The former director of engineering for Bob Evans Farms is now Reynoldsburg's new development director.

The former director of engineering for Bob Evans Farms is now Reynoldsburg's new development director.

Mayor Brad McCloud hired Grove City resident Dan Havener in mid-September, but there was nothing said about it until the end of the month.

The position has been vacant since Lucas Haire left Reynoldsburg in 2011 to become development director for Canal Winchester.

McCloud's assistant, Sandra Boller, confirmed Monday, Sept. 30, that Havener was hired Sept. 16 to be acting development director.

She did not indicate what would have to happen in order for the "acting" designation to be removed from the title.

Boller said Havener was hired at an annual salary of $70,000, with a benefits package worth about $17,600, which includes health, dental, vision, life and short-term and long-term disability.

When asked via email if there are plans to conduct a search for a permanent development director or if he considered anyone else for the job, McCloud replied, "I have interviewed many people but when I met Dan I realized he was the best fit.

"He is acting director and at some point I will remove the interim tag. My search is done."

According to council President Doug Joseph, the appointment must still be approved by Reynoldsburg City Council.

"The mayor can hire interim or acting department heads on a temporary basis but any appointment of the development director that is permanent, regardless of the title, has always required council approval," Joseph said in an email.

Attempts to reach Havener by email and phone were unsuccessful by ThisWeek's press time.

McCloud said Oct. 1 the funds for Havener's salary were already in the 2013 city budget.

"Dan spent over 20 years with Bob Evans Farms Inc., working with the preparation, review, negotiation and approval of capital and operating budgets, real estate acquisition and leases as well as construction bids, cost estimates and change orders," McCloud said.

Most recently, Havener was a client manager for Shremshock Architects & Engineers in Westerville, where he was responsible for more than 65 retail operations across the United States, McCloud said.

"He was chosen for his broad range of experience in development and will be a valuable asset in Reynoldsburg's continuing efforts to aggressively promote growth and jobs in our city," McCloud said.

Councilman Chris Long said the decision to hire or not hire an economic development director, "has always been up to city administration," but said he supports it. Several council members have said recently that the city needed to hire a development director to work toward bringing in businesses that would help the city's tax base.

"Dan's experience in commercial real estate, development and expansion will make him a valued and viable member of our team," Long said.