Cleveland's Commissioner of Health Frances Mills sits at a table with Cleveland City Council.
Commissioner of Health Frances Mills (right) talks about vacant positions in the Cleveland Department of Public Health. Credit: Credit: Cleveland City Council YouTube

Covered by Documenters Alyssa Holznagel (notes), Tucker Handley (notes) and Dan McLaughlin (live-tweets)

Low salary, high vacancy for public health nurses

Commissioner of Health Frances Mills said that the Cleveland Department of Public Health has many open jobs for nurses. She said that while there is a nationwide shortage of nurses, her department’s problem is exacerbated by below-average salaries. She said the city hires LPNs for an annual salary of $44,000.

Mills said they also have many vacant positions for vital statistics clerks. People in these positions are paid an hourly wage of $16 to $19. She added, “Certainly we cannot consider that a living wage for an individual, much less an individual who has a family.”

Council member ask about culture culture concerns in aging department

Council Member Kevin Conwell said that former employees from the Department of Aging have told him women and Black employees have little opportunity for promotion within the department.

Council Member Deborah Gray said employees have reached out to her with concerns about workplace culture. Conwell added that the main issue employees had contacted him and Gray about was the lack of women and Black people in supervisory positions. He requested that the department provide staff demographics during upcoming budget hearings.

How is Cleveland’s money for senior home repair distributed?

Council Member Stephanie Howse-Jones, Ward 7, asked if senior home repair funds were distributed equitably across wards. Director Mary McNamara of the Department of Aging said that the department uses robocalls to inform residents about available funding. She added that she will send Howse-Jones the numbers for Ward 7.

Gray said there is a waitlist for senior home repairs. She asked if expanding the program would increase the city’s need for contractors. McNamara told her that the program ran out of funds before it met existing contractors’ capacity. She said contractors have the ability to do more repairs.

The Cleveland Department of Aging put together a list of home repair programs for residents.
Check out this guide.

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