Ujvagi is term limited and cannot seek re-election to his current house seat. He had been rumored to be interested in switching positions with State Sen. Theresa Fedor, who is also term limited, though State Rep. Edna Brown and Toledo City Councilman Joe McNamara are also talking about that senate seat. This appointment removes at least one person from a contested Democratic primary. I've been told by Edna Brown that she was being pushed to run for Lucas County Commissioner, though she said she's not as interested in that position as she is the Ohio senate seat.
This appointment ensures Ujvagi a rather high salary for his PERS (Public Employee Retirement System) calculations. Under PERS, participants get approximately 80% of the average of their three highest years of earning. Considering that the administrator's position pays between $93,000 and $116,000, if he stays three years he'll probably double what he would otherwise get.
Ujvagi will be 61 in March.
I guess I'm wondering how many applicants there were for the position, where it was advertised and who else might have expressed an interest before the three Democrat Commissioners decided to hire Ujvagi....
According to the report in The Blade:
Prior to the unanimous vote, the commissioners' discussed a motion from Commissioner Ben Konop to table the appointment to allow time for others to apply for the job. That motion was voted down 2-1.
Interestingly, the item was not listed on the Commissioner's published agenda for today, though it could have been an item for Executive Session.
Clearly, the most qualified individual for the position is fromer assistant county administrator and current chief of staff, Bridgette Kabat. The position should have been hers, unless she declined. She is not only the most qualified, but has proven herself to be an extremely capable public servant, devoted to the best interests of the county.
She has also been very good at staying out of the politics end of things. But then, that might have been a disqualifier. And, of course, her appointment wouldn't solve internal Democratic Party issues...