It’s important to maintain public control of essential services, such as the provision of water, sewer, waste collection, streets maintenance, parks and recreation. And it’s important to maintain good, public-sector jobs. But the city needs to do a lot more to improve the quality of its services — by reducing bureaucracy, by instituting performance measures and public accountability for all departments and city enterprises, and by involving citizens and city unions in setting priorities.
Some departments/programs need major overhauls. Cleveland Public Power, for example, should become a national leader among public power providers in helping residents and business generate clean, renewable electricity. The city needs a whole new waste reduction and recycling program. And the Building and Housing Department needs more capacity to implement the lead-safe housing program and to develop needed new programs, such as point-of-sale inspection for all residential properties and visual inspection of all rental properties every three years.