Bexley City Council voted 5-0 on Oct. 29 to approve Ordinance No. 28-19, which appoints Andrew Bashore to the city's service director position and reorganizes the city's Service Department.
The reorganization will bring an estimated $80,000 annual cost savings to taxpayers, according to the legislation. Council President Lori Ann Feibel and members Mary Gottesman, Tim Madison, Troy Markham and Richard Sharp voted for the legislation. Steve Keyes and Monique Lampke were absent.
The ordinance states "the Mayor is restructuring the Service Department leadership structure to eliminate the position of Assistant Service Director and to transition the position of Water Department Foreman to Water and Sewer Supervisor and to transition the position of Street Department Foreman to Street Department Supervisor."
"The net savings is a result of the elimination of the assistant service director position," Mayor Ben Kessler said.
The service director position has been vacant since August, when the previous director, William Dorman, resigned, said city attorney Marc Fishel.
Dorman and the city administration mutually agreed on Dorman's resignation, Fishel said, but he declined to provide further details. Dorman, who had been with city since 2014, could not be reached for comment.
Kessler said Bashore's salary will be the same as Dorman's, $99,809, starting Dec. 2.
Assistant finance director Jessica Withem said the city will pay 80% of the cost of health insurance, 50% of the cost of vision insurance, 50% of the cost of dental insurance and contribute $1,600 to a health-savings account as part of a benefits package that totals $30,701.62. The city contributes 14% of his salary to a retirement plan through Ohio Public Employees Retirement System, which would be equal to $13,973.26.
Bashore said he has 18 years of experience with the city in various positions.
"I started with the city in October of 2001 as a mechanic," he said. "I then moved to maintenance superintendent, then to service superintendent and then to assistant service director. I've kind of worked with every department."
Kessler said he recommended Bashore's appointment as service director because of Bashore's experience and job performance thus far.
"He's fastidious. He's incredibly responsive," Kessler said.
"His customer service credentials, which frankly are most important when you're service director, are unparalleled. He's been a source of pride to the city for many years, and I think it's very fitting that he be appointed to the position of service director. I think his expertise and his disposition make him incredibly well suited for the position."
Madison said he's known Bashore since Bashore started with the city and his qualifications will mesh well with the position.
"Andy is the epitome of someone who's put in their time," Madison said. "He started as a mechanic and he worked his way up, and I think the city's really lucky to have him."
City Auditor Bill Harvey said Bashore worked under his leadership during Harvey's previous tenure as the city's service director and Bashore brings solid qualifications to head the Service Department.
"Andy's skills, I believe, are critical to the city," Harvey said.