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Tuesday, August 14th, 2012

St. Marys director resigns after 5 months

By Amy Kronenberger
ST. MARYS - Safety service director Jason Little announced his resignation on Monday after only five months on the job.
Little, 40, said he's resigning because he was not able to sell his home in Washington Courthouse and his wife received a teaching job there. Little is stepping back into his former job in public engineering.
"It's very tough," he said. "This was a great opportunity for me, and I hate to leave it ... But I don't have a lot of choice in the matter; I have to do what's right for the family."
Little said he has enjoyed the job, which kept him busy.
"It's been a really great experience with a lot of challenges and a lot of people coming at me from all sides," he said. "That's what I like; I like to stay busy."
Little agreed to stay until Oct. 29. Mayor Pat McGowan said they shouldn't need to hire an interim director. However, if the search takes longer, they will hire an interim.
The mayor said he plans to have advertisements for the open position ready by this afternoon.
McGowan said this morning council members refused to relax the job requirements for the safety service director, which states the person in the position must be a professional engineer with at least five years experience.
"That really limits the field and will make it really tough to find a replacement," he said.
Council members discussed changing the job description during an executive session specifically called for personnel matters. Talking about the qualifications behind closed doors was a violation of Ohio's sunshine law. No formal action was taken following the session.
McGowan said today he did not know discussing the matter was illegal, and law director Kraig Noble, who attended the meeting, made no objection. They will discuss the matter again in open session during their next council meeting.
Little was hired in March, filling the shoes of interim safety service director Craig Moeller, who continues to work as city engineer. Moeller took on the interim safety service director position in December when former director Tom Hitchcock left to take the safety service director job in Celina.
McGowan said he's disappointed Little couldn't stay, but he understands.
"He's a fine young man, and I wish him and his family well," he said.
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