Thursday, November 8, 2007

Kids in Charge

Ha ha, from my hometown, where the population has been in steady decline since the early 1970s:

Lorain hires safety-service director

Morning Journal
LORAIN -- Lorain has a new safety-service director -- Andy Winemiller, 21, who was hired last month to work as an administrative assistant for the city.

Interim Mayor John Romoser, who appointed Winemiller, could not be reached last night for comment.

Winemiller will be taking on a big job -- Lorain's safety-service director works as the mayor's right hand man and handles many of the major tasks of the running the city, such as labor negotiations with the city's several unions.

City Hall sources had speculated the job would go to someone who had been in the administration longer, such as Chief Deputy Safety-Service Director Jana Gerbocova or Operations Deputy Michael Scherach.

''I'm going to have to do some learning on the run -- obviously,'' Winemiller said. ''I think the most important thing in my position is to remember to ask questions to those who have been around longer than (me).''

Winemiller said he doesn't believe his newness to the job will hinder him. ''When you're in the position John (Romoser) is in, you pick people who you can trust and are capable. I don't have the working knowledge of the city that Mike Kobylka did, but I'll be in there, working late nights catching up.''

Winemiller replaces Kobylka, 29. Kobylka announced last month he would be leaving his post to become director of advocacy and regulatory affairs with the nonprofit group, MAGNET, a manufacturing advocacy organization with headquarters in Cleveland.

Winemiller, also a candidate for Lorain city council president, was hired last month to replace a secretary in the safety-service department. He had been earning the same wage as a seasonal employee, $7.50 an hour with no benefits. As safety-service director, his salary will be just $500 less than the mayor's annual salary of about $91,000.

Winemiller is a 2005 graduate of Amherst Steele High School and a junior political science major at Heidelberg College in Tiffin.

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