West Chester hires firm to find new administrator

Searching for a new township administrator, the West Chester Twp. trustees have agreed to pay $25,000 to a consulting group to help.

The trustees approved the payment to Novak Consulting Group on Tuesday. Administrator Judi Boyko tendered her resignation last month so she can move on to become Hamilton County’s assistant county administrator.

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Trustee Board President Mark Welch told the Journal-News they are looking to fill “the very big shoes of Judi Boyko” and hiring a national search firm is the best way to accomplish that.

“We determined hiring an executive recruitment firm, knowledgeable and experienced in the hiring of successful public administrator candidates, to be the wisest and most prudent approach to finding a replacement for Mrs. Boyko,” Welch said.

Boyko has been the township administrator for 13 years and prior to that served as the assistant administrator, planning and zoning director and township planner.

Because Boyko does not really have a second in command, the trustees have also hired consultant Laurence Fronk to serve as interim administrator while the search is on. Fronk was the Miami Twp. administrator and community development director in Clermont County for 18 years before he retired two years ago. The 63-year-old says this temporary job intrigued him so he applied.

“I thought about it for a day and I called Judi and said yeah, I would be interested,” Fronk said. “West Chester is a very exciting community. I was somewhat familiar with it and I thought this would be a very interesting position for about six months.”

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The trustees wanted Fronk on line early so Boyko can school him on the ways of West Chester before she leaves Aug. 1. He in turn will then be able to impart his knowledge to the new administrator.

When asked if it will be a little odd at the helm only temporarily, Fronk said not at all.

“The board really makes the decisions and I make recommendations to the board,” he said. “The only major item I think I will be involved with this fall is working with the department heads and finance department in putting together the 2018 budget. But the processes are in place they all know what they need to do.”

The Novak Consulting Group was selected from among three potential firms. Novak has found city managers and township administrators for Ohio communities including: Centerville, Cleveland Heights, Dublin, the village of Granville, Miami Twp. in Montgomery County, as well as jurisdictions outside Ohio.

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The township expects it to take about three months to find a new administrator. Novak’s job is to develop a position profile, a search strategy and several steps of candidate review and interviews.

“The Novak Consulting Group has the expertise, resources and ability to conduct a thorough recruitment effort in order to identify the best candidate for the position,” Trustee Lee Wong said.

All three of the trustees have said it will be a challenge to replace Boyko, who has been with the township 25 years, but Trustee George Lang said they are determined find someone who is up to their standards.

“As we embark on this process to identify a permanent candidate for Judi’s replacement, I want to ensure the community the board is committed to identifying and appointing an outstanding professional to lead our workforce and deliver township services in a manner to which our businesses and residents are accustomed,” Lang said.

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