A Lead Czar for the Mayor's Office

CLASH Reps and Lead Czar Karen Dettmer are scheduled to testify at the City Council Committee on Health, Human Services and The Arts early next month. For more details sign up for CLASH Stay in Touch e-Newsletter.

May 25, 2022 Meeting: CLASH and Karen Dettmer.

  • Request #1: Bring the Lead Safe Advisory Board (LSAB) under the control of the Director of B&H, provide public notices of upcoming meetings and post all relevant info--videos and transcripts on the City of Cleveland website.

  • Request #2: Bring the Lead Screening and Testing Commission and the Lead Safe Housing Action Board into the codified ordinances and appoint representatives as defined in the law.

    • Both of these boards were established by Ordinance 747-19, but neither is documented in the Codified Ordinances of the City of Cleveland. An open records request to the City of Cleveland reveals that neither Cleveland Department of Building and Housing nor Cleveland Department of Public Health have any records pertaining to these two citizen advisory groups.

    • These two citizen advisory groups should be under the jurisdiction of the City of Cleveland and in compliance with the Open Meetings Act.

  • Request #3: Convene a working group of representatives of the Law Department, Department of Public Health, Department of Building and Housing, and the Housing Court to identify and remove the bottlenecks that prevent effective code enforcement, specifically addressing outstanding Lead Hazard Control Orders and Lead Safe Certificate scofflaws.

    • The issues of Code Enforcement was raised repeatedly by Council members during Budget Hearings this spring.

    • As of this week, there are 385 outstanding Lead Hazard Control Orders (LHCO) which have never been taken to housing court.

    • CLASH recommends that a citizen representative be a party to the discussions among the departments to assure transparency.

  • Request #4: Coordinate citizen complaint process between B&H and CDPH Departments.

    • Right now each department says the other department is responsible for lead issues.

    • Citizens have no where to turn to report lead hazards from chipping, peeling and deteriorated paint, elevated blood lead levels, faulty demolition of vacant structures, and results of DIY testing in/around their homes.

Mayor's Lead Czar

On August 15, 2021 on the steps of City Hall, mayoral candidate Justin Bibb declared his intention to appoint a Lead Czar to serve in the Mayor's Cabinet if he was elected.

Fast Forward to January 2022, Mayor Bibb confirmed his plan to appoint the Lead Czar.

Now CLASH has learned that Karen Dettmer has been appointed to the position of Lead Czar in Mayor Bibb's cabinet. CLASH has requested a meeting with Ms. Dettmer as soon as she completes her transition to the new position.