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Bessemer city manager search begins again


Tom Stankard / Daily Globe

THE BESSEMER City Council discusses where to go next Monday evening after Daniel Wendt, of Monroeville, Ohio, rejected the city's offer to be city manager. From left are: Jim Trudgeon, city clerk; council members Robert Coleman and Linda Nelson; Mayor Kathy Whitburn; council members John Frello and Al Gaiss; and Michael Korpela, city attorney.

BESSEMER - After offering Daniel Wendt, of Monroeville, Ohio, the city manager position in May, the Bessemer City Council announced Monday the candidate has rejected their offer.

After interviewing eight of 28 applicants, the council agreed to offer him the job during a May 23 meeting. The council agreed offer him a first-year salary of $50,000 and a list of benefits.

On Monday, Mayor Kathy Whitburn said Wendt contacted her on May 26 and said he had accepted another position in a neighboring town in Ohio. Whitburn said Wendt said positive remarks about the city of Bessemer and its council.

"He loves his hometown as much as we love ours, and that was really the driving factor," she said. "It had nothing to do with our city, the pay we were offering or the contract terms."

According to the Norwalk (Ohio) Reflector's website, Wendt recently accepted the position of safety-service director for the city of Norwalk in north central Ohio.

Moving forward, Whitburn asked if the city should pursue hiring a full-time or part-time city manager. Robert Coleman, council member, said Bessemer should stick with a full-time manager considering "everything on the (city's) plate."

In response, member John Frello said the council shouldn't shut the door on possibly hiring a part-time city manager. Coleman said he agreed it's a possibility. Member Al Gaiss added part-time employees are expected to perform better.

Frello said the council isn't out of options. He said the council should offer Terry Kryshak, Jason Laumann or William Yost the position.

After some discussion, the council agreed with Frello, and Whitbrun said she will get in contact with the three candidates.

Kryshak, of Frisco. Colo., was one of the eight candidates previously interviewed.

Earlier in March, the Wakefield City Council offered Laumann the city manager position. According to Wakefield city attorney Ray O'Dea, Laumann ultimately rejected the council's offer, in large part, because he received "unencouraging phone calls" from people in the city.

Also on the agenda, the council discussed the city's long grass and weeds blight problem. The council agreed the resident should cut the lawn within five days of being notified of the blight problem. If the at-fault resident fails to comply, the council said he or she should pay for the actual actual cost to cut the lawn, on top of a fine of $100 for the first offense, $200 for the second offense and $300 for each additional offense. Unpaid costs and fines will be assessed as a lien on his or her property.

The council also approved to pursue requiring the resident at-fault to pay their fine within 10 days of the city mailing the notice.

In other action, the council:

-Put on file the Community Development Block Grant Infrastructure Capacity Enhancement application it applied for.

-Approved and authorized signatures of the Gogebic Range Water Authority/Water Project agreements.

-Approved the 2016-2017 millage rate of 17.356.

-Approved the Bessemer Chamber of Commerce's request for a license to host the Culpepper Merriweather Circus on Saturday, July 10, at the BP parking lot on U.S. 2.


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