New Castle News

December 1, 2012

Mayor proposes consolidation for economic development

John K. Manna
New Castle News

NEW CASTLE — New Castle Mayor Anthony Mastrangelo is proposing a new direction for community and economic development for the city.

In the 2013 budget presented to council on Thursday, the mayor proposes hiring an economic development director as called for in the city’s financial recovery plan.

The three-year plan, drafted by the city’s Act 47 coordinator and adopted by council this week, says the city shall merge code enforcement and zoning and planning into the community and economic development department by the end of the first quarter of 2013.

Although the health department cannot be formally a part of the merger, the city health officer is to work cooperatively with the department.

The plan further states that the job description for the economic development director be revised, that the city advertise and conduct a national search and hire someone by Oct. 31, 2013. The salary for the position is budgeted at $70,000.

Mastrangelo said yesterday that the salary is comparable to what directors are being paid in other Third Class cities that are under Act 47 oversight.

Although the position doesn’t have to be filled until then, the budget plugs in $35,000 to cover the last six months of the year.

Also included is $50,000 for a community development coordinator.

Tammi Gibson is currently community and economic development director at a salary of $69,537.

Qualifications for the position cited by the plan include a minimum requirement of a bachelor’s degree in marketing, economics, public administration, public policy or closely related field.

The plan states that city government will not drive New Castle’s economic recovery, “but it can create positive conditions for growth to facilitate revitalization. That revitalization is necessary for the city to exit Act 47 oversight.”

Consolidation of the operations, the plan continues, “will give the department more capacity, more resources and allow for a formal and unified execution of the various components of economic and community revitalization.”