Mayor-elect Jack Ford's transition team yesterday announced a series of inaugural events for Jan. 17-20 aimed at celebrating city unity.
Ohio Supreme Court Justice Alice Robie Resnick will administer Mr. Ford's oath of office the at noon of Jan. 2 in city council chambers in Government Center.
Also yesterday, city officials agreed that the transfer of power will take place at 5:30 p.m. Jan. 2 - giving Mayor Carty Finkbeiner one day longer in office than he expected.
City council Clerk Michael Beazley and the Ford transition team have maintained for several weeks that the city charter sets the time of transition at 5:30 p.m. on the first business day after Jan. 1.
Yesterday city Law Director Barbara Herring agreed with that interpretation, according to Paulette Huber, Mr. Finkbeiner's press secretary.
Based on the ruling from Ms. Herring, Mr. Finkbeiner expects to be at work for part of Jan. 2, a Wednesday, which is the day he normally holds his weekly staff meeting. He said he'll forego holding his usual meeting, which has been known to last all afternoon.
“My guess is I'll probably be here on Wednesday till maybe 1 or 2 in the afternoon. We've got to take care of the city's business,” the mayor said.
Mr. Ford has at least five vacant or soon-to-be-vacant positions in the mayor's office on the 22nd floor to fill when he takes office.
Theodore Mastroianni, the transition director for Mr. Ford, declined to say what plans have been made for staffing Mr. Ford's office.
“He's made some decisions on cabinet officers. He wants to make all that public next week,” Mr. Mastroianni said yesterday.
Mr. Ford could not be reached for comment.
The mayor-elect has invited approximately 42 directors and commissioners serving at the pleasure of the current mayor to stay on in acting capacities while Mr. Ford selects his cabinet. The three top administrators closest to the mayor will leave office along with Mr. Finkbeiner. They are:
Robert Williams, Mr. Finkbeiner's assistant chief operating officer, has agreed to stay on in an acting capacity. He is paid $91,750 a year.
In addition, the mayor's office has two vacant funded positions - an assistant chief operating officer, which pays up to $92,500, and an executive secretary, which pays up to $39,000 a year - which Mr. Ford could fill with his appointees.
Mr. Ford's swearing-in will be broadcast live on Buckeye CableSystem's community channel. Most users, who receive the single cable, should tune to Channel 8 with a converter or 13 without a converter. Those on the dual-cable system should tune to Channel 21-B. Also to be broadcast is the swearing-in of the 12 elected members of city council at 5:30 p.m. the same day, followed by city council's annual organization meeting.
The series of mayoral inaugural events will include a gala at the University of Toledo, titled “Celebrating Unity.”
Deborah Barnett, the chairperson of Mr. Ford's inaugural committee, said the idea is to bring the community together. The events include a concert, a prayer breakfast, an event with children, and a luncheon with seniors. She said the events will be paid for from Mr. Ford's campaign funds.