Middletown city manager search moves forward after application deadline

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

Aerial scenes of Central Ave business district downtown Middletown

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

Sometime this week, city officials should know how many people have applied for Middletown’s vacant city manager position.

Acting City Manager Susan Cohen said the applications were due to the city’s executive search firm, Management Partners of Cincinnati on Friday. Management Partners is conducting the nationwide search.

“We have between 10 to 20 applications so far,” Cohen said Wednesday.

Cohen has been acting city manager since November, when Middletown City Council terminated former city manager Doug Adkins.

In the recruitment brochure that was available online, the compensation package listed a salary range of $145,000 to $185,000 and a competitive fringe benefit offering. The brochure also noted that council “desires the next city manager to be a resident of the community and is prepared to offer relocation/moving assistance commensurate with a contractual obligation to fulfill such residency expectations.”

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Management Partners was one of six companies that submitted proposals. The city is paying $19,900, plus additional costs for advertising fees and background checks. According to Management Partners proposal, it is prepared to complete the search by the end of June.

The company recently completed city/village manager searches in Forest Park, Springdale, Minerva, Montgomery and Clayton. It also helped Worthington and Westerville with searches for other city executive positions. Former Centerville city manager Greg Horn is the lead contact for the search firm.

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According to the recruitment brochure, Middletown’s next city manager “must be a dynamic, highly self-motivated professional who exudes confident leadership and a passion for local government. “

The brochure noted the city “is gathering increased momentum in addressing challenges that have confronted the community for several years. The next City Manager needs to be able to multi-task and build and nurture coalitions and partnerships to successfully propel Middletown forward.”

The brochure also said Middletown “is small enough to maintain an appreciated familiarity and valued sense of place among its residents, it is large enough to have incurred the challenges of more urban cities with issues of diversity, homelessness, opioid addiction, etc. This position is not well suited for a manager that appreciates the status quo. Rather, it is a tremendous management opportunity for a hard charger who is prepared to seize the existing momentum and progress that has been established and build on that base for a brighter future.”

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Adkins, 56, was employed by the city for 14 years and served as an assistant city prosecutor, city prosecutor, community development director, and the last five years as city manager. When hired in 2014, he prepared and completed a five-year plan to bring the city back from recession to sustainable revenues. Prior to his termination, Adkins’ current five-year contract was set to expire in July 2020 and his annual salary was $165,000.

He was the first city manager since 1956 to be officially terminated by council. In the past, city managers often resigned with a settlement agreement before being fired.

Council said it no longer desired to employ Adkins as city manager “because of irreconcilable differences between Council and Mr. Adkins concerning leadership style, and these differences make his continued work as City Manager untenable.”