Gahanna deputy service director Mike Andrako will leave the city effective Friday, Oct. 11, to become service director for the city of Marysville.
"For me, this move is bittersweet," he told ThisWeek. "Over the past 10 years, I have had the opportunity to work with wonderful people, and together we were able to do great things for the city. I'm excited for this next step in my career, but I will miss Gahanna a great deal."
Andrako started working in Gahanna as an engineering intern in May 2003.
He was employed under a personal-services contract from 2004 to 2006. He then was hired as assistant city engineer in April 2007.
Andrako was promoted to deputy director of public service May 23, 2011.
During his tenure, he created the automated street-rating system, which enables every street to be rated annually with a handheld GPS unit equipped with GIS software.
Andrako also created a computerized street-maintenance program to streamline the annual paving program. He also created multiple databases to streamline project tracking.
Service director Dottie Franey said Andrako has saved the city money by implementing in-house inspection of construction projects. She said he implemented the second-generation of Gahanna's smart traffic signals.
Franey said he's also responsible for Gahanna being awarded millions of dollars in grants, and he played a critical role in the implementation of Gahanna's fiber-optic network.
"Mike Andrako will be sorely missed by the entire staff at the city of Gahanna," Franey said. "Mike's knowledge, insights and technical abilities have helped every department within the city. We wish Mike much success and say goodbye to him, knowing that Gahanna is better for having had 10 years of his service."
Andrako follows former service director Terry Emery, who joined the Marysville in 2011 to become director of administration.
In addition to Andrako, deputy economic development director Leah Evans left the city last month to take the position of director of homeownership at Homeport.
Evans was hired by Gahanna in 2009 as economic development manager, and she was promoted to deputy director in 2011.
"Leah was a tremendous employee whose planning expertise will impact the Gahanna community for years to come," said Anthony Jones, development director.
Mayor Becky Stinchcomb said Andrako and Evans have been valuable members of the city's administrative team, so their departure is a loss for the citizens of Gahanna.
"We have recognized that Gahanna has long been a springboard for many of our professionals who leave the city for career advancements," she said. "Our city staff structure is very small for a city our size, and that doesn't leave much room for advancement. Mike and Leah will be missed, and I wish them well in their future endeavors."
Public-information manager Niel Jurist said Andrako's position wouldn't be filled immediately, as the city evaluates the entire department to assess current operations.
Because of operations needs, Evans' position was posted with a closing date of Oct. 4 for applications.
"Over the past few years, we have had some staff departures, and many of these vacancies have not been filled due to budget cutbacks," Stinchcomb said. "All staff positions are vital to our city operations, or they simply would not exist. Services on the local level are provided by people, and without people performing work, these service demands simply are not and will not be met. In addition, our current financial uncertainty remains a factor in our ability to retain and attract talented employees for our city."