Former mayoral candidate and community activist David Gilmore has been promoted to the post of Community Improvement division director, according to city officials.
“I’m looking forward to serve the city,” said Gilmore on Monday morning. “This position allows me to address abandonment, garbage, and dumping.”
Gilmore, who runs the popular social media page “Let’s Save Paterson,” has been campaigning against the ubiquitous litter and garbage on city streets.
“A lot of our issues come from lack of enforcement,” he said. He said he intends to take a strict stance one enforcing existing municipal ordinances to tackle the three urban scourges.
Gilmore’s salary at the new position is $52,500, he said. He was hired on March 30th, 2015 to work as a contract compliance officer at the Economic Development Department for a $40,000 salary, according to city records. He has been angling for the director’s post after longtime division head Kathy Easton retired in mid-2015.
After Easton retired, mayor Jose “Joey” Torres installed Gennaro “Jerry” Lobozzo, who was hired as chief project coordinator on February 18th, 2015, as director of the division, on July 8th, 2015.
Gilmore is replacing Lobozzo as director.
Gilmore began work today as director, said Economic Development Department director Ruben Gomez. The Community Improvement division is part of the larger Economic Development Department.
Lobozzo is now the city’s construction official after the resignation of Chester Czerny. Czerny left for a higher paying job elsewhere. Lobozzo and Gilmore, who are taking on more responsibilities, received 25-percent pay increase as a result of the promotions, according to officials.
Gomez said the reporting structure of the department has also changed. He said both Lobozzo and Gilmore will report to him. Previously, the construction official reported to the Community Improvement director.
The former Community Improvement director Kathy Easton’s base salary was $75,449, according to city records.
Gilmore ran against Torres in the 2014 mayoral election. He finished eighth in the eight-person race. He is not the only candidate to have gotten a job at the city after the election.
Torres also hired Lydia Robles, who dropped out of the race to endorse him, as an internal auditor. However, after the state intervened subsequent to questions about her qualifications for the auditor post, the city ended up changing her title.
Gilmore thanked the mayor for promoting him as the acting director of the division. He will serve as acting director until he is appointed permanently through civil service over the next few months, according to officials.
Gilmore has previously served in executive capacity as the director of housing and neighborhood development in Waterbury, Conn. from 1992-1994, according to his resume.
“He is highly qualified and will do an outstanding job,” said council president William McKoy about Gilmore.
McKoy said Gilmore was very active and hands on while contract compliance officer. He cited Gilmore’s fast response in going after contractors who were performing work in historic homes in the Eastside section without proper permits.
The council president also thought it sensible that Lobozzo was moved to the code official post.
“He lobbied hard for the position,” said Andre Sayegh, 6th Ward councilman, of Gilmore. “Now he has to deliver.”
This report was last edited on February 29th, 2016 at 12:18 p.m.