Hilliard is expected to name two new directors to replace the retiring Doug Francis, according to Hilliard City Council President Albert Iosue.

Francis, Hilliard's director of information technology and communications, will retire effective Jan. 4.

Before Francis, 54, announced his retirement, the city had determined to separate the positions in 2019, funding each separately in the general-fund operating budget.

The new director of communications will be David Ball, most recently the director of public relations at the Pickerington Local School District, according to Julia Baxter, Hilliard's director of human resources. He is expected to take over effective Dec. 10, Baxter said.

Ball's annual salary will be $105,000, she said. The value of his benefits was not immediately available.

Thirty-nine people applied for the position of director of communications, and eight were interviewed, Baxter said.

Ball was one of two finalists, she said. The other was Lindsay Weisenauer, a public-affairs officer for Dublin.

The other six candidates interviewed were Janet Richard Cannata, Kerry L. Francis, Brett Boyd Gates, Stephanie Gostomski, Erin R. Maggied and Bethany McCorkle, according to Baxter.

Meanwhile, a director of information technology will be named after Francis' retirement, Iosue said.

Francis has been an employee of Hilliard since April 2009, when he was named the first deputy chief, then a new position, of the Hilliard Division of Police.

Prior to that, Francis had a 23-year career with the Worthington Division of Police. He started his law-enforcement career at Mifflin Township.

In February 2010, he was named Hilliard police chief. After retiring as chief in April 2015, he became director of information technology and communications, the city's first person to hold the position.

Francis' annual salary is $119,616.40, Baxter said. The value of his benefits is 40.26 percent of his base salary, she said. That would equate to $48,157, according to ThisWeek's calculations.

"It's been a great 36 years but it's time for my wife and I to enjoy retirement," Francis said.

Francis said he and his wife of 20 years, Angela, are moving to a farm in northeast Georgia, where he will expand his hobby of making wine and his wife will continue training dogs.