AURORA – Tim Clymer will return as of Oct. 17 as the city’s finance director after the city had a hard time finding a replacement. Council confirmed the mayor’s reappointment and approved an employment agreement at its Sept. 26 meeting.
In May, Clymer announced he was taking a job as chief financial officer/vice president of finance and administration at Ursuline College, but according to Mayor Ann Womer Benjamin he since has decided to return to the Aurora post.
His salary through Dec. 31 will be pro-rated at $142,500 per year, payable in bi-weekly installments. After that, his salary will be fixed annually.
He will be permitted to work remotely two days a week, excluding Monday Council meeting days, and he will receive five vacation days through the end of this year.
Womer Benjamin said over the summer the city searched for a new finance director, looked at several resumes and she personally interviewed one candidate, who withdrew from consideration for personal reasons.
“It’s a very shallow pool [of candidates],” she said. “We went into [the search] with very high requirements. But we simply couldn’t find a candidate who met our qualifications. It’s been a frustrating process.
“To keep good people and to hire good people, you need to have some flexibility, and you really need to look at salary requirements, which is what we did. I think it’s a very wise move for the city to reappoint him.”
Clymer took over as finance director in January 2016. Council awarded him a part-time financial services contract after his May departure so he could provide aid to acting finance director Leah Cellura. That contract will end as of Oct. 17.
Also on Sept. 27, Council OK’d two items relating to the wastewater treatment plants.
An 18-by-45-foot by 12 feet high lean-to connected to the belt filter press building at the Westerly plant will be erected after a contract was awarded to Morton Buildings at a cost of $45,506.
Service director Harry Stark said the building’s warranty would have been voided if the city would have chosen any other firm to erect the lean-to.
Replacement of the heating/ventilation system at the Central plant will be delayed until new bids are received and acted upon by Council. The initial $155,650 bid was rejected by Council because it exceeded the proposed budget by more than 10 percent.
Council accepted the amounts and rates as determined by the Portage County Budget Commission and authorized necessary 2023 tax levies.
The levies amount to 7.47 mills, which will generate $4.16 million in tax revenue. The breakdown is as follows: General, $1.96 million; road and bridge, $565,203; police, $121,042; fire, $174,838; fire/paramedic, $960,469; and recreation bond, $383,475.
An existing development agreement for Renaissance Park at Geauga Lake Phase 1A East was modified to allow the developer to provide interim maintenance of a sanitary sewer line.
Because the line installed as part of Phase 1A East cannot be accessed by city equipment until other phases are completed, Stark said maintenance will be the responsibility of the developer until access paths are completed.
Council confirmed the hiring of human resources and Town Hall administrative coordinator Tamra Harris and sports monitor Tyler Shanholtzer. Both are Aurora residents.
A number of other items were approved, including disposal of surplus city property via online auction, adding Martin Luther King Jr. Day as a recognized city holiday and the architectural design portfolio for new condominiums at the Bertram Inn.
Also OK’d was a change order for an additional $3,200 with Burgess & Niple for Chandler Drive and Chandler Lane waterline replacement design work.
TO NEXT READINGS
With a majority of Portage County communities agreeing to it, a new distribution formula for the county’s share of Local Government Fund money is expected to be in effect for the years 2024 to 2033.
Council is likely to accept the formula at its Oct. 10 meeting, when legislation will be on its third reading. It was on second reading Sept. 26. The new formula would allow Aurora to collect 5.14 percent of the county’s total distribution each year.
The county’s cities would divide 34.74 percent of the total funds, with Kent receiving 17.23 percent, Ravenna 7.23 percent and Streetsboro 5.14 percent. Villages would divide 6.44 percent and townships 19 percent, while the county would get 39.8 percent.
A handful of other items were advanced to their next readings, including a lease of the city-owned Miller property on Page Road to Karen Stacko and Thomas Maracz for $1,250 per month.
Others are a contract with Hejduk Cox & Associates to update legal descriptions and a reference map for all city zoning districts ($33,312) and a three-year contract with Right Stuff Software for police department scheduling/payroll software ($8,300 annually).
Also advancing are a comparable use conditional zoning certificate for Hanes Properties’ building at Routes 306 and 82 and clarifications to an ordinance regarding public meetings via teleconferencing and/or video conferencing.
Cellura reported fund balances remain in a healthy position with $40.78 million unencumbered in all funds and $17.23 million in the general fund. Through August, income tax revenue was up $2.3 million over the same period in 2021.
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This article originally appeared on Record-Courier: Clymer to return as Aurora’s finance director