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Published: Saturday, 12/28/2013 - Updated: 2 years ago

Collins: Breaking vow necessary

Mayor-elect’s staffers include city retirees, some with 2nd jobs

Collins Collins
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Councilman D. Michael Collins has a history of opposing so-called “double-dipping” and criticizing Bell administration officials for working other jobs that interfere with city time.

Sarantou Sarantou

Mayor-elect Collins said Friday retreating from a promise not to hire city retirees was unavoidable. He is also tolerant of Councilman George Sarantou — who will become the city’s finance director in the Collins administration — keeping his business as a financial adviser.

Mr. Collins’ top management team includes holdovers from the current mayor’s administration and throwbacks to those of former mayors Carty Finkbeiner and Jack Ford. Among them are Robert Reinbolt, 66, who walked door-to-door with Mr. Collins in the campaign, as chief of staff — a position he held from 2006 to 2009 under Mr. Finkbeiner. Mr. Reinbolt also will serve as safety director.

Immediately after his Nov. 5 election victory, Mr. Collins said Mr. Reinbolt would not be part of his administration.

“I didn’t think Reinbolt would be coming on board until I came to the reality that I cannot just go out on the street and find a chief of staff,” Mr. Collins said. “Going internally was problematic because most people would not step out of their protected positions and become an employee at-will, and I couldn’t embrace hiring someone who didn’t have organizational history and did not have experience.”

Joel Mazur, 33, Toledo’s brownfield redevelopment officer, will be mentored to eventually fill the chief-of-staff job.

Additionally, Mr. Collins took issue with former Finance Director Patrick McLean and Acting Commissioner of Accounts Paul McArthur teaching college-level classes during the workday.

“Councilman Sarantou sought an opinion from the Ohio Ethics Commission, and I have seen the opinion, and there are no conflicts of interest,” Mr. Collins said. “He will not do anything to acquire new clientele and he may service his existing clients, but only after business hours.”

The mayor-elect said he is opposed to city employees working other jobs between 8 a.m and 4 p.m. on weekdays. “I want people accountable for the 40 hours they are required to work Monday through Friday,” he said. “As long as there is no professional conflict of interest and none of his clients have contractual conflicts with the city of Toledo, I don’t see a problem.”

Mr. Sarantou, a longtime councilman and head of council’s finance committee, will be paid $92,354 annually as finance director. He has been a financial adviser with New England Financial for 31 years. “I have scaled back my practice and I do have people who rely on me for advice, and that will be after hours and on weekends,” he said.

Mr. Sarantou declined to say how many clients he has, citing Financial Industry Regulatory Authority regulations.

“As a councilman, I always made City Council a priority, and this will be no different,” he said.

Mr. Collins named police Lt. William Moton, 68, as police chief; retired Public Service Director William Franklin, 60, to head that same department again, and Tom Kroma, 44, as director of neighborhoods.

Mr. Kroma also worked under Mayor Finkbeiner, but was not kept on when Mayor Bell took office four years ago.

Matt Sapara, 40, chief operating officer of the Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority, will take over as director of business and economic development. He will become the highest-paid city director, receiving more than $127,000, according to Lisa Ward, a council legislative aide who will be Toledo’s next public information officer and paid $65,000 annually.

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

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