Dublin City Manager Dana McDaniel to retire, get rehired

A. Kevin Corvo
ThisWeek group

City Manager Dana McDaniel will retire Jan. 29 but will be rehired Feb. 1 under a two-year contract, according to an agreement between McDaniel and the city of Dublin.

“I greatly appreciate (Dublin) City Council retaining me as city manager to continue to lead through the current situation and assist with preparations for my successor,” McDaniel said.

City Council on Jan. 4 unanimously approved a resolution reappointing McDaniel and amending his employment agreement.

Dana McDaniel is city manager of Dublin.

The retirement and rehire of public officials is not uncommon and is allowable under state law and the Ohio Public Employees Retirement System.

It allows a public employee with tenure to collect OPERS pension payments while continuing to work as a public servant. For the city, it can save money because the city gets an experienced leader usually for a reduced salary.

In McDaniel's case, however, he has delayed receiving his retirement pension for three years. He is offering his leadership and service at a reduced cost to the city for the next two years, said Lindsey Weisenauer, public-affairs officer for Dublin.

After being rehired, McDaniel will continue to serve through Feb. 1, 2023, “unless extended by mutual agreement” in 90-day increments or “as may be terminated by City Council” in accordance with the agreement.

In the event McDaniel is terminated by City Council, and in the absence of a criminal act, the city will pay him a lump-sum cash payment equal to nine months of the base salary and will provide health benefits for nine months or until other coverage is obtained, according to the agreement.

From Feb. 1 to March 31, McDaniel’s salary will remain at its current level in the annual amount of $216,382, according to the agreement.

On April 1, McDaniel’s annual salary will be reduced by 10% to $194,744, and he is not entitled to future salary increases or longevity pay, according to the agreement.

McDaniel and any dependents will remain covered under the city’s group medical, dental and vision coverage, according to the agreement.

McDaniel will be paid for accrued but unused vacation and sick leave as of Jan. 29 and begin a new accrual period for vacation and sick leave, according to the agreement.

The rehire occurs after nearly two years of preparation.

“City Council has been in discussions with City Manager Dana McDaniel regarding succession planning for the position of city manager since February 2019,” Vice Mayor Cathy De Rosa wrote to council in a Dec. 29 memo.

Sue Burness, director of communications and public information, said the city rehired McDaniel to continue leading the city in pandemic recovery, as well as establish a succession plan.

McDaniel has served as city manager since January 2015 and has worked for the city in various capacities during the past 32 years, including as director of economic development and deputy city manager.

“During his 2019 evaluation, McDaniel stated to council his intent to retire (and) expressed a willingness to remain in position until the end of January 2023,” Burness said.

Since then, McDaniel and council have been “establishing a succession plan that will ensure a smooth transition for the city,” she said.

“In the meantime, council desires for McDaniel to continue to lead the city through the current pandemic and recovery process as well as the implementation of the succession plan, among other key projects (such as) updating the city plan to reflect the vision for Dublin 2035,” Burness said.

kcorvo@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekCorvo