By JAMES MITCHELL
Sunday Times Newspapers
TRENTON — The mayoral campaign of former City Clerk Kyle Stack focused heavily on two issues: For the city administration to work as a team; and to pursue economic development.
One month into her service as mayor, Stack has the City Hall team in place and is ready to tackle the city’s struggling economy in 2012. Since swearing in last month, Stack made several changes to Trenton’s top staff, including installing new Police Chief James Nardone and promoting Joann Perna to Parks and Recreation director.
Inside City Hall, the role of city administrator was handed to James Wagner, whose career in municipal management includes a nine-year stint as mayor of Wyandotte (1979 to 1987). Wagner replaces Bob Cady in the position as a full-time manager of city adminstration.
Early into Wagner’s tenure, Stack was reassured that her choice, and goals, were on track. Within a few days Wagner introduced and spent time with virtually every city employee, including the two evening shifts of police officers.
“We’ve never had somebody like that do that sort of thing,” Stack said. “Those are the kinds of things that bring everything together. He’s completely in his element.”
Most staff administrations remained intact: Paul Haley will continue as Emergency Management director, Bruce Vick as fire chief, and Christine Arnoczki as controller.
Department of Public Works Director Eric Witte will no longer serve as that position was eliminated, the department merged under Engineering and Supervisor Bill Hogan. Stack said that most transitions were achieved through retirement, but the economic challenges required some staff reductions.