City Manager Harry Black requests updated climate assessment of Department of Public Services

CINCINNATI -- City Manager Harry Black requested an updated climate assessment of the Department of Public Services, citing an “unrest” in the department due to disciplinary practices and operational issues. 

Black also stated in the Friday memo that he advised the Director of Public Services and the Director of Human Resources that all Department of Public Services hearings be conducted by outside staff to provide “an objective evaluation of potential issues.” 

The department’s last climate assessment was conducted in 2014, Black said. The previous assessment found “an unwillingness or incapacity to directly address the issues of race, classification, gender, educational status, favoritism and bias with regards to managing and developing a culturally diverse workforce” in the DPS.

“The findings show that the issues of lack of communication, ineffective leadership and exclusiveness have existed within Public Services, with periodic efforts to resolve the issues, for decades,” the report states.

The report preceded the departure of the DPS’ then-director and other managers.

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