Newly named Delaware County administrator Tim Hansley said it was a stroke of good fortune to start his job during the county budget hearings.

Newly named Delaware County administrator Tim Hansley said it was a stroke of good fortune to start his job during the county budget hearings.

"I've been able to learn quite a bit from the budget hearings," Hansley said. "That is a very good time to start, because you get a presentation of what is important to (county officials) and what they do."

Hansley was chosen for the post in October, following the termination last spring of former administrator Dave Cannon, who was ousted on a 2-1 vote by commissioners. Hansley will earn $95,000 annually in the post. He does not have a contract.

"I serve at the pleasure of the board," Hansley said. "Two votes can terminate my job at any time. Most of my career (with municipalities) it has been four out of seven, but now it's two out of three. That's a fact of life. I believe I'll retain the job, because I'll do as well as I can. The measure will be my performance."

Hansley said he is learning new aspects of local government, matters counties deal with that cities do not, but he is also seeing many activities with which he is already familiar because of his experience.

"A lot of my experience has been in city government," Hansley said. "There is a lot of crossover, but there are things unique to county government. For example, I've been learning about ditch petitions, things that are different from what I've worked on before.

"On the other hand, some things that I worked on when I was with Westerville and Delaware are still around, and there are people here that are still around from that time. I have quite a network of people I've worked with - Tom Homan, Dave Anderson. It's been kind of fun to see people I already knew."

With county budget hearings concluding and work on the state budget in the future, finances are on everyone's mind, Hansley said.

"We're not in great shape," Hansley said. "The economy is down and the budget is tight, but we're fortunate compared to some jurisdictions. We had something like $10-million in requests (from county department heads) above what we can fund. My process is going to be that we'll share our recommendations with the department heads ahead of time, so they can share in how we implement that. Each of the three commissioners will give us their list of things that absolutely have to be in and things there won't be support for. And then we'll put together a staff-recommended budget and the commissioners can take that under advisement. We'll approve a budget by the end of the year."

Hansley anticipates state budget changes starting next year.

"There will be some trickledown effect from the state if they cut health services, for example," Hansley said. "The local government that is closest to that service may be asked to fill that gap. I can't imagine we're going to get much good news out of Columbus in the next six months. The real effect will be 2012."

Delaware also has to address the failure of its 911 levy for countywide emergency communications.

"That was a big deal for us," Hansley said. "I think we kind of assumed that would be a no-brainer, but with the Delaware city (income tax) and (a recent failed levy to add) tornado sirens, we're hoping that it was just that people were confused. We almost certainly have to be on the ballot in 2011, and we have to tell our story better."

Hansley said one of his next tasks will be to become familiar with townships that he does not already know.

"There are parts of the county ... I don't know well, but I know the southern tier pretty well," Hansley said. "I've been based in Franklin County my entire life, even though I have worked elsewhere. It's incumbent upon me to get out into those township areas and see what we can do to offer services. We've already had meetings about EMS and fire squads, whether it's leasing or buying a building."