobody else,” he said.

Clearly, most city workers put in a full day without cutting corners. Still, the I-Team will be watching to see if the abuses stop.

While the next mayor is speaking out on what he’ll do about the problem, as we put together our latest story, we got no comment from the current mayor or anyone else at city hall.

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