NewsChannel 5 Investigators have gotten their hands on an eye-opening report about how much the city of Cleveland is paying for overtime on garbage pick-up.
The report was given to council members by the city's Finance Director and it says overtime for waste collection and disposal is 274 percent over budget.
Nearly $471,000 was budgeted for 2015 for overtime, and between January and November, the city paid out almost $1.3 million. That doesn't even include December's overtime.
I talked with City Councilman Kenneth Johnson, who is the Municipal Services Committee Chair. He told us this was the first time he was made aware of the problem.
Johnson said money will have to be shifted probably not from within the Division of Waste but from another area. His next step is to have hearings on this issue with the entire Public Works Department by the middle of next month.
Councilman Michael Polensek told us there are too many people calling off of work, leaving the short-staffed department using fewer people to gather up garbage. He said that the over-expenditures are unacceptable.
“People not coming into work because they're working until 9 p.m., 9:30 p.m. at night so then they're calling in sick because other people won't show up for work,” said the councilman. “There's a major problem in waste collection.”
The city of Cleveland told me in mid-December several employees within the Division of Waste were fired because of overtime abuse and that the previous Waste Commissioner Randell Scott was reassigned after not properly overseeing overtime issues. Paul Barnett has assumed responsibility as Interim-Waste Commissioner.
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