Upper Arlington News

UA's new assistant city manager has local ties

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A Worthington native who spent the past five years heading city government in Petoskey, Mich., was hired last week as Upper Arlington's new assistant city manager.

UA officials announced May 21 that Dan Ralley will start his new job in "mid-July."

Ralley has been city manager in Petoskey since 2009. He was selected from an initial pool of more than 100 applicants, and he was among five finalists the city identified earlier this month.

"Upper Arlington is a wonderful community," Ralley said. "In my recent visits to see family in the area, I have been impressed with the redevelopment that is occurring in UA, and the balance that is being struck between that redevelopment and Arlington's historic character.

"Additionally, the opportunity to work for Ted Staton, who has a very strong reputation as a city manager not only in Ohio, but also in Michigan, was compelling."

Ralley will receive an annual base salary of $111,000. According to the city's human resources department, he also will receive the same benefits package each city employee is given, as well as three weeks of vacation, life insurance and health and dental insurance.

He replaces former UA Assistant City Manager Joe Valentino, who resigned at the end of 2013 to become executive director of ministries for Upper Arlington Lutheran Church.

According to UA human resources officials, Valentino was paid an annual salary of $115,140 at the time of his departure.

"Dan will bring with him significant experience, including five years as a city manager," said Upper Arlington City Manager Theodore J. Staton. "His academic credentials are especially impressive, and I am confident he will bring with him a set of skills and strengths that will complement the city manager's office as well as the organization as a whole."

Prior to becoming Petoskey's city manager, Ralley spent nearly five years as village administrator for the village of Cardington, Ohio. He has a bachelor of arts degree in political science from the University of Chicago, as well as master of public administration and juris doctor degrees from Syracuse University, according to UA officials.

In addition to his ties to Worthington, Ralley said his wife has family in Upper Arlington.

"Personally, the opportunity to move closer to family was also a significant factor," he said.

"Professionally, as the village administrator in Cardington, I had some contact with UA staff members at regional meetings," he said. "Additionally, (Staton) was the president of the Michigan Local Government Manager's Association when I started as city manager in Petoskey."

A press release issued last week by the city said Ralley has overseen a number of infrastructure projects, including park development, construction of a new public safety station and road enhancement projects.

It also said he's forged shared-services agreements, having overseen a partnership with the local school district to construct a shared baseball field, and negotiated an agreement with Consumers Energy that resulted in more than $3 million of outside funding for public water improvements.

"I expect to be called upon wherever I can be helpful to the city manager and the broader organization," Ralley said. " ... (I) anticipate that many of the issues being discussed by the Citizen Financial Review Task Force, as well as the shared and cooperative service opportunities that the city has identified will be prominent tasks.

"In addition to my experience as city manager in Petoskey and village administrator in Cardington, I expect that my general familiarity with Upper Arlington and the central Ohio area will be helpful," he added.

"The city of Petoskey has been attempting to address similar fiscal challenges to those that Upper Arlington is currently facing, and has pursued cooperative service projects with both the local school district and other local units of government."

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