Licking County News

Pataskala pulls plug on charter evaluation

No review commission this year means search for city administrator will begin


Pataskala City Council in a March 4 special meeting agreed unanimously to move forward with the search for a full-time city administrator, discarding the idea of a charter review commission to study the position.

Councilman Bryan Lenzo said the city needs to form an ad-hoc search committee -- members of which would be appointed by Mayor Mike Compton -- and move forward to hire a replacement for Tim Boland, whose contract was not renewed last year.

Councilman Mike Fox agreed, saying the city should abandon the "silly idea to do a charter change."

City Council unanimously passed a resolution to post the administrator position.

The legislation included a recommendation from City Council to include the council president, council vice president and chairperson of the finance committee on the ad-hoc search committee, but City Council amended that piece and recommended the mayor appoint City Council President Dan Hayes and two of the newest council members: Melissa Gibson and Timothy Hickin.

Hayes had recommended the mayor appoint the three newest council members -- Todd Barstow, Gibson and Hickin -- to prevent any controversy and speed up the process.

Lenzo said leaving at least one experienced council member on the committee would provide a more balanced approach and the rest of City Council agreed.

Compton agreed to appoint Gibson, Hayes and Hickin to the committee.

Last year, City Council had discussed forming a charter review commission to determine if the administrator's duties should be reduced and the mayor's duties should be increased.

But, Lenzo said, there is a "lack of political interest" in the charter review commission.

Hayes said the city has to convene a charter review commission in 2015 as part of its five-year review cycle.