June 27, 2016

Partly sunny

Brunswick council looks to appoint interim chief

BRUNSWICK — City Council will discuss naming an interim city manager during a closed executive session Monday.

City Manager Jim Lukas notified Council on Monday that he would leave Aug. 2 to become safety services director of the city of Sharonville, in southwest Ohio near Cincinnati.

Jim Lukas

In his letter to Council announcing his resignation, he said it was not an easy decision.

“I would like to thank all the members of Council I have worked with, as well as Mayor (Gary) Werner, the employees of the city and the residents of this wonderful community,” he wrote.

Councilwoman Pat Hanek, at large, said Council hopes to appoint an interim city manager soon so the interim manager can “work with Jim before he leaves to have that position fully in gear and ready to go.”

From start to finish, it took about 10 months before Brunswick City Council appointed Lukas in February 2011.

The city began its search after Bob Zienkowski announced his resignation in March 2010. Zienkowski stayed with the city until May, but Council wasn’t ready to appoint a new city manager. Instead Council appointed Police Chief Carl DeForest to serve as city manager.

Hanek said that search was complicated because the city narrowed down the field and offered a position to a candidate just before Zienkowski left, but it was turned down.

In the next stage of the search, three of the top four candidates withdrew their names from the field just before the final interviews.

At that point, the city hired an outside firm for help, and eventually selected Lukas in February 2011.

“It ended up taking a long time last time for a variety of reasons,” Hanek said. “We’re hoping we can move rather quickly this time.”

Lukas’ contract only required him to give council members 30 days notice. When Zienkowski left, the city had 60 days to try and find a replacement.

Also at Monday’s meeting, council is expected to take a final vote to put a 10-year 1.2 mill road levy on the ballot.

When asked about entering a fall levy campaign without a city manager, Hanek said she doesn’t think it will have a negative impact.

“The interim city manager will probably be someone who already works for the city, and it’s going to be a teamwork effort on the levy, so that should go smoothly,” she said.

Council meets at 7:30 p.m. on Monday in Council chambers at 4095 Center Road.

Contact reporter Loren Genson at (330) 721-4063 or lgenson@medina-gazette.com.

Loren Genson About Loren Genson

Loren Genson was The Gazette's senior reporter. From August 2012 through September 2015, she covered Brunswick city and state and national government. To contact The Gazette, call the managing editor at (330) 721-4065.