Amid Criticism for Insufficient Garbage Collection, Baltimore Director Of Public Works Announces His Resignation

Baltimore City Director of Public Works Jason Mitchell meets with Blue Water Baltimore at Middle Branch Park. Screenshot via @dpwbaltimorecity on Instagram.

What’s happening?

Baltimore City’s director of public works, Jason Mitchell, announced his resignation on Monday after less than two years in the position, Mark Reutter reports for the Baltimore Brew. In his press release, Mitchell committed to serving until April to aid in the transition to his successor and attributed his resignation to family and health-related concerns—though his announcement comes shortly after two city councilmen demanded he resign. 

Why did the city councilmen call for Mitchell’s resignation?

During his tenure as the head of the Department of Public Works, Mitchell was continuously criticized for poor garbage collection practices and his failure to reinstate a weekly recycling program that was suspended during the covid-19 pandemic. Mitchell was also blamed for poor communication about an E. coli outbreak in the city’s water system last spring. 

Just hours before Mitchell announced his resignation, City Council members Zeke Cohen and Isaac “Yitzy” Schleifer called for his departure if he did not resume weekly recycling operations over the next two months. 

“Last week, your agency missed a deadline to produce a plan, with a clear timeline, to restart this essential service,” Cohen and Schleifer wrote, adding that “In the aftermath of poor communication about E. coli contamination in West Baltimore, and continued frustration with inaccurate water bills, we believe now is the time for you to take action and restore confidence in your agency.” 

Anything else I should know? 

In response to Mitchell’s announcement, Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott issued a statement saying he accepts the resignation with “deep regret” and credited Mitchell for having “developed and implemented innovative plans to improve the services of which the people of Baltimore rely.”

You can read more here.

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