Akron Mayor-Elect Horrigan Names Most of his Cabinet
Akron’s mayor-elect introduced most of his cabinet this morning. WKSU’s M.L. Schultze reports it includes those with decades of experience and some who are new to Akron city government – though just about everybody is in a new role.
Among the nine appointments announced by Dan Horrigan is Charles Brown, Akron’s assistant police chief who will become public safety director.
Brown has headed all three divisions of Akron’s police department including community policing – something he says local and national events have made more crucial.
Cabinet appointments as of Dec. 7, 2015
“I think our police department has worked really hard on that with our park-and-walk strategies, our community policing strategies over the last 10 to 15 years. Clearly the times and the landscape is different, so I anticipate we’re going to ramp that up.”
Brown becomes the boss of his boss, Police Chief James Nice, and says the two have had a great relationship he expects will continue.
Horrigan’s other appointments include former Appeals Judge Eve Belfance, who will be the city’s law director, and the University of Akron’s development director Christine Curry, who becomes communications director.
Not on the list of appointees is a human resources director, which Horrigan called for during his campaign. He said he’s still working on that and may have some other appointments based on recommendations from the Blue Ribbon Commission he’s asked to study city government.
Two people are staying in the same positions they’ve had under Mayor Jeff Fusco -- John Moore as public service director and Diane Miller-Dawson as finance director. Marco Sommerville is also remaining, but as deputy mayor for intergovernmental affairs instead of planning director.
Horrigan says diversity was crucial in his picks, but so was ensuring a smooth transition from Mayor Fusco.
“What I think is undervalued in this whole process is continuity of government. So new staff and current staff will be meeting just to bring them up to speed on what’s going on, and I’ve been meeting with Jeff also.”
Horrigan is also promoting Assistant Police Chief Charles Brown to public safety director.
Among those hired from outside City Hall is former Appeals Court Judge Eve Belfance, who becomes law director, and Annie Ochsenhirt-McFadden who managed his campaign and will be his deputy chief of staff.
Horrigan says he’ll release all salaries by Jan. 4, the first day he’s in office.