Trenton wants new city manager to focus on attracting more food, entertainment businesses

John Jones has been steering the city of Trenton for 12 years as its city manager, but this will be his last week on the job now that he has accepted the same position in Hamilton County’s Springdale. STAFF FILE/2010
John Jones has been steering the city of Trenton for 12 years as its city manager, but this will be his last week on the job now that he has accepted the same position in Hamilton County’s Springdale. STAFF FILE/2010

John Jones has been steering the city of Trenton for 12 years as its manager, but this will be his last week on the job now that he has accepted a new position as city manager in Hamilton County’s Springdale.

Jones said he wasn’t looking for a new job, but when a recruiter contacted him, he was intrigued. Springdale is of comparable size to Trenton — both about 12,000 residents — but Jones said there are nearly 750 businesses there, which will afford him a new set of challenges.

“New challenges to me are exciting and motivating,” he said, adding that Springdale’s mayor and other city officials shared “their vision for where things could go and I just was comfortable with them.”

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Trenton Mayor Calvin Woodrey said “yes and no” the resignation came as a surprise. He said Jones’ contract was up last month, “it’s kind of human nature to explore what’s out there” and Springdale “struck a better deal.”

Public Works Director Rob Leichman will serve as interim city manager, and city council is accepting job candidate resumes through Sept. 7.

“He’s helped the city progress through the growing stages, he’s done a good job for us,” Woodrey said about Jones.

Jones said he is proud of his tenure with the city, especially helping to secure levy funding for the police and fire departments, the amphitheater and the new fire station that is nearing completion. Above all, though, he said his role in staffing was key for him.

“Equally if not more important was hiring and retaining the quality of staff needed to make your city work, for the best interest of your citizens,” he said. “We have an absolutely fantastic staff (in Trenton).”

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Woodrey said the new city manager will need to “hit the ground running with some economic development experience” so they can continue to find industrial park users, but also secure more food and entertainment businesses.

Trenton Police Chief Arthur Scott said he is sad to see his friend — who will be “sorely missed” — leave but he has left an indelible mark on the city.

“First and foremost he’ll be missed by the community because he has been a diligent and successful city manager here in the past,” Scott said. “He’s always been a person that’s looked to the future and never in the rear view mirror, so to speak, with regard to where he wants the city to go and how he wants to improve services and improve the quality of work that each and every person in the city does.”

To-date the city has received 10 resumes for the city manager job.

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