Licking County News

Boland out as Pataskala administrator

City Council votes unanimously against renewing contract

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THISWEEKNEWS FILE PHOTO
Pataskala City Administrator Tim Boland was not awarded a new contract by City Council.
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Pataskala City Council decided last week not to renew City Administrator Tim Boland's contract.

City Council members voted unanimously Oct. 7 to end Boland's tenure with the city. His contract ends Dec. 31.

An ad hoc committee including City Council President Dan Hayes, Mike Fox and Pat Sagar will lead the search for Boland's replacement.

"In my 15 years on council, that was the hardest vote I've ever had to make," Sagar said. "He's done a lot of wonderful things for this city."

Boland had been with the city since 2007. His ouster comes shortly after city project manager Robert Schroeder resigned Sept. 21.

Sagar said some recent issues, including those related to Schroeder's work performance, precipitated City Council's decision.

Boland was Schroeder's supervisor.

"We weren't happy with (Schroeder's) performance," Sagar said. "It seemed like every project had some issue."

Then there was a $27,000 purchase of large signs advertising city road projects.

"(Spending) $27,000 was unacceptable," she said. "That was one of those last-straw things. Those signs didn't have to be so huge. We couldn't let that one go. It was an embarrassment to say the least."

Sagar said Boland ran into problems with road repairs in the Bright Waters subdivision.

"The Bright Waters road repair is awful," she said. "It's a terrible job. It was on (Boland's) watch."

Sagar said the roadwork problems, the issues with Schroeder and other incidents added up, contributing to City Council's decision not to renew Boland's contract.

Sagar said she might have been able to look past these incidents and keep Boland on board, but ultimately she respected the views of her fellow council members.

She reiterated that Boland made many positive contributions to the city.

"Unfortunately, that doesn't carry the weight of the bad things," Sagar said. "I'm just really sad."

Mayor Steve Butcher said he was part of the City Council discussions and debate and he "fully supported the 7-0 vote."

"It became clear given the failures and lack of proper oversight of the road construction projects and the MARCS emergency-communications tower that it was time to begin looking for a change in the administrator," Butcher said.

The city's engineering firm, Stantec Engineering of Columbus, will handle road projects while Schroeder's replacement is sought.

Sagar said she believes Boland will work through the end of his contract Dec. 31. However, she said, finding a replacement might take longer and an interim city administrator may be necessary.

Boland acknowledged that his contract ends Dec. 31, but wouldn't elaborate on his plans. He also had no comment regarding Schroeder's resignation.

"I'm very pleased with what was accomplished in the city under my direction," Boland said. "We have a tremendous staff."

Boland added that he and the city administration are "going in different directions."

Sagar said the ad hoc committee met Oct. 11 for a lengthy discussion about replacing the administrator's position.

She said Hayes suggested some changes to the city charter before hiring a new administrator to ensure these recent events aren't repeated, and Fox recommended a local search for a new administrator.

"I feel very strongly that people who headhunt for a living would have more expertise" in finding a new administrator, Sagar said.

She said the committee generated so many ideas that a special meeting is scheduled at 7 p.m. Monday, Oct. 14, to discuss them among all City Council members.

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