On Tuesday September 10,
2013 at the meeting of the Civil Service Commission held in City
Council Chambers the mayor sent a glowing letter requesting the
appointment of Mr. Rey Carrion as the new Director of the
newly reorganized Building, Housing, and Planning Department.
In his letter, Mayor
Ritenauer expounded the diligent, hard working ethics of Mr.
Carrion and credited his work on the new Lorain County Land
Bank that has brought in needed dollars for all of the new
demolitions going on about the City of Lorain.
The mayor’s letter stated:
“Put in an impossible situation and a mess he did not create,
it is my firm belief that Mr. Carrion has earned the opportunity
to lead….With a new department, refined objectives, and a leader
who, when the times got to be the toughest, grinded it out in
circumstances that were set up for failure, Mr. Carrion
For the past 3 years,
Carrion was the Acting Director of the City Community
Development Department, a department that was reorganized and
merged with the City Building Department.
Rey Carrion was born in
1966 in Rio Piedras Puerto Rico, a suburb of the capital city
San Juan; it is also home to main campus of the University of
Puerto Rico. Carrion came to Lorain with his family, following
in his grandfathers footsteps, who was recruited by US Steel to
come work in their Lorain plant about 1947.
Also keeping with his
father's tradition who was the Director of Economic Development
for the City of Hato Rey Puerto Rico Mr. Carrion received his
Bachelors of Science in Technology; majoring in
Architectural/Environmental Design at Bowling Green State
University, while his father’s Bachelors degree was in Business
Administration at the University of Puerto Rico.
His mother earned a
Bachelors of Fine Arts in Puerto Rico, she had her own art
studio and taught classes in the arts. Also she ran her own
kiosk and sold her art in La Plaza de las Américas in San
Juan Puerto Rico.
Carrion began school in
Lorain in 7th grade at the old Whittier High School in South
Lorain; he graduated from Southview HS and went on to graduate
from Bowling Green State University. He had to put his
degree on hold as he met and married Orquedia with which he has
two children, Rey Jr. and Alexis. Carrion returned to his
studies between working at City Hall, raising a family of four,
and traveling weekly to campus.
Since about 1992, in one
position or the other, Mr. Carrion started his career at the
Lorain City Administration Department as an intern and slowly
worked his way up to junior planner, to project manager, to
construction manager; and then in 2011 he took on the duties of
Interim Director of Community Development. Now, by appointment,
the first Latino Director of Building, Housing and Planning at
the City of Lorain. Another first for the Latino population in
City of Lorain which has grown to approximately 25 percent of
the total population.
Carrion said he was
relieved that the temporal status was finally resolved and now
he can continue to do his best to help Mayor Ritenauer put into
practice some elements of the somewhat forgotten Staubach
Report, commissioned many years ago but shelved to collect dust.
This report highlighted the major obstacles that are hindering
the progress of the City of Lorain. Some of the problems noted
are the infrastructure: roads, buildings, blight, and the
relocation of the city water treatment plant.
He stated that Lorain City
School District has now the most modern buildings and up-to-date
systems in the State of Ohio. Soon the district will move out of
its’ current status with the Ohio School System and get back to
improving the lives of the local students who attend school
As far as infrastructure,
Carrion commended the mayor: “The mayor is doing a difficult job
of fixing the infrastructure; he has got the roads problem on
track, the high tension lines are being rerouted, new water and
sewage lines are being replaced.”
“We need to fix and remove
these obstacles to move the city forward along with our school
system, which is an important indicator of the livability,
educated workforce, and future growth of a city.”