Pickerington's chief of police will at least temporarily also serve as the city's top administrator.

Pickerington's chief of police will at least temporarily also serve as the city's top administrator.

During a special session held Wednesday, Oct. 28, Pickerington City Council voted 6-1 to name Police Chief Mike Taylor interim city manager.

Taylor, 51, takes over for former city manager Tim Hansley, who was fired on Oct. 20. He will retain his duties as the city's full-time police chief throughout the interim assignment.

"I'm out to do whatever it takes to keep the city going in a positive direction," Taylor said. "If council has that kind of faith in me, then I'm going to do it."

Taylor was nominated for the interim post by Mayor Mitch O'Brien, who, along with council members Mike Sabatino, Tricia Sanders, Brian Sauer and Brian Wisniewski, voted to fire Hansley following an executive session on Oct. 20.

O'Brien said he tapped Taylor because the police chief had temporarily served as city manager when Pickerington's past two city managers -- Hansley and Judith Gilleland -- were on vacation or out of town on business.

The lone dissenting vote came from Councilman Keith Smith, who sought justification from council members as to why Hansley abruptly was fired after 17 months as full-time city manager.

Smith said previous explanations by O'Brien, Sabatino and others that "philosophical differences" led to Hansley's ouster weren't sufficient.

"I still do not know why we do not have a city manager," Smith said, adding that "philosophical differences" were not listed during the executive session.

"... I don't have enough information to make a decision (on Taylor)," Smith said. "I was trying to mine for any specific reasons why we fired the city manager."

Sanders, council's vice president pro tempore, was the only council member who voted for Hansley's dismissal to address Smith's request. She said Hansley and some of his staff members weren't being accountable to city residents and issues that had arisen.

Wisniewski added that the cause of Hansley's termination no longer mattered.

"Regardless of the situation we're in, we're in it and we need to get out of it," he said.

According to the ordinance naming him interim city manager, Taylor will retain the post until a full-time city manager is hired. Although an expiration date for the temporary appointment was discussed, none was set.

The ordinance states Taylor is interim city manager retroactive to Oct. 22. It doesn't provide for compensation for the additional duties, and city municipal clerk Lynda Yartin said, "No compensation has been determined."

O'Brien said Taylor will assume "all roles as city manager," including helping draft a proposed 2010 city budget.

City law director Philip Hartmann said Taylor's dual role doesn't pose any conflicts of interest for Pickerington.

Taylor said his longest stint as a city manager fill-in to date has been "two weeks, at tops" when previous managers have been on vacation. He said he'll rely on assistance from city officials and staff members to manage day-to-day operations and draft a budget proposal for council.

"We have some good staff people who can help me through areas I'm not as knowledgeable in," he said. "There's lots of issues, and I'm just taking them one-on-one, getting familiar with them and depending on the rest of the departments to get me through."

Taylor has been with the city's police department since 1983. He was appointed chief in January 2003.

Approximately 11 people attended council's special meeting, which lasted about 20 minutes. Smith's motion to allow public comment on Taylor's appointment was approved by council, but no residents took the opportunity.