Butler County has lost another top official with the resignation of acting Water & Sewer Department Director Sue Vance.
Vance’s resignation means the county has lost eight top officials in less than two years.
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Vance is now heading up the Southwest Regional Water District, that provides water to parts of Oxford, jurisdictions on the western edges of the county not served by the county’s system and parts of Hamilton, Preble and Warren counties. That system serves about 15,200 customers versus more than 100,000 served by the county system.
Vance said she is still working in her “wheelhouse” but there will be new challenges for her too tackle.
“I’ve been here for 27 years and it’s been a fantastic 27 years. I’ve just been privileged to have a very rewarding career here and I’ve gotten to do so many things and I’ve learned so much and work with just a great group of people and professionals in Butler County,” Vance said. “But this opportunity was right here in my backyard, I thought why wouldn’t I look at that.”
The commissioners named County Administrator Charlie Young acting director, and promoted Martha Shelby to administrative division head with an annual salary of $102,440.
Young has experience — 19 years with the city of Hamilton — overseeing utilities.
“I will be acting director while we conduct a search for a new director…,” Young said.
Commissioners said they will consider both internal and external candidates to replace Vance. The job had not been posted as of late last week.
Vance was named interim assistant county administrator last year after the commissioners announced they needed a second in command. She moved back to water and sewer after Leventry left. Commissioner Don Dixon said they still haven’t found the right fit for the assistant administrator position.
The first county leader to leave was Purchasing and Asset Director Randy Quisenberry, who left in November 2016 for a job at the Council on Aging for Southwest Ohio.
Former Assistant JFS Director Jerome Kearns died suddenly just before Christmas 2016.
Former JFS Executive Director Ray Pater resigned in February 2017 after a two-month leave of absence.
Ron Davis, who ran the airport, was fired in June.
Water and Sewer Director Bob Leventry retired in August.
Former Human Resources Director Jim Davis, who wanted to finally use his teaching degree, resigned in August.
Chuck Demidovich, administrator at the county nursing home, retired in September.
Quisenberry and Davis — who recently sued the county — have not been replaced. Development Director David Fehr is now in charge of the airport and his office has also assumed some of Quisenberry's duties like overseeing the Soldiers Sailors and Pioneers Monument restoration.
JFS Executive Director Bill Morrison — who was the Children Services director — took over for Pater and promoted Julie Gilbert to assistant BCCS director and Shannon Glendon replaced Kearns.
The commissioners hired Jennifer Strickland last year as the co-administrator of the county nursing home and she took over when Demidovich retired. Laurie Murphy is the new human resources director.
Commissioner Don Dixon said most of the top people who have moved on had been with the county 20-plus years and they probably felt it was time to start winding down their careers.