Licking County News

Etna Township

Trustees choose Platte as administrator

By ThisWeek Community News  • 

The Etna Township trustees on June 4 chose Rob Platte of Pataskala as township administrator.

"His greatest asset is his demeanor," said Trustee John Carlisle.

Carlisle told Platte June 4, "You're what we feel Etna Township's new face is going to be."

Platte currently is Jefferson Township's parks coordinator.

He is a Licking Heights High School graduate who worked for Kroger before starting in the Jefferson Township service department in 2000.

Platte said he became the township's parks coordinator in 2010, after the new position was created.

While working as parks coordinator, Platte said, he wrote several grant applications and focused on developing township parks.

He said while working in the township's service department, he learned about zoning from residents and as parks coordinator he saw the other side by applying for zoning changes needed to develop parks.

He said in his new job as Etna township administrator and zoning inspector, he will benefit by having seen both sides of zoning issues.

"I think he's an excellent fit for Etna Township," said Etna Township Trustee Jeff Johnson.

Trustee Randy Foor agreed.

"He brings a lot of township government experience and experience in writing grants," Foor said. "I found it interesting the way he got the community involved in the farmers market and trick or treat and hope he will bring that to this community, as well."

Platte will earn $60,000 annually, plus benefits, Carlisle said.

The trustees received 24 resumes for the position, which they changed from zoning inspector to township administrator and zoning inspector after Chris Harkness resigned Feb. 20 to take a job with the county planning commission.

Harkness earned $51,000 annually.

Platte said he would give notice to Jefferson Township trustees June 5 and hopes to start in Etna Township within two weeks of his resignation.

Former trustee Gary Burkholder was serving as interim administrator, working no more than 25 hours a week at $30 an hour.

He was the other applicant interviewed by trustees June 4.

Carlisle and Foor thanked Burkholder for taking time away from his consulting business to help the township.

"He filled a void for Etna," Foor said. "We would have been in a bind had he not stepped up and made a personal sacrifice."

Burkholder said his last day as interim administrator was June 5.

Burkholder said he enjoyed his time working with Etna and he will continue to serve on the township's economic development committee.

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