November 24, 2014

Medina
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Brunswick scores a relative bargain with interim city manager

BRUNSWICK — Police Chief Carl DeForest is getting a $600-a-week raise. That’s how much he’ll be paid on top of his $93,845 chief’s salary to serve as Brunswick’s interim city manager.

City Council made the appointment Monday.

While DeForest will be getting extra pay, it’s a bargain: outgoing City Manager Jim Lukas was slated to earn about $108,500 this year — more than $2,000 a week.

Lukas announced his resignation July 1, effective Aug. 2, to take a job as safety director for the city of Sharonville, near Cincinnati.

Council had hoped DeForest could work with Lukas for a week or two. But Lukas is taking vacation in his final week, meaning his last day at work is Friday.
DeForest is on vacation and not expected to be back to work until Monday.

According to the city’s codified ordinances, the chief of police reports to the city manager, but the provision shouldn’t create a problem, city Law Director Ken Fisher said.

“I don’t really see a conflict there,” said Fisher when asked about the dual role.

DeForest previously served as interim city manager and police chief for about 10 months — from May 2010 to February 2011 — while Council conducted a search for a permanent replacement. Lukas was hired in February 2011.

In addition to the extra pay, DeForest also is picking up an additional three weeks of vacation time, according to the ordinance Council approved Monday. He has the option to take the time this year, or roll it over into 2014.

At Monday’s meeting, which was the last Lukas will attend, Council members and Mayor Gary Werner thanked Lukas for his service to Brunswick.

“Every time I made a phone call to you for help with my residents, you responded,” said Councilman Anthony Capretta, 4th Ward.

Werner also recognized Lukas’ service. He said Lukas will be remembered as a hard-working, humble man.

“He was always behind the scenes doing his job,” Werner said.

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