Mayor-elect drops 3 staffers

Stanforth: ‘It’s just time for some new faces in city hall’

Gary Huffenberger -




WILMINGTON — Saying it’s time for some new faces at city hall, Wilmington Mayor-elect John Stanforth has told the heads of the public taxi service and the Maintenance & Repair Department (streets), plus the mayor’s executive assistant, they won’t keep their jobs when he takes office.

Stanforth also announced on Friday that Brian A. Shidaker, an assistant Clinton County prosecutor, will become the Wilmington Service and Safety director in January.

Shidaker will succeed Lawrence “Larry” Reinsmith, who is retiring. Wilmington Director of Human Resources Danny Mongold also is retiring.

The mayor’s executive assistant position, held by Brenda K. Woods during current Mayor Randy Riley’s administration, will be filled later, Stanforth said Friday.

But the positions of Public Transportation Director Phillip Floyd and of Maintenance & Repair Superintendent Dennis Gherman will not necessarily be refilled, said Stanforth.

The mayor-elect said he has not made a decision what to do regarding the department head positions held by Floyd and Gherman. Dollars will be a consideration in his decision process, according to Stanforth.

Of Shidaker, Stanforth said, “He is a young, smart, capable individual, and he’s got good home-ties here. I’m tickled to death [Shidaker will be service and safety director].”

On Friday, Shidaker told the News Journal, “I am honored and excited for this opportunity. I believe it’s a natural transition to public safety and service from the work I have done as prosecutor and director of law. I am grateful for the experience I have had with these offices, but look forward to this new challenge.”

Shidaker’s annual salary will be approximately $95,000.

Concerning the position of human resources director, Stanforth said he has not decided whether to replace Mongold with a full-time employee. He said he wants to look at that more to try to determine whether it would be possible, given the number of workers the City of Wilmington employs.

Stanforth added he’s not sure the human resources work performed by Mongold can be done on a part-time schedule.

On the timing of the announcements, the mayor-elect said he did not want to wait until the last minute to advise the staffers they’re losing their jobs. On Tuesday, Stanforth easily won the mayoral election over write-in candidate and Wilmington Treasurer Paul Fear, 2,036 votes to 381.

Stanforth said Friday that since winning the Republican Primary in the spring, he had talked with “at least two dozen current and former government people,” seeking their thoughts on what needed to be done on city personnel and policy.

“I’m really looking forward to the job. I am eager to get in the position,” Stanforth said. He said Riley has been “very helpful” in the transition.

“Another thing. I am so excited about working with this new council — a young dynamic group — to run our city. It’s just going to be exciting,” said Stanforth.

Floyd on Friday said he, Gherman and Woods “serve at the pleasure of the mayor.” He added the mayor-elect has made his decision to not re-appoint him, with no explanation given.

Contacted Friday, Woods said, “I certainly appreciate the opportunity Randy [Riley] gave me the past four years. Through this position, I have met many wonderful people, and it’s certainly been my pleasure to serve the citizens of Wilmington. I wish the new administration the very best.”

Gherman did not immediately return a phone message Friday.

Reach Gary Huffenberger at 937-556-5768 or on Twitter @GHuffenberger.


Stanforth: ‘It’s just time for some new faces in city hall’

Gary Huffenberger