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Dar only person to apply for Toledo's assistant COO position

Mayor continues staff shakeup by filling spot left open for 2 years

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    Reena Dar, new assistant chief operating officer for the City of Toledo, is pictured at One Government Center.

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    Hicks-Hudson

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The newly hired assistant chief operating officer in Mayor Paula Hicks-Hudson’s administration was the only applicant for the $88,000 per year job, a city spokesman said.

Reena Dar, who has spent the last 11 years employed in Ontario governmental positions, began work Monday for the city of Toledo, said Carrie Russell Hartman, assistant to Mayor Hicks-Hudson.

RELATED: Toledo mayor shuffles around more staff | Banished to the water department

Her position has not been among the positions in the mayor’s administrative staff for the past two years.

The previous person to hold the title of assistant chief operating officer was Joel Mazur, who was hired by Mayor D. Michael Collins, Toledo’s mayor from 2013 until his death in February, 2015.

Mr. Mazur held the position from January, 2014 to July, 2015, when he was transferred by Mayor Hicks-Hudson into the job of acting commissioner of public service.

Mr. Mazur, now the city manager for Napoleon, was paid $75,847.

Ms. Hartman said the city did not advertise the job through the normal application process. She did not know if the mayor reviewed resumes of other people for the position.

“Since this is an executive position, the city is not required to advertise applicants for the job,” she said. “It’s the same as if it were for chief of staff or executive officer. Those jobs are decided at the will of the mayor. She is allowed to fill her own cabinet.”

Ms. Dar comes into the job after working 11 years for Ontario Public Service in Toronto. She most recently was executive assistance in the business services division of the Ministry of Government Services until 2016, according to her resume.

Previously, she was senior adviser for five years in the Provincial Highways Management Division Central Region in the Ministry of Transportation. Her duties included managing the financial program for a $300 million per year budget and a $1.6 billion cash-flow plan, the resume said.

VIDEO: Ignazio Messina discusses staff changes in City Hall

Ms. Hartman said Ms. Dar is not a U.S. citizen but has permanent resident status.

Ms. Dar is married to Dr. Sanjiv Josh, who has a family practice in Sylvania. The couple, who were married in 2013, live in Sylvania Township.

Ms. Dar said in an email she met Mayor Hicks-Hudson in June and shared her qualifications and background.

“I have a strong background in communications and government through my work with the Ontario Public Service,” she wrote.

In other staff changes, Janet Schroeder, who had been the spokesman for the mayor’s office since November, 2015, was sent to a vacant position in the city’s Department of Public Utilities and is getting a pay cut.

Her new title is “administrative analyst 3-utilities administration/​public relations,” which is the same position she had before she was transferred to the mayor’s office. She is to be paid $63,434 annually, about $6,500 per year less than what she previously was paid.

Ms. Hartman said Ms. Schroeder is filling the vacancy created when Stacy Weber left employment with the city on May 5. She was paid $63,419 annually. The position was not filled sooner because the city was looking for the “right fit” and wanted to save money by not filling the job immediately, Ms. Hartman said.

“She did a great job when she worked in the department of public utilities. We believe she will do a great job there again,” she said.

Ms. Hartman said Ms. Schroeder will be assisting in the mayor’s office’s work in communicating information.

“She is taking her old job back in DPU, but she will be integral in communications,” Ms. Hartman said. “The expectation is that Reena will be doing some of Janet’s old responsibilities, but Janet will keep some of them as well.”

Contact Mark Reiter at markreiter@theblade.com or 419-724-6199.

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