August 1, 2014

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Lorain anti-blight expert leaving for nonprofit post

Rey Carrion

Rey Carrion

LORAIN — Rey Carrion, who oversaw Lorain’s economic development and anti-blight initiatives for many years, is resigning as Department of Building, Housing and Planning director.

Carrion said Tuesday that he is taking a job with a Lorain County nonprofit that he didn’t want to name. He said the opportunity was too good to bypass.

“I was completely, completely taken aback by the job description,” he said. “It fit my skill set and my personality better than anything I have seen in my life.”

Carrion, a 47-year-old husband and father of two grown children, earns $75,345 annually, said Auditor Ron Mantini.

Carrion was hired in 1992 as an intern. He left about two years later to become a Lorain Metropolitan Housing Authority inspector and returned in 1996 as a planner in the Community Development Department.

The department earned a bad reputation due to its longtime director Sandy Prudoff, now imprisoned for federal corruption. Despite the problems, Carrion said the department did a lot of good.

He cited low-interest home improvement loans provided to residents through federal Community Development Block Grants. “Seeing what it did for the families, that was very gratifying for all of us,” he said.

Carrion said he also was proud of economic development the department helped spur such as job creation at Camaco, a car parts manufacturer, and Lorain Manufacturing. He also worked on financing for Deerfield Estates and Lighthouse Village, two retail business complexes. And Carrion was active in Light Up Lorain, a holiday lighting celebration designed to draw people to downtown businesses.

In September, Carrion was named by Mayor Chase Ritenauer to head the Department of Building, Housing and Planning, a department that merged the Community Development and Building departments.

Carrion oversees about 17 employees. The department’s responsibilities include new anti-blight initiatives which Carrion has helped lead.

Ritenauer said Carrion will leave June 13 and he hopes to name a replacement by July. Ritenauer said Carrion has done an often tough job well.

“We’ve made steps in the right direction,” Ritenauer said. “I’m appreciative of his efforts.”

Contact Evan Goodenow at 329-7129 or egoodenow@chroniclet.com.

  • Sis Delish

    Which is better song for this story:

    “Nah, nah nah nah, nah nah nah nah, hey hey hey, goodbye.”

    or

    Queen’s: “Another One Bites the Dust”?

  • stillsleepyeyes

    another one leaves the realm of lorain……………………take gardwennie with you please……………….

  • SniperFire

    You know your neighbors are losers when your city need an ‘anti-blight’ director.

    Perhaps Lorain should hire a ‘self-respect’ director, instead?

  • Phil Blank

    Strange last name.

  • WTFnext

    If he is such an anti-blight expert, then why is Lorain so blighted?? Looks like another inflated paycheck for nothing to me.

  • levtrotsky

    A good man leaving a dying city……….50 years of ignoring deteriorating housing in Lorain can never be remedied! We know because we have had such a property next to us for over 30 years. Good luck Rey

  • Sis Delish

    Good to know all the synapses haven’t been destroyed… yet.

    BTW, are you the offspring of Alan Pugh and some feral animal? Just curious.