Council discusses vacant city management position

Council discusses vacant city management position

Wooster City Council met Oct. 17 for its regular city council meeting, and Mayor Bob Brenneman opened the meeting by informing city council members the city would be convening a compensation committee in accordance with Wooster’s city charter. He asked members to submit names of individuals who might be willing to serve on that commission.

The mayor also reported on Heritage Ohio’s annual conference and noted Wooster was featured in a video shown at that conference. Heritage Ohio is Ohio’s official historic preservation and Main Street organization whose mission is to foster economic development and sustainability through preservation of historic buildings, revitalization of downtowns and neighborhood commercial districts, and promotion of cultural tourism.

Local businessman Justin Starlin, former head of the Wooster Area Chamber of Commerce, and attorney Lucas Palmer spoke in support of a CRA for Jason Carrick and 585 Partners LLC. A CRA is an Ohio Reinvestment Area Program that provides tax exemptions to businesses pursuant to Ohio Revised Code Section 3735.65. Carrick owns a series of properties in Wooster. The proposed tax abatement was for a 10-year, 50% abatement for a retail development on Akron Road. The ordinance dealing with the CRA was left on second reading.

Council also discussed the addition of a new position for the city, which is an assistant information systems manager. Wooster City Director of Administration Joel Montgomery said the city has been trying to fill a vacant systems administrator III position for a year with no successful applicants. After consultation with headhunters in the industry, the city learned the position will likely go unfilled due to the fact it is a union position and the city is thus limited in the compensation and in the succession planning it can do.

Montgomery said adding a management-level position would allow them to find the desired candidate. The new position would include a salary range from $74,600-$100,000. Current IT manager Bob Eshelman has indicated he plans to retire within the next two years. The ordinance to add this position was left on first reading.

Linda Smith of Bayberry Cove reminded city officials of the new severe weather shelter at the Salvation Army, located at 437 S. Market St. in Wooster.

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