Frank Wiseman, who was named Pickerington's interim city manager in June, has been hired to direct the city's administration on a full-time basis.

Pickerington City Council voted unanimously Aug. 27 to approve a two-year contract for Wiseman to serve as city manager.

Under the terms of the deal, Wiseman will receive a base salary of $120,000 for his first year and he will get a raise at the same rate and time as other non-union employees in the second year of the contract.

He also will receive annual employee benefits valued at $51,356. They include a $500 monthly vehicle allowance, a $120 mobile telephone allowance, $18,627 in pension and Medicare contributions and $25,289 in health, dental vision and health-savings account contributions.

Wiseman was appointed interim city manager by Mayor Lee Gray on June 4, after former City Manager Bill Vance resigned May 31, reportedly because he couldn't come to salary terms with Gray and council members.

Vance was offered a roughly 2-percent increase from the $143,263 annual salary he received in his final year with the city, Gray said.

At the time of his appointment, Wiseman, 66, was enjoying retirement.

He previously was Pickerington's service director from 1999-2005 and Westerville service director from 2005-14.

"I want to thank the mayor and City Council for giving me the opportunity," Wiseman said. "I enjoy the complexity of the position, the challenges and keeping my thought process going.

"It just is invigorating. I was missing it a little bit while I was retired."

Council's hire came after Gray requested Wiseman's initial 60-day appointment be extended.

"I have a great deal of respect for Frank," Gray said. "With him coming back, we had a few council members saying he might be the best choice."

Gray said he supported the hire for the same reasons he appointed Wiseman to the post, including his knowledge of Pickerington and his experience in public service and administration.

"He has a great deal of experience with his many years in Pickerington and Westerville," Gray said. "He just fit.

"I think we're fortunate getting somebody like Frank who works well with council, staff and myself."

Wiseman said his priorities for the remainder of 2018 will be providing customer service to Pickerington residents and those who do business with the city, as well as helping to finalize the city's 2019 operating and capital-improvements budgets.

He also will help oversee an approximately $14 million project to improve Refugee Road, from its intersection with Hill Road (state Route 256) to Fuller's Way.

The project is being managed by the Ohio Department of Transportation and will receive about $9 million in funding from ODOT and the Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission. It's expected to launch with preliminary construction work to relocate and install utilities infrastructure this fall.

Next year, construction is expected on a project that will create five lanes of traffic on Refugee from Hill Road to Fuller's Way, a bike path on the north side of Refugee, a new sidewalk on Refugee's south side and the city's first modern roundabout at Refugee and Fuller's Way.

"I look forward to working with the (Violet) township and (Fairfield) county to improve the whole area and continue the development that's going on in the community," Wiseman said.

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