Butler County picked its new county administrator on Monday, ending a search process that selected a person who will oversee the county’s $400 million-plus budget and 600 employees.
Butler County commissioners voted Monday morning to hire Judi Boyko, the former West Chester Administrator who is currently the assistant administrator in Hamilton County. She replaces Charlie Young, who retired from the position, and she will start March 6.
Boyko will be awarded a five-year contract.
“I have worked with a number of administrators and top people and in my opinion she is the top, she is an ‘A’ player,” Commissioner Don Dixon told the Journal-News. “I’ve personally talked about hiring her in different roles for the last number of years. This is a huge positive step in Butler County’s organization. It’s all good news for Butler County residents.”
Boyko said she sees opportunity in Butler County’s position between Cincinnati and Dayton.
“I’m just so excited about the opportunity, it has so much potential being the county between Cincinnati and Dayton and already its emerged as an epicenter,” she said. “I look forward to being a part of that team and contributing what I can. I do promise the commissioners and your staff and our team that I will do my best. I pledge to do my best and bring you my best every day.”
Dixon said commissioners offered Boyko $172,000, which is less than she is earning now. Young started out making $125,000 — he had no experience in county government — and left earning $154,790, but Dixon said Young’s total pay with car allowance and other perks was closer to the mid-$160,000s.
“When you compare it to what’s out there, plus her experience, plus what she was making, I’m very comfortable it’s still a real deal for the residents of Butler County,” Dixon said. “I could easily say she does the work of two people.”
The commissioners tried to hire Boyko when they were hunting for an assistant county administrator in 2017 but were unsuccessful. Boyko said she loves her job in Hamilton County but the challenge presented in her home county was attractive.
“When the commissioners approached me I listened, I heard the things they want to accomplish with the county, understanding they have achieved so much under Charlie’s leadership and the county staff team,” Boyko told the Journal-News. “They wanted to continue to elevate and continue to improve and from my time West Chester, continuous improvement has always been kind of a professional tenet of mine and I really have an affinity for Butler County.”
Boyko will be responsible for a total county budget of $423 million, the 600 employees and 14 departments under the commissioners’ direct control and communicating and interacting with 15 other elected officials and seven independent boards.
Commissioner Cindy Carpenter said she didn’t know Boyko previously but assured the directors their new boss will be sensitive to their needs.
“I really think she is a genuine person with a heart of a public servant,” Carpenter said. “Everything we do from the commissioners’ standpoint with the 600 employees that we employ affects someone’s life. I believe that Judi will work very well with and understand the impact of your jobs.”
Boyko’s contract also gives her the ability to hire more staff, within budget constraints. There is also a clause that gives her “autonomy.”
“It was very important to me that if I was to consider the position that the commissioners allow the experience and education and the professional acumen in public administration, that they allow me to bring those skills to the organization and that they allow me to lead and manage the staff — in a way obviously that’s consistent with their policy, their direction, consistent with the budgetary allocation — but to allow me to build an organization that could achieve the direction they would like the county to pursue,” she said.
Boyko was the West Chester administrator from 2005 until June 2017, when she took the job in Hamilton County.
During Boyko’s tenure, West Chester was named six times to CNN/Money Magazine’s list of America’s Best 100 Places to Live. The Square, the Midpointe Library, Beckett Park, fire headquarters and Station 71, as well as countless infrastructure projects were completed while she was at the helm.
Commissioner T.C. Rogers said he is certain Boyko will bring similar successes to the county.
“Bringing on the leadership experience of Judi Boyko continues our commitment to the better lives of Butler County residents and help them reach the dreams that they deserve,” Rogers said. “Boyko comes back to make her county better.”