Bennett anticipates being in the acting position for four to six months as City Council begins its consideration for its next city manager. They’ll discuss the matter in an executive session meeting today, and that’s the only news that’s been publicly announced. Bennett said he knows members of the council have had dialogue among themselves, but none of those specifics have been released to him.
“One of their commitments is to initiate that process early in January,” Bennett said.
Beginning Feb. 1, Bennett will be without an assistant city manager to help during the transition. Assistant City Manager Dan Wendt will resign his job at the end of the month to become Vandalia’s new city manager. But he’s received support from city staff during the transition period.
“What I’ve tried to do is become more knowledgeable about pending and time-sensitive projects that the various departments have planned,” Bennett said. “I think we’ll be able to handoff things in great, solid shape for whoever is hired in this position, whenever that occurs.”
Fairfield Mayor Steve Miller said he anticipates City Council will decide to have a national search conducted for the city’s next city manager. Wendling had been the city manager since May 2015, and when he left he was earning $163,991 annually.
Details of Wendling’s departure are not being discussed per a legally binding separation agreement, but according to that agreement he was hand-delivered it on Dec. 9 and had until Dec. 31 to sign it. He signed on Dec. 11. Wendling told the Journal-News last month his departure has “been brewing for a while.”
City Council deferred comments to Miller, who would comment on specifics but commented Wendling as having “done a good job” and being a “class act.”
The mayor called the Fairfield “an attractive place to be” and the city manager job posting will “probably attract the cream of the crop.”
“It’s a great community and I think everything will work out,” he said.