WARREN - Mayor-elect Doug Franklin said he's confident Enzo Cantalamessa's legal experience, combined with his background in the private sector, will "bring a new edge, new flavor" to city operations once he takes over as safety-service director early next year.
Franklin announced Cantalamessa's appointment on Tuesday at City Hall. Cantalamessa is replacing Franklin in a post the mayor-elect held under Mayor Michael J. O'Brien, who did not seek re-election.
Doug Franklin, Enzo Cantalamessa speak to the media
Cantalamessa's starting annual salary is $82,825. As mayor, Franklin will be paid $87,788 a year.
Cantalamessa, 38, serves as legal counsel for the Trumbull County Engineer's Office, a position he said he will no longer hold once he takes over as safety-service director.
Meanwhile, Cantalamessa said he intends to continue helping out at Enzo's Restaurant, the Elm Road establishment he owns with his family and where Franklin's election victory party was held in May.
Tribune Chronicle / Virginia Shank
Warren Mayor-elect Doug Franklin, left, introduced Enzo Cantalamessa, 38, a local attorney and businessman, as the city’s new safety-service director at City Hall on Tuesday.
Franklin's pre-primary campaign finance records show that Cantalamessa's brother, Mauro Cantalamessa, made in-kind contributions amounting to $3,000 for food for a Franklin fundraiser, as well as cash contributions.
Franklin said Cantalamessa was one of three people he considered for the job. The safety-service director oversees the daily operations of the city.
"Enzo Cantalamessa brings to this job a great work ethic and manner of professionalism," Franklin remarked. "He is the first safety-service director who is also an attorney. I am glad he is going to be bringing that legal background to this position."
Cantalamessa said on Tuesday that it is humbling to have an opportunity to serve in the safety-service director's position and that he is hoping "to continue the good works" Franklin started. He added be believes the variety of experience he has will be an asset to the city.
"I am an attorney by profession but I also grew up working in the private sector," he said. "I've been taught the value of hard work from a very young age. Just that diversity in my background, I think, hopefully, is going to prove to be an asset to the city of Warren."
Cantalamessa and his wife, Dawn, a Mahoning County prosecutor, have three children.
According to a resume provided by Franklin, Enzo Cantalamessa is a managing member of the law firm Wilkes & Cantalamessa based in Warren.
Previously, he acted as senior associate counsel for Davis and Young, from July 2004 to April 2011, and corporate counsel for the Cafaro Co. from December 2003 to July 2004. He also worked as an assistant public defender in the Ohio Office of the Public Defender, May 2003 to December 2003.
Trumbull County Engineer Randy Smith said Cantalamessa's legal counsel position there was going to be evaluated soon into the new year. It's a position that carried over from Smith's predecessor David DeChristofaro.
Smith said the few months between his appointment in August to the first of the year have given him time to review worker job performances. In addition, Smith said after he took office, he was asked by the county prosecutor's office and insurance carrier to avoid making any personnel changes unless there was concurrence from those two agencies based on personnel issues that surrounded DeChristofaro.