Fairfield City Council got the city manager candidate many last year wanted all along.
Butler County Assistant Administrator Scott Timmer, the city’s former assistant city manager who left for the county job last summer, was hired to lead Fairfield’s administration. City Council, after a rare mid-meeting executive session, agreed to a three-year contract for Timmer, offering him $165,000 a year.
He will rejoin the city on Feb. 7.
Timmer told the Journal-News he is “thrilled for the opportunity to continue to serve the city of Fairfield, and I look forward to reconnecting with the Fairfield leadership team.”
“They have a lot of important projects on the horizon, and I am excited to work with each of them to achieve our objectives,” said Timmer, who first joined the city in August 2016 as the city’s financial services manager.
Timmer was promoted to finance director in September 2018, and then as assistant city manager in January 2021. He left the city in July to be the assistant Butler County administrator. Many on City Council wanted to hire Timmer as its city manager early last year, but a majority elected to hire an executive search firm instead of interviewing the then-internal candidate.
“Scott brings a strong financial background, a wealth of knowledge of the operations of the city, and a vision for the future of the city,” said Councilmember Leslie Besl, who took over the search process from Councilmember Dale Paullus.
“Council is confident that Scott will provide excellent leadership of the city for many years in the future and offers its full support to him and the city staff.”
The search for a new city manager had been long and arduous.
After Mark Wendling resigned as city manager on Dec. 11, 2020, Fairfield Fire Chief Don Bennett was named acting city manager until a replacement was found. The initial thought was the search for a new city manager could be a four-to-six-month process. However, the process had been “paused” twice, seen a divided council hire a search firm, consider a list of 11 candidates and elect not to interview any, and wait until the new council members were seated before resuming the search.
Timmer was hired at the first meeting of the new city council on Monday.
“We thank Acting City Manager Don Bennett and senior staff of the city for the fine work they have and will continue to provide on behalf of the city,” Besl said.
Butler County Administrator Judi Boyko said she wishes Timmer “the absolute best.”
“I wish we had more time to establish our rhythm and create together an even more productive team with the staff,” she said. “I’m happy for him and his chance to actualize his ambition.”
Boyko said she’ll be reassessing needs, and then “diligently resume a search for an assistant county administrator. As always, we are mining for talent to contribute to the Board of Commissioners’ organization.”
Staff Writer Denise Callahan contributed to this story.
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