Update: City eliminates development job; Peebles let goWritten by Brigitta Burks | News Editor | BBurks@toledofreepress.com
A spokesperson for Mayor Mike Bell confirmed that the position of economic development commissioner has been eliminated, causing Brad Peebles to lose his job.
Peebles and Public Utilities Director David Welch are candidates for the Perrysburg city administrator position. Jen Sorgenfrei, public information officer, said the decision to eliminate the position was not based on Peebles’ application for city administrator. Peebles’ annual salary was $75,000.
She also pointed out that Welch’s position had not been eliminated.
“We’ve been looking at the overall structure of the administration,” Sorgenfrei said. “It’s an overall evaluation of that department and the overall needs of that department.”
Deputy Mayor of External Relations Tom Crothers will assume the responsibilities of economic development commissioner, she added. City acting managers Jill Pershing and Aggie Dahar will assist him, according to a memo Crothers sent Toledo City Council on behalf of Bell.
That memo also read, “The current plan for the position of Commissioner of Economic Development is to keep this position vacant until further notice. For the foreseeable future, I plan to assume prime responsibility for the projects that Peebles was undertaking on behalf of the City.”
Crothers also recorded over Peebles’ former phone line, directing all business to him.
“Peebles is no longer with the city as his position has been eliminated,” Crothers said on the recording.
At press time, Peebles was not available for comment.