Saturday, December 17th, 2011
By William Kincaid
Bryan may get new job with city
  CELINA - City administrator Kent Bryan likely will stay with the city next year under a new title.
Newly-elected mayor Jeff Hazel on Friday afternoon told the newspaper he will offer Bryan the position of city engineer. The job has been authorized by legislation for several years but it has never been funded or filled.
Bryan - a city factotum of sorts juggling the duties of planning and community development director, safety service director, and de facto city engineer and economic development director - told the newspaper on Friday afternoon that he would accept the position.
Hazel said once he is sworn into office Jan. 3, he will officially appoint Tom Hitchcock safety service director. Bryan then will be asked to become the city engineer.
"He has been valuable to the city of Celina," Hazel said about Bryan, adding he has the background and experience for the job.
Hazel said Bryan and he have talked about the position several times.
In November, Bryan asked city council members to consider eliminating his position of planning and community development director and transferring those duties to the engineering department.
The city may be better served if the position is abolished and grant applications and capital projects are assigned to the engineering department, he said, adding that if council members want someone to solely solicit new business or industry, they could assign that duty elsewhere.
If plans come to fruition, the planning and community development appropriations - set at $113,610, including Bryan's base salary of $77,565 - would be transferred to the engineering department.
The engineering department now includes engineering assistant Karen Seibert and part-time engineering assistant Bob Lowry, a retired Ohio Department of Transportation official brought in earlier this year to help with street projects.
Bryan's proposed budget for the engineering department next year is $290,106, including $79,914 for a city engineer's base salary, $40,560 for Seibert's position, $25,000 for Lowry's part-time position and $10,000 for a new draft technician.
The city has never had a full-time, state-licensed engineer, Bryan said.
Bryan, a licensed professional engineer who formerly worked with Fanning Howey Associates, served as a part-time city consultant for four years before taking the full-time job of community development director and eventually safety service director.
A proposal to create a new position of human resource director will be re-evaluated soon, Hazel told the newspaper.
At this week's regular council meeting, mayor Sharon LaRue presented awards to city auditor Emily Stewart and law director Kevin McKirnan for their years of service to the city. Stewart was defeated by Betty Strawn in November's election and McKirnan lost to George Moore.
She also gave an award of appreciation to Bryan, whom she called "a man of vision."
"Kent Bryan has had a vision for this city," she said, to which council members gave him a standing ovation.
LaRue also was given a standing ovation after council president Jason King presented her an award for dedication and service in a thankless job.
"You've been an excellent mayor," he said.
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Mostly sunny, mild