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Brown team is taking shape Casey, Tobe Will Serve In Key Posts Several from Masiello staff are expected to be retained

Mayor-elect Byron W. Brown is poised to make his first round of long-awaited appointments Friday, including Steven M. Casey as a deputy mayor and Richard M. Tobe as a new economic development czar who will head a retooled department that includes permits and inspections.

But Tobe's new position must be created, and a revamped Department of Economic Development, Permits and Inspections must be approved by the Common Council. Lawmakers will get their first glance of the restructuring at a special meeting Friday. Until that legislation is passed, Tobe will serve as the $73,337 permits and inspections commissioner, heading a unit that has come under criticism in recent years.

Timothy E. Wanamaker, the city's strategic planning director, will keep his roughly $94,335 position, sources said.

Several other high-profile members of Mayor Anthony M. Masiello's administration will also keep their jobs when Brown takes office Jan 1. They include Finance Commissioner James B. Milroy, who will earn $83,000. Shortly after Brown's election victory, control board Chairman Brian J. Lipke met with the mayor-elect and encouraged him to keep Milroy, who has been a liaison between the city and the control board.

"We see Jim Milroy as a valuable asset to any organization," said Casey.

But he declined to comment on any pending appointments.

Public Works Commissioner Joseph N. Giambra, whose department supervises garbage collection, snowplowing efforts and all city buildings, will also be retained by Brown in his $81,484 position. Bruna M. Michaux, one of City Hall's longest tenured administrators, will remain as assessment and taxation commissioner. Michaux's appointment to the $74,405 post must also be approved by the city's other two top elected officials, but Council President David A. Franczyk and Comptroller Andrew A. SanFilippo have already indicated they support keeping her in the post.

Michael A. Seaman, who currently serves a dual role as the $73,209 budget director and treasurer, is likely to move into a restructured position that oversees the treasury and all collections functions.

Brown will not name his new police or fire commissioners this week, Casey said today. These key appointments are not likely to be made until early January.

While Casey wouldn't discuss pending appointments, he said it will be clear at Friday's news conference that Brown plans to put a "major focus on economic development."

Tobe was a former Erie County environment and planning commissioner who served as former County Executive Dennis Gorski's economic point man. He is also a current member of the state control board that oversees city finances.

There has been widespread speculation for nearly two months that Tobe would join the Brown administration in a key capacity, possibly as a deputy mayor. Brown will have two deputies. Casey will serve as deputy mayor for operations. The second $85,000-a-year deputy's position will focus on administration.

e-mail: bmeyer@buffnews.com

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