Andrew White is ready to trade Lake Erie for the Olentangy River.
The city manager of Huron has been named Powell’s next city manager, replacing the retiring Steve Lutz.
Powell City Council voted unanimously Feb. 18 to authorize Mayor Frank Bertone to enter into an employment agreement with White.
“I’m excited to get started,” White said.
White was offered the job in late January. Background checks, negotiations and other discussions followed.
White will start his new job April 1. Lutz will remain with the city until early May – a situation that Bertone said would benefit both White and the city.
Lutz, who has led the city since 1996, announced last August his intent to retire, but agreed to stay on board until his replacement was found.
“They’ll be able to partner on a lot of things to help with the learning curve,” Bertone said. “That’s immense.”
“Getting (Lutz’s) perspective and having the opportunity to absorb some of his experience is pretty invaluable,” White said.
White has been city manager of Huron, a city on the shores of Lake Erie with a population of around 7,000, for 13 years.
“That experience is one of the reasons we targeted (White),” Bertone said. “He’s a quick learner.”
“He has seen a broad array of situations and shown an ability to manage staff and budget in difficult times,” he said. “He came to the table well-prepared.”
White said he and other city leaders work for the citizens and the community.
“I have a professional commitment to public service and understand that each and every action is underwritten by the support of the public,” he said.
Bertone said City Council’s first job for White is for him to get acclimated to the city and its staff.
“We want and we need him to succeed,” he said.
Bertone said council now will embark on a strategic planning process, one that will help White prioritize responsibilities for himself and staff. But White also will be asked to help shape that plan, Bertone said.
White said he considers himself an innovative thinker and a creative problem-solver.
“It will be key to get an understanding of the issues and learn where I can apply my skill set,” he said.
“We need his expertise in these conversations,” Bertone said.
White received a bachelor’s degree from St. Bonaventure University and a master’s degree in public administration from the Nelson A. Rockefeller College of Public Affairs and Policy in Albany, New York.
He will earn a base salary of $130,000, increased to $135,000 after six months, according to his contract.
White’s benefits will include a $5,000 annual contribution to the city manager’s account at the International City/County Management Association or State of Ohio Deferred Compensation Plan, plus health, dental, vision and disability plans that match those of other city employees.
White officially will leave his post in Huron in mid-March, Bertone said. White’s family will remain in Huron so his young children can finish the current school year.