November 23, 2014

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Foltin takes finance post at Tri-C

Lorain mayor to leave office in August

Brad Dicken and Adam Wright
The Chronicle-Telegram
LORAIN — Mayor Craig Foltin won’t finish his term as mayor.
Instead, the two-term Republican will leave his post to become executive vice president of finance and business services at Cuyahoga Community College starting Aug. 13. Foltin’s last day with the city will be Aug. 6.
The city’s Republican Central Committee will choose a replacement to serve out Foltin’s term, which expires at the end of the year.
“It means we have to pick a successor for the next four months and, hopefully, the next four years,” said David Arrendondo, chairman of the city’s Republican Party.
The front-runner to replace Foltin is former Sheffield Mayor John Romoser, the Republican running against Democratic Councilman Tony Krasienko in the mayoral election in November.
Krasienko, who learned Wednesday about Foltin’s planned departure, blasted Foltin for leaving his job early.
“It kind of leaves the city on autopilot,” Krasienko said. “Unfortunately, he’s not going to fulfill his commitment to the taxpayers.”
Councilman Dan Given, D-at large, also said Foltin’s decision is bad for the city, particularly if his replacement isn’t elected in November.
 “The administration is in a state of disarray anyhow with his initial announcement that he wasn’t running again,” Given said. “Everybody there who works for him is looking for another job, they’re looking for a way to cover themselves, and this is just another distraction for the main leadership for the city of Lorain.”
But Romoser defended Foltin’s decision to take another job before his term ended.
“I’m not going to condemn him for that,” he said. “I think he’s done a good job.”
Deputy Safety Service Director Joe Arendt, who is mulling a run to replace Foltin, said the mayor’s departure doesn’t necessarily create problems for the city.
“It depends on who takes over,” he said. “I think it will be a problem if you bring someone off the street. You have to have someone who has knowledge of the administration and continue with what (Foltin’s) been working on.”
Although rumors have circulated for months that Foltin planned to leave for a job in academia, Krasienko said the mayor never told anyone on Council that he was leaving.
This isn’t the first time Foltin, who couldn’t be reached for comment Wednesday, has made surprise moves regarding his future.
 Earlier this year, he didn’t tell city Republicans that he wouldn’t seek a third term until two days before the filing deadline for the May primary, touching off a mad scramble to find a Republican to run in his place.
When Republicans couldn’t find anyone in time, Romoser filed as a write-in candidate and won enough votes to put his name on the November ballot as a Republican.
Last November, Foltin was defeated in a bid for Congress by now U.S. Rep. Betty Sutton, D-Copley. Before he was elected mayor, he served two terms as city auditor and also has worked for the state auditor’s office.
He also has taught accounting classes at Cleveland State University.
Tri-C President Jerry Sue Thornton praised Foltin in a press release, saying the college was lucky to get him.
“He will bring broad perspective and a vast spectrum of skills to our college,” she said. “With numerous initiatives on our future agenda, Dr. Foltin will be a real asset to Tri-C.”
Foltin will oversee the college’s $260 million annual budget and also serve as the institution’s treasurer, reporting directly to the board of trustees. Lorain has an annual budget of around $80 million, the release said.
The press release did not say what Foltin’s salary will be the college will be, and college officials did not return numerous calls seeking additional comment.
Contact Brad Dicken at 329-7147 or bdicken@chroniclet.com.
Contact Adam Wright at 329-7151 or awright@chroniclet.com.