PDT Staff Writer
Portsmouth Police Chief Robert Ware has applied for the position of city manager for the city of Portsmouth. The Daily Times received a list of applicants on Wednesday, and Ware, area educator Jerry Skiver and Portsmouth Mayor David Malone are the only three people from Scioto County who have applied.
“I was looking at some of the challenges that our city faces, and trying to imagine how somebody could come in from the outside and get a grasp for what the issues are, and then to affect the changes that are going to be necessary to overcome these challenges,” Ware said in an exclusive interview with the Daily Times. “You look at how our communities are resistant to change, and when someone from the outside comes in and tries to make those changes it seems a little more difficult for somebody coming from the outside.”
Ware said he believes he has done a good job in making changes in the police department.
“I recognize what the issues facing the city are, and I feel like I can build the networks and the collaborations that are necessary to overcome our issues and move us forward in economic development and community collaboration, and just bring a spirit of community back to the city,” Ware said.
Ware said initially he wasn’t sure the timing was right to apply for the job.
“But I kept having people encourage me, when they hear my thoughts on what we need to do to move forward,” Ware said. “After giving it some more consideration and thought I decided I would.”
Ware said he does not want to negatively impact his relationship with Malone.
Skiver, who, as a write-in candidate finished second to Jane Murray in the race for Mayor of Portsmouth, has worked in several school systems as an administrator. He has held positions in the Portsmouth City School District and was superintendent of the New Boston Schools.
“I ran for mayor because I felt like I could make a difference,” Skiver said. “I didn’t have an agenda when I ran for mayor. There wasn’t any axe to grind. My platform was whatever is best for the city of Portsmouth and its citizens, and quite honestly, that is how I would approach it (city manager). I would look at the things we could do that would be in the best interest of the city and promote the city.”
Skiver referenced the city’s current fiscal watch status designated by the Auditor of State’s office. That designation came about when the city came up with a deficit budget.
“We’re digging out of a fiscal hole right now, so that, in an of itself, is going to be a challenge,” Skiver said.
Malone believes that changing leadership during the city’s current fiscal uncertainty would be the wrong move. That is one of the reasons he too applied for the position of city manager
“I was talking to a couple of other people in my office about it,” Malone said. “We think it’s a logical choice for them to just hire me at least for a year or two until we get out of our fiscal situation with the state because I’m intimately involved in the process at this particular time. And bringing someone else, totally new, and who doesn’t know what the issue is, it would take them a couple of years just to understand the workings of the city. For that standpoint I think it would be better just to allow me to stay right involved and just to transition into that position.”
The city moves into the council/city manager form of government in January of 2014, and Malone said he doesn’t think the city should be changing horses in the middle of the stream.
“With seven years on (City) Council, with three being as president, and also three years of being the mayor, my 10 years total experience with city government itself would qualify me,” Malone said. “Saying that, I don’t know what other criteria and qualifications they will include in their requirements.”
Malone said he also believes the relationships his office has established in the community bodes well for his candidacy.
“I have developed and have a good rapport among business leaders, community leaders, all throughout the community, all spectrums of the community,” Malone said. “We’ve developed a good rapport, a lot of support, networking. I think everything is going in a really positive direction.”
President of Portsmouth City Council Steve Sturgill said the city is a “long way from having a list of candidates (finalists).”
“The consultant is still making inquiries on four, five or six people,” Sturgill said. “We have talked about some candidates obviously more than others, but we’re still doing our homework and we still have a long way to go in the process. We hope to have something by Monday’s City Council meeting.”
A list of applicants for the position of City Manager of the city of Portsmouth:
Derek Allen Village Administrator Village of Delta, Ohio
Patti Bates Village Administrator Village of Williamsburg, Ohio
Keith Bennett Housing Program Administrator City of Carson, CA
John Bricker Senior Consultant The Erudite Group, LLC TN
Michael Brillhart Business & Strategic Initiatives St. Lucie County FL
Timothy Brown Former CEO Regional Bus Authority IN
Warren Brown County Administrator Sandusky County Commissioners Ohio
Christopher Carew Chief of Staff DC Water MD
Steven Carlyle Executive Director Red Oak Chamber & Industry Association, Inc. IA
William Catalano Director of Captive Insurance IL
Reid Charles former City Administrator City of Harbor Beach, MI
Timothy Cullenen former Municipal Manager Falls, VT
Jesse Darr Mayor of Green Springs Green Springs Ohio
Steve DeBolt former Village Manager Village of Whispering Pines, NC
Dale Dougherty Executive Director of Parks and Recreation Macon-Bibb County GA
Richard Draper Wastewater Treatment Op. Class 3 Lexington Fayette Urban Co. Government KY
Edward Jay Ellington former Executive Director Prince William County, VA
John Paul Feigerle, Ph.D. Supervisor/lead person USPS CA
David Felinton Mayor City of Huntington, WV
Jeffery Fobbe Senior Program Manager United States Postal Service WV
Robert Fowler Safety Service Director City of Lorain, Ohio
Larry Frimerman President Oxford Township Ohio
Jeremy Germann Village Administrator Georgetown, Ohioio Ohio
Steve Golnar former City Manager Rawlins, WY
Dale Hancock former Assistant County Manager Garfield County Colorado CO
Redmond Jones Consultant Dellmar Consulting LLP IA
David Kennedy Village Administrator Village of New Richmond, Ohio
John Kusnierek Project Management Support Specialist U.S. Air Force, contractor Ohio
Alan Lanning City Manager City of Central, CO
David Malone Mayor City of Portsmouth, Ohio
Denise McCray Administrator City of Cleveland, Ohio
Paul McKenna Business Manager Washington Auto Mall WV
Michael Nagy former City Manager City of Paris, KY
Stephen Pauken City Manager City of Bisbee, AZ
Randall Pavlak Fire Chief Sugarcreek Township Ohio
Morris Pettus Staff US Congress United States Congress Ohio
Carlo Pilgrim City Manager City of Holbrook, ME
Kevin Pyle Fiscal Officer Amelia Village Ohio
Ronald Rabun Consultant Self employed GA
John Rowland VP Finance Officer Astra Bank KS
Cristina Rubio Local Government Operations Officer Government NJ
Robert Schaumleffel Town Manager Red Springs,NC Ohio
Arthur Sciorra Executive Director Clements Agricultural Research Institute NY
Andrew Scott Chief Prosecuting Attorney City of Missoula, Montana MT
Jeremy Shaffer Director Linguitek Ohio
Jerry Skiver Interim Superintendent, St. Marys City Schools St. Marys City Schools Ohio
Dennis Sparks Management Consultant Sparks Consulting VA
Harry Staven former Finance Director City of Galena, AK WA
Benjamin Stipe Assistant Store Manager Tractor Supply Company CT
Hugh Thomas Township Administrator Sylvania Township, Ohioio Ohio
R. Scott Tipton Master Trooper Florida Highway Patrol FL
Eugene Toy City Manager City of Galion, Ohio
John Ward Town Adminstrator Town of Vernon, CT
Robert Ware Police Chief City of Portsmouth Ohioio Ohio
Bob Wheeler Managing Principal Rubicon Consulting AR
Nancy Yendes Assistant City Attorney Springfield, Missouri MO
Craig Zins Public Services Director City of Green, OH
Frank Lewis may be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 252, or at firstname.lastname@example.org. For breaking news, follow Frank on Twitter @FrankLewisPDT.