Tuesday, Apr 24, 2018
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Bell rehires official to aid development

The former director of the Toledo Plan Commission, who retired last year, will rejoin the Bell administration as the No. 2 economic development official for the city.

Calvin Lawshe, who retired March 29, 2012, from his $85,000 position, will be the new commissioner of economic development.


Calvin Lawshe

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Mr. Lawshe, 66, confirmed that he has been rehired by the Bell administration but said a start date had not been set.

“I have not stopped dealing with development issues in our county,” Mr. Lawshe said. “I have a passion and interest in the area. Getting jobs back in the city through development will be my focus.”

City officials said his new salary would be $65,000.

Mr. Lawshe started working for the city in 2007. He was previously vice president of student affairs at the University of Toledo.

Since retiring, Mr. Lawshe said he has been working to develop a new economic development zone involving Toledo Metropolitan Airport.

Brad Peebles, Toledo’s former economic development commissioner, left the job in March, 2012, without the city offering reasons for his departure.

Several sources close to the Bell administration at the time, however, cited Mr. Peebles’ application for a job as Perrysburg city administrator as one reason he was let go. Mr. Peebles’ removal occurred not long after it was revealed he was in the running for the job — which he did not get.

Also last year, then-Deputy Mayor Tom Crothers, who was in charge of economic development, was demoted to the city’s water department days after an announced plan for a sports complex at the site of the former Southwyck Shopping Center fell apart.

Deputy Mayor Paul Syring, formerly a city attorney, is now the top economic development official under Mayor Mike Bell.

Councilman D. Michael Collins, who is challenging Mr. Bell and others this year for the mayor’s office, blasted Mr. Lawshe’s re-hiring.

“This is exactly what Toledo doesn’t need: Another retired-rehired,” Mr. Collins said. “Is there any wonder why we have brain drain?”

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