Duggan announces leadership changes in his administration

Christine Ferretti
The Detroit News
Detroit's chief operating officer Dave Massaron will take step in Jan. 1 as the city's acting chief financial officer

Detroit — Dave Massaron, the Duggan administration's chief operating officer, will be stepping in next month to head the city's financial operations, the mayor announced Tuesday. 

Mayor Mike Duggan named Massaron to serve as the city's acting chief financial officer with the impending departure of John Hill, who announced this fall his plans to step down from the role.

Duggan intends to name a permanent replacement in the spring, officials said. 

Massaron, 39, has served as Detroit's chief operating officer and senior counsel to the mayor since 2016. He's also been tasked with the preparation of the city’s annual budgets, supervision of capital spending and implementation as well as coordination of city service departments, officials noted.

In his time with the city, Massaron has led the creation of a road construction plan that resulted in $125 million in bond financing for 23 commercial corridors. He also spearheaded the creation of the Detroit Promise Zone Authority, which enabled a tax capture to fund the Detroit Promise, a program that provides tuition-free college education for city high school graduates.

“Dave brings a wealth of experience of finances and city budgets to the role of interim CFO,” Duggan said in a released statement.

Hill, who is expected to finish out his service by month's end, helped guide Detroit out of bankruptcy and state oversight this spring. He earned $230,000 annually. 

Hill originally had planned to leave Detroit shortly after its bankruptcy in December 2014, but he ultimately remained on board to oversee the restructuring of the city's financial operations, aid Detroit in addressing its looming pension obligations and to see it through four consecutive balanced budgets.

Under Public Act 182 of 2014, the city has 180 days from Hill’s departure, or until June 30, to confirm a new CFO.

Detroit Labor Relations Director Hakim Berry will become the city's interim chief operating officer beginning Jan. 1.

Duggan on Tuesday also named Hakim Berry as Detroit's interim operating officer, in place of Massaron.

Berry, 44, will also continue with his existing role as the city's labor relations director as he takes on the appointment.

Berry previously held roles as a divisional head of human resources for Tenet Health, owner of the Detroit Medical Center, and a labor relations manager for DTE Energy.

Since being named labor relations head in 2017, Berry has led negotiations with Detroit’s three police unions to extend contracts for two years, bargaining for operational improvements and restoring pay and benefits lost during the bankruptcy. 

“In his role as labor relations director, Hakim has demonstrated a real talent for identifying developing opportunities for operational improvements,” Duggan said. “That skill will serve him, and the city, well in his new role.” 

Both appointments are effective Jan. 1.