Residents get weeks-old message while trying to call Cleveland City Hall


CLEVELAND (WJW)– The FOX 8 I-Team found taxpayers have been getting a maddening message this week when calling the main number to Cleveland City Hall—recordings about Memorial Day. Even this week, long after the Fourth of July. So, we investigated.

Thursday morning, we called city hall, and first we heard a recording saying, “In observance of the Fourth of July holiday, city hall offices will be closed on Monday, July 5.”

Then, we stayed on the line. The next message we heard was a recording from more than a month ago.

“City hall offices, including waste collection, will be closed on Monday, May 31 in observance of the Memorial Day holiday.

A taxpayer brought this to our attention, telling us, “Our taxes are paid. We don’t see any results. We’ve got people that just don’t care. It’s time for a change.”

We took this to Councilman Kevin Conwell. He outlined how he and people he represents also have trouble getting anyone from city hall to call them back. Can’t get any return calls.

“I’m frustrated,” Conwell said. “All these calls, I feel the pain as a councilmember. I feel when the residents call. And when I call, I’m not getting returned phone calls.”

This comes after we’ve also shown you long delays calling 911. Now, a recording on the main city hall phone line weeks old.

Rather than call for comment, we went to city hall. The building just reopened to the public after being closed for COVID-19. We tried to go up to the mayor’s communications office. But we didn’t get far.

“You need an appointment to come into the building and speak to somebody…. because of COVID,” an officer said.

After we left, city hall sent a statement saying it keeps holiday recordings up for a week because of changes in garbage pick-up. The statement did not explain why callers were still hearing a message this week about Memorial Day.

But, shortly after we started asking questions, suddenly, the old recording was taken down. Yet, even though the recording has been taken down, there will be more fallout.

Conwell said he will be knocking on doors at city hall demanding some answers, and he plans to bring this up at the next council meeting with the city administration.

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