Kasich Admin’s Diversity Gets a Face While She’s Asked To Phase It Out?

I don’t know.  That’s what it sounds like to me: it’s okay to make a woman the head of something so long as the something is winding itself down into non-existence?

I’d also like to know if Christiane Schmenk will receive the same salary as the outgoing James Leftwich, who was making $127,400 as the head of the Ohio Department of Development.

Most curious to me though is this statement in the Dayton Daily News from Kasich spokesman Scott Milburn:

Milburn said that Schmenk is the natural person to take over as director as the transition is made to JobsOhio, with the development department no longer playing the out front role in job development efforts. [emphasis added]

So…let me just be sure I’m reading this right: The person taking over, is a good person to take over, because the entity which she’s taking over will no longer be playing a front role in job development efforts.  So, you know, she can handle that. She just wouldn’t be so well-suited if ODOD were still “playing the out front role in job development efforts”???

OMG. I honestly cannot believe what comes out of these people. He has no idea how he sounds. And he’s a paid with our money spokesman.

More about Schmenk is in this February 22, 2011 article announcing her move to the ODOD:

Schmenk said that as the department’s top lawyer, she’ll pay close attention to calls to keep the organization transparent.

“In my role as mayor I’ve become very used to the need for open government,” she said. “I’ll probably go above and beyond what’s been laid out in the discussions so far for the department.”

Schmenk said she’ll make about $115,000 a year with the state. She said that’s a pay cut from her job at Scotts, but one she said was worth it to get the state back on track creating new jobs.

Fascinating. The most senior legal counsel at the ODOD was presented as a big open government fan, but in the creation of JobsOhio, taking the work away from the ODOD, that’s been the most criticized feature that will be lacking.  So now, she’ll get to head an entity that, sure, they can allow to be open because, well, it’s not going to be open for long, right?

So, so sad and way out of sync with the times.

I really hope she asked for that $12,400 salary increase – and got it.

3 thoughts on “Kasich Admin’s Diversity Gets a Face While She’s Asked To Phase It Out?

  1. Kari, while the ODOD may not be closing, its functions clearly are being altered, modified, and/or eliminated. That has been a stated desire of the Kasich administration since before he was elected. To not follow through on that would be a major pulling back, I would think.

    But the issue related to women in the cabinet and the administration, and the visibility of them, as well as their role in policy decision-making, generally speaking, is really what is at issue. I know people want to say, why does it matter? But I would say back, why does it matter to any person – male or female – to feel that your contributions are valued, needed and will be rewarded by placing you in positions of leadership?

    To me, and I speak only for me and accept that I may be out there on the fringe on this, though I don’t really believe that, it is soooo easy to find Ohio women of ability and talent, as well as women of color, to fill so many of the roles in government – and not just health, education or youth. I just would like to see that be prioritized during the position-filling phases. When Kasich spokespeople exhort people to step forward, flag us down and write us, that in and of itself demonstrates just how low the priority is. They should be asking, seeking, looking, finding – those actions show a priority is in fact a priority, and not a “if you’re out there, let us know” afterthought.

    Obviously I am really passionate about this. And wish everyone was as much as I am. 😉 But I am realistic in saying that I know this is NOT everyone’s priority – and while I think that’s a shame, I think looking at how even low hanging fruit like the failure to lift even a FINGER to get out ANYTHING on the Ohio Women’s Hall of Fame is just so, so unfortunate. It just.looks.bad.

  2. Pingback: Cafaro, Garland to Kasich: Show Us The Women for JobsOhio : Writes Like She Talks

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