Collins’ transition team named

Former mayors Ford, Finkbeiner will assist

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  • Updated Nov. 16, 2013 at 10:17 p.m.: Corrects spelling: Baldemar Velasquez is one of the co-chairmen of the transition team.

    The leaders of Mayor-elect D. Michael Collins' transition team include two former Toledo mayors, two labor leaders, a former Republican councilman, a sitting Republican councilman, and several former bureaucrats from the Finkbeiner administration.

    Former mayors Jack Ford and Carty Finkbeiner will be among several co-chairmen on the team. George Tucker, executive secretary of the Greater Northwest Ohio Central Labor Council of the AFL-CIO, and Ray Wood, president of United Auto Workers Local 14 who was recently selected president of the local chapter of the NAACP, will also be co-chairmen, Mr. Collins said.

    “I think we have a transition team with a dynamic blend of experience and new ideas,” Mr. Collins said. “We will be focusing on three specific goals: identify what the city is doing well; what the city is not doing in terms of its capacity to perform to community satisfaction, and to come forward with a plan on how we can fortify what we do right and improve what we are marginally effective in doing."

    Bob Reinbolt — who has a consulting business in Toledo, was an adviser to Mr. Collins during his campaign, and served as chief of staff for Mayor Finkbeiner — will be director of the transition team.

    Mr. Reinbolt said the first transition team meeting will be at 1 p.m. today at the Maritime Academy of Toledo near downtown.

    “This first gathering will be very organizational in nature and I doubt if we will have any discussion on cabinet positions for Mr. Collins’ administration,” Mr. Reinbolt said. “We will have welcoming remarks from Mr. Collins; introductions of those in attendance; an overview of what is expected of the transition team; a review of Mr. Collins’ platform; committee assignments; development of a time frame to issue reports; and breakout sessions for the various committees.”

    The transition team committees will include labor relations, which will be run by Toledo City Councilman George Sarantou; neighborhood and safety, which will be run by Tom Kroma, utilities director in the Finkbeiner administration; business development, run by Patrick Kenney, a financial adviser; parks, recreation, and urban beautification, run by William Franklin, also a former Finkbeiner official, and media relations and special events run Matt Zaleski, who worked on the Collins campaign.

    The co-chairmen for the transition team also include Joan Uhl Browne, Mr. Kenney, and Baldemar Velasquez.

    In addition, Mr. Collins' wife, Sandy Drabik, and Judy Fegley will serve as transition coordinators.

    About 40 people have been named to the various committees on the transition team, Mr. Reinbolt said. Others could be added.

    Former Toledo Councilman Betty Shultz is the honorary chairman for the transition team.

    Jack Simonetti, a college educator, will facilitate the first transition team meeting.

    Contact Ignazio Messina at: or 419-724-6171 or on Twitter @IgnazioMessina.