New Trenton city manager moves forward after a long, winding search to find him

Trenton’s new city manager has been sworn in and begins his position today to officially endthe city’s frustrating search.

Marcos Nichols was sworn in Thursday after the mayor and city council spent nine months looking for a replacement for former city manager John Jones.

Nichols, who was director of Hamilton’s civil service and personnel department, signed his $105,000 contract with city council last month.

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Nichols said he is excited to get to work and knows a roads levy the city put on the November ballot is one of his top priorities.

“Like many communities in the surrounding area, there are road levies on upcoming ballots and Trenton has its levy on the ballot for November,” he said. “My current priority is to meet with staff and council to get a better grasp on current/upcoming projects and council’s direction.”

Nichols told the Journal-News previously his goal is “improving the quality of life in the community.” Mayor Calvin Woodrey has said economic development is key to the city manager role.

“I want to get in the door and start having conversations with council and get their direction, as well as start working with local business owners and the residents and get the feedback from the community,” Nichols said. “ I want to get a feel for the community and where they see the community going.”

Nichols was up against Deanna Barbour with the Oxford Parks and Recreation in the final round of candidates.

The path to replacing Jones, who left in August to become city manager in Hamilton County’s Springdale, has been challenging, largely because of the city’s residency requirement, a city charter rule that is illegal in the state but enforceable through employment contracts.

The council previously offered the job to Amy Young, Trenton branch manager for the MidPointe Library System, in December. The day after she accepted, she learned her husband was being transferred out of state.

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Patrick Ross, the Reading city manager, accepted the position in early February but then reconsidered, telling the Journal-News he couldn’t be “selfish” and relocate his family.

The council liked two other candidates — Jennifer Patterson, Monroe’s assistant to the city manager for economic development, and Milford’s City Manager Michael Doss — but they dropped out because they didn’t want to move.

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