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Lorain names new planning head; chief of staff leaving

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LORAIN — The city administration is seeing some shifts this summer as a new leader of Building, Housing and Planning has been named and one of Mayor Chase Ritenauer’s original appointments is departing.

On July 19, the Civil Service Commission voted to approve the appointment of Kellie Glenn as head of the city’s Building, Housing and Planning Department, a position she’s held on an interim basis since Leon Mason left in March.

“To me, this position is about having the right experience,” Ritenauer said. “And Kellie, as the program manager in the department, has worked with the block grant funds and HOME funds and other federal programs. She made sure we were eligible for the funds and has worked well with the (Department of Housing and Urban Development) well.”

Ritenauer said four people in addition to Glenn applied for the position, and according to the Auditor’s Office, she will have the same salary as Mason — $78,400.

Glenn previously worked as a project director for Cleveland’s Community Development Department and as the assistant director of the Community Development Department in Lorain County.

She has a master’s degree in public administration from Cleveland State University and a master’s degree in business administration from the University of Phoenix. She also has a bachelor’s degree in industrial management from the University of Akron.

Glenn has been with Lorain since 2015.

On the other hand, Deputy Safety-Service Director and Chief of Staff Derek Feuerstein has been with Ritenauer’s administration since the mayor was first elected in 2011 and will be leaving the city to become city manager in Rittman.

“It’s an exciting thing, but it’s bittersweet at the same time,” Feuerstein said. “I mean, this is my hometown, and I learned more here than I ever expected. I’m excited for the new position, but it’s leaving home.”

Feuerstein said he applied for the open position in Rittman because he wanted to continue his career in public service and felt his qualifications matched what the Rittman City Council was seeking.

Ritenauer said while Feuerstein leaving isn’t good for Lorain, it’s good for Feuerstein, and the opportunity was too great for him to pass up.

“City administration is moving to become more and more professional, and I hope Derek’s able to take the experiences he learned here and apply them down in Rittman,” he said. “You always know when you hire good people that they’ll leave eventually, and that’s what happened here.”

Ritenauer said he doesn’t have anyone in mind as Feuerstein’s replacement, but there will be someone taking on his role.

“We’re going to be filling this position for sure,” he said. “We’ve had some cuts up here over the last several years, but this isn’t a job we can do without.”

Ritenauer said Feuerstein primarily covered internal issues in the city, working especially with the Law Department, and outside organizations such as the Lorain County Health Department and the County Connectivity Project.

Contact Katie Nix at 329-7129 or knix@chroniclet.com. Follow her on Twitter @KatieHNix.



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