Tuesday, December 13th, 2011
By Amy Kronenberger
St. Marys' economic development director will retire in January
  ST. MARYS - The priority for the incoming mayor is to fill two top city jobs.
Economic development director Todd Fleagle and safety service director Tom Hitchcock announced their plans to leave in the last two weeks.
Fleagle, 52, is retiring, effective Jan. 1, after 12 years in that role and 32 years with the city.
He said Monday that the timing felt right and he wanted to spend more time with his family.
"It's something I've been considering with my family for a while now, and I think it's a good time to leave," he said. "I'd be leaving the city on a positive note after some great businesses came to the city. I'd be leaving the city in a good place."
Fleagle also mentioned the state transitioning from the government-run department of development to the privately-run JobsOhio.
"This will allow the new director to take over under JobsOhio," he said.
Fleagle said he plans to take some time off and then may consider looking for a new job.
"I might look into other employment opportunities," he said. "I'm still young enough to further my career if I want to."
If Fleagle wanted to return to the city for employment or on a consulting basis, he would be required to wait 60 days due to requirements of the city pension board, said Barb Niemeyer, the city's administrative accountant.
Hitchcock is leaving the city Dec. 31 and has accepted the safety service director job in Celina.
St. Marys has ads running for both positions.
Mayor-elect Patrick McGowan, who takes office Jan. 1, has said he hopes to have both positions filled soon.
"I was hoping for cross-training, but Todd has to be away 60 days," McGowan said. "But I hope he's willing to come back after the 60 days to train the new director."
Fleagle said if the city needs him, he will be happy to help.
"I really appreciate the opportunity the city has given me over the years," he said. "It's been nothing but a positive experience for me."
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