The administration of Mayor-elect D. Michael Collins will be whiter, older, and more male than the one he is replacing.
It’s also planned to cost the taxpayers less money because he’s eliminating four of the 14 director positions now existing under Mayor Mike Bell.
The full picture of gender and ethnic diversity may not be known for months as the incoming mayor finishes revamping the administration, and his director, commissioner, and manager positions get filled — most of which will require the approval of Toledo City Council.
The initial roll-out isn’t going to have advocates for blacks and women cheering in the aisles. But two African-American leaders said Mr. Collins needs time to round out his team.
The Rev. Robert A. Culp, pastor of the First Church of God in the Old West End and chairman of the Toledo Community Coalition, said his group wants to be sure that the executive director of the Board of Community Relations has a respected place in the administration, and that the Block Watch program gets attention.
“It’ll be important to us who assumes those responsibilities,” Mr. Culp said. “We want to give the mayor a full opportunity to fulfill a lot of his campaign promises, and we’d be glad to assist in any way we can to accomplish that for the good of the community."
City Councilman-elect and former mayor Jack Ford said Mr. Collins is trying to live up to the commitments he made to reduce the size of government.
“I assume he is going to take a very stiff cut in his mayoral office, as he said he was going to do, and then he’s finding out what most mayors run into — there’s not a lot of ready folks who can come in and run a city department that are just waiting around to be called,” Mr. Ford said.
* Retained from Bell Administration
** Not subject to confirmation
Mr. Collins introduced incoming police Chief William Moton, now a lieutenant, to the media in Government Center on Monday.
Lieutenant Moton, 68, would serve about one year as chief and then must retire under the terms of a retirement-incentive program. He said he would use that time to identify a successor.
Current Chief Derrick Diggs also retired under the incentive program, but then was rehired. Mr. Collins said he won't do that.
Lieutenant Moton is jumping over a couple of ranks that most chiefs fill at some point in their careers: captain and deputy chief. But Mayor-elect Collins emphasized the breadth of his experience, which includes being a Marine combat veteran of the Vietnam War with a Purple Heart.
A comparison of all the newly announced directors shows that the average age under Mr. Collins, compared with that of Mayor Bell, increases from 55 to 56.
Mr. Collins said his promises of an administration with a younger contingent and with fewer rehired retirees will be fulfilled in time.
“I said in the campaign you will see over my four years a transition. If I were to come into an organization and completely eliminate experience and look for people because of their birth certificates, the city would be foundered within a very short time,” Mr. Collins said.
“In any organization to dismiss institutional knowledge would be inconsistent with progress. You need to have that dynamic blend of people who have been veterans, and their responsibility is to work with [younger leadership candidates],” Mr. Collins said.
He cited plans to have his chief of staff, Robert Reinbolt, 66, mentor Joel Mazur, 33, as assistant chief of staff. Mr. Mazur is currently chief of brownfield redevelopment.
A similar mentorship is planned for Stephen Leggett, 26, who formerly worked for the city and who managed Mr. Collins’ campaign. He would be mentored by Public Service director nominee William Franklin, 60, though there was no expressed plan to groom him for director.
Mr. Collins said he plans for Mr. Leggett to head a special project to create a 311 phone number and social media links to make it easier for citizens to get responses to complaints or questions.
Asked why Mr. Collins was bringing in Mr. Franklin to replace the existing public service director, Edward Moore, 47, who is African-American, Mr. Collins said it was because of his confidence in Mr. Franklin.
“Mr. Franklin was transitioned out by the Bell administration and Ed Moore was put in that position, and I don’t have any problem with Ed Moore, except that I have to have people in positions that I have confidence in,” a concept he said was drilled into new mayors at a seminar he attended at Harvard University.
He expressed pride in his selections, including Robin Whitney, who would be the first female director of Public Utilities, a post that oversees both the drinking water and waste-water treatment plants.
“We have never had a woman run DPU. She is there because she is an engineer with an MBA. It has nothing to do with gender or race,” Mr. Collins said. He said he wanted an engineer in charge of the department.
Mr. Collins’ nominations that require council approval are: Ms. Whitney to replace DPU Director David Welch; Mr. Franklin to replace Mr. Moore; Matthew Sapara, currently the chief operating officer of the Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority as director of economic development to replace Deputy Mayor Paul Syring, who will return to the law department as an attorney; Lieutenant Moton to replace Chief Diggs; Tom Kroma, a former director of DPU under Mayor Carty Finkbeiner, as director of the Department of Neighborhoods, replacing Lourdes Santiago, who turned in her resignation, and term-limited councilman George Sarantou to replace acting Finance Director Clarence Coleman, who will return to his position as commissioner in the finance department.
Directors Adam Loukx of Law, Chris Zervos of Inspection, and Luis Santiago of Fire & Rescue are being retained from the Bell administration.
Mr. Reinbolt’s appointment as chief of staff to replace Deputy Mayor for Operations Steve Herwat will not require council approval.
According to the 2014 proposed budget, the salaries of the law, finance, public utilities, and inspection directors will be $92,354.
The director of public service would be paid $92,355; the police chief, $106,799, and the fire chief $112,072. The chief of staff’s salary will be $93,115.
Mr. Collins said he will announce commissioner nominees after hearing recommendations from his directors.
Deputy Mayor Shirley Green, who oversees public safety and other departments, has turned in her resignation and will not be replaced.
Mr. Collins is also demoting in status three departments to division level, all three of which are currently headed by women: Human Resources, Affirmative Action/Contract Compliance, and Information, Communication, and Technology.