July 23, 2016

Partly sunny

Outgoing Wadsworth service director reflects on city’s growth

WADSWORTH — The city is seeking a new service director after Chris Easton announced he will retire this summer.

“I think it’s time for new leadership,” he said. “This has been a greater opportunity for me, but I’ll have 30 years in, so I’m considering new opportunities. I don’t know what yet.”

Easton started as a code enforcement officer in 1984 and almost immediately became Wadsworth’s planning and economic development director. He held that post through 1998. From 1999 to 2003, he was assistant director of public service. Since January 2004, he’s led the city’s service department.

Chris Easton

Chris Easton

Easton, 53, said he’s enjoyed watching the city grow since 1984, aiding in the expansion of retail business on the north and east sides of town.

“Downtown was renovated in 1984 and what’s exciting now is watching Downtown Wadsworth Inc., which is a significant organization in keeping the focus on downtown development,” he said.

The city itself has grown in terms of responsibilities, Easton said, with additional services like the storm water utility, and new telecommunications services rebranded under CityLink.

He said he’s proud the city’s service department solved problems under his tenure, like the long-term water supply, handled through the Chippewa well development in Doylestown, and the smart grid technology for electric service.

“I’m also glad to see the community decided to move forward with the street improvement programs, and the new community center we opened a year ago,” he said.

Easton said that while he doesn’t know exactly what he will do with the future, he plans to work full time and continue in public service somehow, perhaps giving back through work for a nonprofit organization.

“It’s really been a privilege to serve Wadsworth and I’m thankful to have such a hard-working group of people,” he said. “It’s been a privilege to work here.”

Easton’s last day is June 30.

The job advertisement on the city’s website says it is looking for someone who will stay for the long term and the new director must move to the city within six months of taking the job.

The position will pay between $83,954 and $125,931 a year, the ad says.

Candidates must submit resumes by April 11 to Jim Kovacs, human resources manager, at jkovacs@wadsworthcity.org.

Applicants will be screened April 14 to 18 with personal interviews scheduled for April 21 to 25.

Contact reporter Dan Pompili at (330) 721-4012 or dpompili@medina-gazette.com.