City plays musical chairs as Monske accepts RGP roleWritten by Kristen Criswell | | email@example.com
Mayor Mike Bell has rearranged his administration following the departure of Deputy Mayor of External Relations Dean Monske.
Monske is leaving the city after he accepted the position of president/CEO of the Regional Growth Partnership (RGP). Tom Crothers, the city’s current director of public utilities, will replace Monske as the new deputy mayor of external relations.
“We looked at [Crothers'] ability not only to have a good understanding of the City of Toledo itself and how it functions, but he also has a very good understanding for what needs to be done from the standpoint of Downtown development,” Bell said during a Feb. 25 news conference.
Bell said Crothers has a “great relationship with business people inside Toledo.” With Crothers’ previous experience and with help from the current economic development staff the city should be able to continue moving forward, Bell said.
Crothers said with Monske at the RGP, economic development will be where it needs to be; in the private sector. Crothers also noted, however, that the city does have a role in economic development.
“The city has a role to play and that’s to be a facilitator. How do we remove impediments to progress on the part of particularly small business to make them successful, to help them be a success? We can’t make them successful, but what we can do is remove some of those impediments to be successful,” he said.
Crothers said he plans on working with the RGP, LCIC, the Toledo Lucas County Port Authority, NORED as well as Wood County and Fulton County.
Crothers is also comfortable working with individuals internationally and domestically, he said. Monske, however, will go with Bell on his next trip to China, Crothers said.
“The private sector with the government working together in concert will bring new dollars into our community,” he said.
In addition to economic development, Crothers will oversee the department of neighborhoods as well as the city inspection bureau.
David Welch, current director of public service, will replace Crothers as the new director of public utilities. Welch had previously worked in public utilities before working in the department of public service.
Welch will be replaced by his second in command Ed Moore, current commissioner of streets, bridges and harbor. Moore will serve as the director of public service and he’ll be supported by David Pratt in his old position as commissioner. Pratt previously with Moore as manager of streets, bridges and harbor.
“We feel that we have stabilized each vacancy that we had with people who have experience and we believe that is a good thing,” Bell said.
Bell also announced that Shirley Green, current director of public safety, will expand her duties. Green will become the new deputy mayor of public safety and personnel and oversee not only the police and fire services, but human resources and affirmative action for the city.
“Although I hate losing Dean… I believe that we have ramped this up and by the time this is over with possibly we’ll be stronger than we were before,” Bell said.
The city will transition its employees to their new positions during the next few weeks. Everyone is expected to officially start their roles March 14, Crothers said.
The city said it has not established salaries for its employees changing departments or positions.
Monske named RGP president
Dean Monske was introduced as the new president/CEO of the Regional Growth Partnership at a news conference Feb. 25 in Downtown Toledo.
After a four-month search that produced 36 candidates, seven from the local area, RGP’s board of directors chosen one of the locals, Monske, to lead the economic development organization.
Monske will leave his post as deputy mayor for external affairs with the City of Toledo to assume his new position with RGP on March 14, according to David Waterman, chairman of the RGP board who introduced him to the media.
“I’m honored and excited to accept this position and I promise to continue the collaborative effort in this region that makes it a great place to live,” said Monske, a Toledo native and graduate of DeVilbiss High School.
Monske returns to RGP after serving as its vice president from 2006 until 2010 when he joined Mayor Mike Bell’s staff. He previously served as executive director of the Oregon Economic Development Foundation from 2000 to 2006.
Monske’s local background and experience was a “very big factor” in the board’s decision to choose him to lead RGP, according to Waterman.
“He can hit the ground running. He did a great job for the City of Toledo. He has all the local knowledge that we value, understands the leadership in the community, and has the ability to interact with that group,” Waterman said.
He thanked Mayor Bell for his cooperation and understanding during the process with Monske as an obvious candidate to replace Steve Weathers who left the position last October to accept a similar post in Savannah, Ga.
“I lost a deputy mayor but I’m gaining another ally. It’s a great thing for Dean. I believe he will be a great asset to RGP and regional development. It takes a team to make it work and we’re working to make our region stronger,” Bell said.
Monske, who is married to Sharon Speyer, Northwest Ohio Region President for Huntington Bank, said he told Mayor Bell, “I’m not leaving. I’m just moving a couple of blocks over and we’re still going to be partners.”
“Mayor Bell has been absolutely phenomenal to work with. My expectations of that job were exceeded ten-fold,” he said.
“I’m very happy for Dean. We became friends and I will miss him. I think the process worked to pick Dean for the job,” Bell said.
“Regional development is vital in economic development efforts. There’s a greater spirit of regionalism in this area now and we look forward to doing great things here,” Waterman said.
— Duane Ramsey