April 24, 2014

Elyria
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Elyria safety service official to focus on buildings

ELYRIA — Elyria Mayor Bill Grace said he’s planning to renew emphasis on economic development, and his first move will include reassigning one of the safety service directors to the Building Department. 

Assistant Safety Service Director Jerry Klein — who formerly worked as the city’s chief building official — will be reassigned “in some fashion” to a position where he can focus on housing and code enforcement, Grace said. 

Grace said Klein’s replacement hasn’t been chosen yet — he declined to identify any of the potential hires — but the new assistant safety service director will focus on economic development.

Assistant Safety Service Director Bill Ogle has largely been responsible for economic development, but Ogle’s “other responsibilities” have generated a need for a safety service director who can devote energies entirely to economic development, Grace said. 

Grace said there are no plans to shuffle any of the other safety service officials from their positions. Klein will be reassigned early next year, when his replacement is found.

At a joint Finance and Community Development committee meeting Monday, Safety Service Director Chris Eichenlaub suggested the city should begin exploring ways to create an information technology department and a building and lands department. 

Eichenlaub said Elyria Public Utilities Superintendent Tom Brand, who is retiring at the end of the month after 30 years of service, typically handled the city’s information technology needs.

Sherman Jones, Elyria Police Department’s longtime records supervisor, will replace Brand.

Contact Shawn Foucher at 653-6255 or sfoucher@chroniclet.com.