The city of Bexley has begun its search for a new service director.

The city of Bexley has begun its search for a new service director.

Current Service Director Bill Harvey was elected city auditor Nov. 5 and is scheduled to begin the post in January, replacing current Auditor Gary Qualmann.

The service director is responsible for overseeing the maintenance and operation of the city's water-sewer infrastructure, streets and alleys and maintenance of public areas, except for city parks.

To find a replacement for Harvey, Mayor Ben Kessler said he is in the process of writing a job description to specify the qualifications.

The search will include "internal candidates, and I'm working on (assembling) a search committee as well so that we get feedback from others outside of the city," Kessler told City Council members at their Nov. 12 meeting.

Kessler said he also will seek Harvey's input. Harvey's current salary is $82,000, and the pay range for the service director position is listed at $65,000 to $87,750 by city ordinance, Kessler said.

"Any change to that range would require council action," he said.

Kessler said he has also consulted with neighboring communities about their service director positions.

"I've emailed my colleagues at various municipalities to find out what they're currently paying their service directors," he said.

Salaries for service directors in nearby communities range from $83,000 in Whitehall and $102,000 in Upper Arlington and Worthington to $106,000 in Hilliard, Kessler said.

Councilman Tim Madison asked if the new service director could take on additional duties, since the position is full time.

"Is it a silly notion to think you could have a combination service director and development director?" Madison said.

While most communities have a service director who is assigned only to the service department, Kessler said he is open to exploring the possibility of the new service director taking on more responsibilities, especially in development and communications.

"It would be a really special person who could combine all those characteristics and get all that done," Kessler said, "but I'm not saying it couldn't happen."

Kessler said he has not yet established a timeline for when the service director position will be officially posted or a deadline for hiring the successful candidate.