September 1, 2014

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Brunswick city manager chosen, economic development experience seals selection

Brunswick City Council voted unanimously Monday to hire former Hudson city manager Anthony Bales as Brunswick’s new city manager.

The motion was made following a nine-month search that started in August when City Manager Jim Lukas resigned. But it could be another six weeks before Bales inks a contract with Medina County’s biggest city.

Anthony Bales

Anthony Bales

“If it was up to him he’d start immediately, and we’d love to have him,” Vice Mayor and Councilman Vince Carl, 2nd Ward, said.

The holdup is the specifics of the contract — including salary, fringe benefits and duration — still must be negotiated.

Lukas’s salary was $108,500.

The city’s charter requires that a resolution be drafted and terms of the new contract be available for three Council readings.

If legislation is drafted in time for the May 13 meeting, the earliest he could be approved is on June 9.

“If everything goes correctly with the contract, it will be mid-June,” Carl said.

Bales has 20 years of administrative experience in cities around Ohio. He now works as an economic development specialist for the city of Kent in Portage County. Prior to that, he served as Hudson’s city manager for eight years.

Bales also worked as administrator for the villages of Groveport and New Bremen. He also has four years of experience as an administrative assistant in the city of Upper Arlington.

Carl said Bales’ background in Ohio local governments will serve Brunswick well. Bales has been a member of the International Association of City Managers for more than 10 years.

“He’s got a background in Ohio and he’s made connections here,” Carl said. “He understands how Ohio local governments operate with the state.”

Bales said he plans to move to Brunswick with his wife, Shanna, and sons, Andrew, 12, and Benjamin, 10.

“We’re excited to come here; it’s a wonderful community,” Bales said.

Councilman Anthony Capretta, 4th Ward, said Bales’ experience in economic development was a major plus in getting him the job.

“I’m big on economic development and I’m very, very grateful he accepted,” he said. “One of the things that attracted him here was our school system.”

Capretta said Bales has an interest in moving to the city and setting down roots with his family.

A city ordinance requires city managers to live in Brunswick, but gives them “a reasonable amount of time” to make the move. Previous city manager Lukas served the city for just more than two years but never made the move.

Capretta said it might be worth Council’s time to revisit the rule and set a timeline for city managers to move to the city.

Bales said he’ll be visiting the city regularly before he takes the job in June to get acquainted with the city and local leaders. He said he likes working as a city administrator because the job is different every day.

“It’s never just one single thing. It’s a challenge, but that makes it fun,” he said.

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