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Council acts on manager’s post

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Village Council members agreed at the end of their meeting Monday, June 2, to appoint John Weithofer as manager consultant with the intent of hiring him as interim Village manager before Village Manager Eric Swansen resigns his position. Weithofer began working with Swansen this week to become familiar with the Village government before Swansen leaves to begin a job as city manager of Sunnyside, Wash., on June 18.

Village Solicitor John Chambers recommended Weithofer, who was a colleague of his from the city of Miamisburg, where Weithofer was manager from 1988 to 2006, and assistant manager for six years prior to that, according to Council President Judith Hempfling. Weithofer retired in 2006, after being honored as municipal manager of the year by the Dayton Manager’s Association, took two years off, and is now getting back into the field. He currently lives in Miamisburg.

“He is highly regarded, and he has a depth of experience that will help him familiarize himself with the complexities resulting from the college closure and perhaps advise us on the manager search,” Hempfling said on Tuesday.

Weithofer has not formally agreed to step in as Village interim manager, but Council hopes to identify an interim manager with a one-year contract by the next Council meeting on June 16, Hempfling said. Swansen will be available by phone for 30 days after he leaves to advise the interim manager.

Weithofer accepted his appointment as consultant at Monday’s Council meeting, saying that he was eager to work with Swansen to acquaint himself with the village and help its leaders to address the Antioch College closure. He likened the college’s closure to a transition Miamisburg had to make when it lost a large nuclear fuel processing center in the 1980s, after which the city reclaimed and reused the facility for economic development. Weithofer spoke confidently of the road to recovery for Yellow Springs as well.

“Antioch is the heart of the community, the fabric of the community, and the use of its property will determine the future of the community,” he said. “What the Village does ultimately to set that framework, working with the college and the university, is going to be crucial to the success of the Council and the community.”

Weithofer also said that he would be committed to helping the Village through a diligent and professional process to find a Village manager who is qualified to handle the issues unique to Yellow Springs.

Swansen took the manager’s position with Sunnyside two weeks ago, after Council agreed in executive session at its May 19 meeting to accept Swansen’s resignation, effective June 18, approximately a month sooner than his contract specified. According to a story in the Argus Observer, Swansen chose Sunnyside because it would afford him a larger salary and more responsibility than his current job. He and his wife Shelley also own property near Sunnyside where they may choose to retire, the article said.

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