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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            

  • Law Director: Eve Belfance, former appeals court judge
  • Public Safety Director: Charles Brown, now assistant Akron police chief
  • Communications Director: Christine Curry, now development director for the University of Akron
  • Finance Director: Diane Miller-Dawson (current role)
  • Public Service Director: John Moore (current role)
  • Deputy Finance Director: Steve Fricker, now city treasurer
  • Deputy Chief of Staff: Annie Ochsenhirt-McFadden, owner of 5Eleven Consulting and was Horrigan’s campaign manager.
  • Planning and Urban Development Director: Jason Segedy, director of the Akron Metropolitan Area Transportation Study.
  • Deputy Mayor for Intergovernmental Affairs: Marco Sommerville, now directtor of Planning and Urban Development. 

“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.

M.L. Schultze is a freelance journalist. She spent 25 years at The Repository in Canton where she was managing editor for nearly a decade, then served as WKSU's news director and digital editor until her retirement.