LORAIN — The point man for Lorain’s housing revitalization efforts was named to a newly created post Tuesday.
Rey Carrion moves from acting community development director to director of building, housing and planning.
The switch is part of the June merger of the Community Development Department and the Building Department into the Department of Building, Housing and Planning.
Carrion was one of 13 applicants and one of four people who interviewed for the job, Safety/Service Director Robert Fowler told Civil Service Commission members at their Tuesday meeting. Fowler said Carrion was the best candidate, eliciting applause from about 30 Carrion supporters who attended the meeting.
Initially hired by Lorain in 1993 as a planning intern, Carrion left about a year later and spent about two years as a Lorain Metropolitan Housing Authority inspector. He returned in 1996 to work in the Community Development Department as a junior planner. Carrion was named acting community development director in 2011 by former Mayor Tony Krasienko.
Carrion took over a department tainted by the influence-peddling scandal involving longtime director Sandy Prudoff, who left in 2009. Prudoff was convicted in 2012 on federal corruption charges.
Mayor Chase Ritenauer, in a Sept. 5 letter to commission members, wrote that Carrion was above reproach.
“Put in an impossible situation and a mess he did not create, it is my firm belief that Mr. Carrion has earned the opportunity to lead,” Ritenauer said. “The reformed department and mission fit precisely into Mr. Carrion’s strengths in building, construction and housing.”
Carrion, 47, will continue to earn about $76,000 in his new job running the 15-member department. Carrion’s new job will focus more on blight reduction through building code enforcement and demolitions — Lorain has demolished about 80 homes this year — than the economic development responsibilities of the previous post.
Nonetheless, Carrion said improved housing will spur economic development.
He told supporters that the Ritenauer administration had made tremendous progress with anti-blight initiatives since taking over in January 2012.
“I’m excited in terms of my opportunity to be a part of this,” Carrion said.
Contact Evan Goodenow at 329-7129 or firstname.lastname@example.org.