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Published: Saturday, 7/31/2004

Demoted Toledo director out of job

BY TOM TROY
BLADE STAFF WRITER

Jay Black, Jr., chief of staff to Mayor Jack Ford, announced the personnel decision late yesterday.

"Effective this afternoon, Steve Seaton no longer is with us. This is a personnel matter. A series of events led us to make this decision," Mr. Black said.

Mr. Black refused to explain the departure in detail.

Mr. Seaton, 56, could not be reached for comment.

Mr. Black said a new deputy would be hired, and he said the administration is still committed to appointing a new director of economic development.

Mr. Ford, who hired Mr. Seaton in April, 2002, at a salary of $82,000, demoted him on June 3 to deputy director at a salary of $77,000. The mayor put Mr. Black in charge of economic development on an acting basis.

Mr. Seaton's demotion was attributed to the mayor's frustration with the lack of progress in economic development.

"We feel we haven't done enough in the economic development area in general and we're going to do more," Mr. Black said then. As deputy director, Mr. Seaton was to focus on overseeing the neighborhoods and code enforcement side of the department.

The shake-up in economic development occurred after several high-profile economic development efforts stalled, including the $200 million Marina District project and the effort to ignite some new development at Southwyck Shopping Center.

In addition, city officials are increasingly worried by declines in city income tax revenues compared with last year.

Before coming to Toledo, Mr. Seaton was executive director of the St. Vincent Quadrangle Inc., a Cleveland community development corporation in a university and hospital neighborhood.

Contact Tom Troy at:

tomtroy@theblade.com

or 419-724-6058.



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