The Jackson Township trustees Sept. 28 approved hiring Shane Farnsworth as township administrator.

Farnsworth currently serves as Morrow County's development director.

The trustees unanimously approved Farnsworth's selection during a special meeting.

"I'm really excited about coming to Jackson Township," Farnsworth said. "The environment the trustees have created in Jackson Township, the professional environment, was just really attractive to me."

The administrator position has been vacant since Mike Lilly retired last December.

In March, the township interviewed former Franklin County Recorder Daphne Hawk and J.P. Blackwood, a legislative and public affairs specialist with Ohio Consumers' Counsel, as finalists for the position.

The trustees were unable to reach a unanimous choice between the two finalists and decided to restart the search process.

The township hired Cincinnati-based Novak Consulting Group in June to assist with the search and reposted the position.

Farnsworth lives in Clintonville. He has a master's degree in public policy and management and nearly 20 years experience in the public sector, mostly in county government administration.

"Shane is well qualified and will really be an asset for Jackson Township, Grove City and Urbancrest," said David Burris, chairman of the Jackson Township Board of Trustees.

Farnsworth was one of five finalists brought in for interviews, he said.

"He really stood out and we brought him back for a second interview," Burris said. "We went from 20 applicants to five finalists to Shane as our unanimous choice."

Farnsworth will receive a base salary of $80,000 as administrator, he said.

The benefits package the township offers employees amounts to about 50 percent of a salary, said public information officer Lynn Bruno said. In Farnsworth's case, that would be about $40,000.

"He brings a wealth of experience to the position," Burris said. "He's got budgetary experience, zoning experience and economic development expertise and has been involved with the grant application process.

"He's going to bring a lot to the table for us," he said.

"I think my experience in dealing with economic development and planning and zoning is something valuable I can provide Jackson Township," Farnsworth said.

Farnsworth's first day as township administrator was set Oct. 1.

Farnsworth has a master's degree in public policy and management from Ohio State University and a degree in urban planning from Wright State University. He is a native of Paulding County in northwest Ohio.

He has nearly 20 years experience in the public sector, mostly in county government administration. His past positions include business development manager for the Lee County Economic Development Office in Fort Myers, Florida.; economic development administrator for the city of Columbus; economic development director for Fairfield County and planning director for Clark County.

afroman@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekAfroman