New Albany City Council agreed after an executive session Nov. 5 to increase City Manager Joseph Stefanov's salary for 2014 and provide him with a $7,000 performance bonus for meeting all of his goals in 2013.
After Stefanov's annual review, City Council voted 5-0 in favor of the increase, with Glyde Marsh and Chris Wolfe absent.
"New Albany City Council and I are very happy with the excellent work Joe does for our community," said Mayor Nancy Ferguson. "He has worked as our village administrator/city manager for 13 years now and is excellent at what he does.
"He is very approachable and our residents are very pleased by his responsiveness. He has led New Albany through a recession without having to lay off any employees and without having to dip into our carryover balance. He has hired excellent staff members to work for our town and manages to persuade all the competing interests to work together for the good of our city."
Stefanov earned $138,228 in 2013 and his salary will increase to $141,676, Ferguson said.
"Everything we've accomplished there is a team effort," Stefanov said. "We've got a great staff and a great (City) Council. One thing that makes my job easy is that (City) Council works so well together.
"While there may be differences of opinion, they really function well as a group and a team and the same is true for our staff. We've come long way in terms of our numbers and experience and added some people with great skills and we're all committed to the same thing."
Ferguson said one of Stefanov's goals was related to economic development.
"He has attracted a record number of new businesses to our state and our city, and helped build one of the largest planned business campuses in the country," she said. "We feel very fortunate that Joe Stefanov has chosen to spend a significant part of his professional career here in New Albany, and are very grateful for his dedication and hard work."
Other goals for Stefanov were related to city finances and business services, among other topics, Ferguson said.
For example, she said, Stefanov was asked to hire a finance director who is a good fit and is able to communicate well with residents and provide highest quality financial service to the city.
Chad Fuller was hired as finance director in February.
Ferguson said Stefanov was asked to improve the city's bond rating and refinancing debt to take advantage of lower interest rates, which was accomplished. He also was required to move the city's partnership with the local nonprofit Health New Albany forward, which he accomplished with the new community health center being built in partnership with the nonprofit, as well as the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center and Nationwide Children's Hospital.
Stefanov also was required to expand the infrastructure in the Personal Care and Beauty campus off Beech Road to help with growth, Ferguson said.
The city is preparing to widen Beech Road from Jug Street south to Smith's Mill Loop Road, add a second water tower and a second water-service line to serve the park and upgrade the fiber-optics lines to ensure no interruptions in service.
Stefanov said his team is committed to customer service and has a "willingness to think outside the box to solve problems and take advantage of opportunities."
"That's the primary reason we've had so much success as a community and organization," he said.
Stefanov said the city decided during the recent recession "not to sit back and take a passive approach to local economic health and decided to turn up the dial a little in terms of aggressiveness and pursuit of development projects and development opportunities."
He said the city's investment to develop the Personal Care and Beauty Campus has brought new jobs to the city and new companies to Ohio.
The Personal Care and Beauty Campus at state Route 161 and Beech Road has nine companies: Accel, Alene Candles, Anomatic, Arminak and Associates, Axium Plastics, the Jeyes Group, the Knowlton Development Corp., Sonoco Plastics and Vee Pak.