The Economic Opportunity Planning Association of Greater Toledo selected a chief executive Monday, and learned it likely will have infusions of cash from the city and county as it tries to recover from a period of turmoil.
The board unanimously approved Stanley Lowe of Pittsburgh to head the anti-poverty agency, and voted to begin negotiations on a contract.
Mr. Lowe has nearly three decades of experience with public housing agencies, historic preservation organizations, government, and other agencies. He spent nearly seven years as executive director for the Housing Authority of the city of Pittsburgh, and also recently spent six months leading the Galveston (Texas) Housing Authority.
“Stanley Lowe is the right person at the right time for EOPA,” board chairman Rev. Donald Perryman said in a written statement. “He has the experience, the skills, and the focus we need to create a new EOPA. Even more importantly, he understands how to build partnerships and community support — two things we must have for EOPA to thrive in the future.”
Mr. Lowe was one of two finalists that were chosen from three dozen applicants to replace James Powell, who was fired in January by EOPA’s board. The other finalist was Cheryl Grice of Blacklick, Ohio, who most recently has served as director of energy efficiency and empowerment services for Columbus-based IMPACT Community Action.
Mr. Lowe said he was humbled that the EOPA board was unanimous in his selection. He said he believes he can help develop the technical skill of the agency’s staff and is passionate about helping those in poverty achieve their goals.
“I truly believe that the poor have a station in life that is equal [to others],” he said.
Mr. Lowe comes to EOPA at a time of transition for the agency. On July 1, a Denver-based company took over the local Head Start program and its about $13 million budget, after the federal government forced EOPA to compete for the first time for its grant.
Funding for Mr. Lowe’s position will come from a grant of up to $100,000 from the city of Toledo’s Department of Neighborhoods. Money for the grant, which Mr. Perryman signed Monday, would come from federal Community Development Block Grant funding. The grant is contingent on Mayor Mike Bell’s signature, Neighborhoods Director Lourdes Santiago said, and comes with city monitoring of EOPA and a detailed work plan.
“There are a lot of strings attached,” she said.
Less restricted funds could come from Lucas County. Commissioner Pete Gerken said at Monday’s meeting he plans to introduce a resolution at today’s commissioner’s meeting that would give EOPA $100,000 in community development funds. Mr. Gerken said the funds would send a message that the county is looking to assist EOPA in its time of transition, and is ready to develop new partnerships.
“We should support our partner,” he said.
Mr. Gerken said he believed the resolution will pass.
Contact Nolan Rosenkrans at: firstname.lastname@example.org, 419-724-6086, or on Twitter @NolanRosenkrans.