She told The Register-Guard she feels he made “not only a really unsafe work environment for us (the city workers), but just a general feeling of being unsafe in the park for the people that live there.” The Register-Guard contacted the city requesting to speak with Waksmundski, but the city said he was “not available for an interview.” Other attempts to contact him directly were unsuccessful.
However, Parks and Open Space employees and some residents allege one Eugene park ambassador is misusing his power — regularly taunting, degrading and threatening to evict people who are allowed to camp in the city’s parks. Former parks employee Candy Hussey said she was so disgusted with the way her team lead Joe Waksmundski treats homeless people, she quit working for the city after bringing the issue to their boss several times. BusinessDeere & Co. workers go on strike after rejecting contractBiden tries to tame inflation by having LA port open 24/7From cars to gasoline, surging prices match a 13-year highSocial Security checks getting big boost as inflation rises
Several people experiencing homelessness in the city also shared with The Register-Guard stories of negative interactions with him. These included a few verbal confrontations that allegedly were escalated to the point that a camper, who had nowhere else to live, was forced to leave the parks. City spokesperson Laura Hammond stated in an email to The Register-Guard that all employees are expected to follow the code of conduct, but would not comment specifically about Waksumdski, citing it as a specific personnel matter.
“We’re making sure we have all the information relevant to this concern. We take allegations of any misconduct seriously,” Hammond said in the email. Waksumdski has worked for the city since 2017. The lead park ambassador is responsible for promoting the safety and security of park patrons, employees, facilities and grounds, according to the job description.
They are expected to do their best to get those living in parks to comply with park codes and rules. The lead park ambassador is required to “learn general signs of mental illness and substance abuse and best practices for working with these populations” and “diffuse and encourage compliance.” This position provides direction to lower classifications and temporary employees.
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