Youngstown mayor takes time filling Cabinet positions

By David Skolnick


A month into his administration, Mayor Jamael Tito Brown said he is taking a deliberate approach to filling his Cabinet.

“I’m taking it at my own pace,” he said Wednesday. “We’re taking our time and making sure the candidates are the people we want.”

To date, Brown has only appointed a law director, Jeff Limbian, and an interim finance director, Kyle Miasek.

Brown said he expects to name two department heads – fire chief and parks and recreation director – and possibly a third – buildings and grounds commissioner – no later than early next week.

“I’m interviewing candidates, asking particular questions and seeing what they bring to the table,” he said.

Fire Chief John J. O’Neill Jr. is retiring in September or October and didn’t apply to keep his job. Once a new chief is appointed, O’Neill will become a battalion chief.

Robert Burke resigned in December as parks and recreation director to accept the same job in Niles.

The buildings and grounds commissioner position has been vacant since April 2017 when Sean Mc-Kinney resigned to run for mayor. He lost to Brown by 201 votes.

In the weeks leading to his first day in office, which was Jan. 1, Brown said he planned to have as many department heads as possible appointed when he took office.

On Jan. 2, he appointed Limbian and made Miasek interim finance director while he conducts a national search for a permanent replacement for former Finance Director David Bozanich.

At the time, Brown said he wouldn’t rush appointments, and his transition team would continue to review applicants for department heads and recommend top candidates.

Brown is looking to fill other cabinet posts, but he hasn’t put a timetable on the selection process. Those positions are public works deputy director, police chief, city prosecutor and water commissioner.

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