Paul Bender, the city of Cleveland’s new head of public utilities.
CLEVELAND, OH — “At Bender’s swearing-in ceremony last month, Jackson praised him for his range and depth of experience and said Bender will play a critical role in ensuring the future viability of the city’s utilities.
But not everyone is sold on the new director just yet.
Environmentalists say they have yet to see where Bender stands on controversial issues involving Cleveland Public Power. The city is still studying the possibility of building a waste-to-energy plant, which would burn trash to generate electricity. And the utility is snagged in expensive long-term contracts with coal-burning power plants. In one case, a plant was never even built, but the city is on the hook for millions of dollars in stranded costs. The failed plant is at the heart of a pending lawsuit, involving CPP and a consortium of other cities that signed the deal.
Bender said in a recent interview that he has only begun to review CPP’s contracts and energy portfolio. He also deflected questions about the waste-to-energy plant, stating that the mayor is taking the lead on that issue.”
— Leila Atassi, Cleveland Plain Dealer