In his new role, the city will pay Lolli $5,681 in each of the first two months of this agreement as one-time payments, according to city documents.
During the last four months, Tom Snively has acted as interim fire chief.
Lolli was named acting city manager after the city of Middletown and City Manager Jim Palenick signed an agreement for his removal after less than two years.
At the time, Vice Mayor Monica Nenni said when council considered Palenick’s replacement Lolli was the “obvious choice” because he has been “a staple of Middletown for years and will bring a consistency to the city manager’s office that is needed right now.”
Council member Rodney Muterspaw, Middletown’s former police chief, worked closely with Lolli and he knows what “he can bring to the table” as a leader.
“This is a huge decision for our city...it’s monumental because the city manager sets the tone and the direction for key projects and staff morale for years to come,” Muterspaw posted on his Facebook page. “He has already increased a lot of morale in the building, although we’re not where we need to be yet, but people in the city genuinely appreciate and respect him because he loves Middletown and sincerely has no agenda other than to make our city better, where he has lived his whole life. He’s the real deal.”
Tal Moon, another council member, said he has been “very impressed” with the way Lolli stepped in and managed the city’s most important community projects.
“At his core, Paul is a Middletonian and his driving motivation is a stronger, more connected, more vibrant Middletown,” Moon said.
Palenick was paid $165,000 annually as city manager. The city agreed to pay him a gross sum of $128,764.67 for six months salary, benefits and accrued time off, according to the separation agreement that he and Law Director Ben Yoder signed.
Palenick, who started in July 2020, succeeded former city manager Doug Adkins, who was terminated by Middletown City Council in December 2019.
If Lolli is hired, he will be the third city manager in three years.