Upper Arlington News

City engineer leaves to return to private sector

By

Upper Arlington has named an interim city engineer to replace Dave Parkinson, who stepped down last month to return to the private sector.

Parkinson resigned April 18, ending a tenure just short of 17 months long.

He reiterated last week via telephone what he stated in his letter of resignation to the city -- he wanted to return to the private sector and work as an engineering consultant.

"I've taken a job with CT Consultants," Parkinson said. "They're an engineering, surveying and planning company. It's something I've done most of my career. It seemed like an interesting and challenging opportunity, so I took it."

Parkinson was paid an annual salary of $86,070 by the city of Upper Arlington.

Assistant City Engineer Jackie Thiel was appointed to fill the post on an interim basis April 21 by Upper Arlington City Manager Ted Staton.

"I'm confident (Thiel) and the engineering staff will do a fine job during this interim period," Staton said during an April 21 Upper Arlington City Council conference session.

According to Upper Arlington Community Affairs Director Emma Speight, there are no current plans to undertake a search for a new city engineer.

She added that it's "yet to be determined" as to how the city might permanently fill the post.

"Everything is in good shape relative to the 2014 construction season and Dave created an exceptional 10-year capital improvements plan document during his tenure that will help guide projects and decision-making into the future," Speight said.

"The engineering division staff, as a whole, does a great job each construction season managing the various projects that occur, and they are already working hard on several projects that had an early start this year."

Parkinson last winter developed UA's first 10-year CIP; previously, city officials typically had looked ahead no more than seven years for that work.

While it was viewed as a better strategy to address the city's crumbling roadways and stormwater system, officials still are working to find ways to fund the $113 million worth of upgrades identified in the report.

Parkinson said he was proud of the 10-year plan, and is disappointed he won't be around to see some of the projects through.

"I felt I was letting down not only (Staton), but the city a little bit," Parkinson said. "I worked hard on pulling that together.

"That was the exciting part of it. I looked forward to meeting the needs. That's the part I feel like I've not fulfilled."

Staton said Parkinson provided valuable service and expertise during his brief time in Upper Arlington, and wished him well in his return to private work.

"I was sad to see Dave leave the city, but fully support and understand his decision to return to the private sector and a position that befits his years of experience and talents," Staton said. "The work he did for us in the time he was here was of a high standard and will benefit the city in the months and years ahead."

In addition to the CIP, Parkinson also was at the helm for planning Waltham Road reconstruction, which is expected to yield a roundabout at the intersection of Waltham and North Star roads, where Waltham also connects to Kinnear Road.

That project is expected to be completed by late June; it recently received the 2013 Concrete Project of the Year award for Central/Southeast Ohio from the Ohio Concrete Association.

"It was a tough decision to leave," Parkinson said. "I loved the people and the community of Upper Arlington. On balance, there are really good people in Upper Arlington. They'll pick up the ball and run with it."

Parkinson also lauded Thiel for her skills and dedication, and said the engineering division is in good hands.

"I think Jackie Thiel is an exceptional engineer and she'll do quite well in that position," he said. "She's got great support. The staff in the engineering division and staff at the municipal building are top-notch."

Comments