With Ron Coffey retiring at the end of next week, the Greenfield Village Council has yet to officially choose who will fill the position of city manager.
Over the last couple of months council members have held several special meetings as they have interviewed and whittled down the list of 30 applicants for the position, including another executive session during Wednesday’s council meeting, but with no vote as yet.
Council Chair Phil Clyburn said Thursday that he expects to announce council’s choice for new city manager, and vote on the matter, at the next regular session meeting, which is April 4. Coffey’s last day is March 30.
Clyburn said that in the interim, Public Safety Director Brian Smith will handle the “day to day” things and Clyburn himself will serve as acting city manager until council votes on a new city manager.
The council chair added that Coffey has “everything pretty much taken care of,” which will hopefully make for an ease of transition to the next city manager. Clyburn said things “should run smoothly” between Coffey’s exit and the new city manager’s entrance.
Coffey on Wednesday, as a prelude to his report to council, thanked council members and Greenfield residents for allowing him to serve the community in the capacity of city manager for the last five years.
“It’s been a whirlwind, full of twists and turns – sometimes very happy occasions … some disappointments and setbacks, but we have kept working to advance our community and I think Greenfield has made progress.”
He went on to say that he has “tried to serve honorably and in keeping with (his) faith” as city manager of his hometown, a position that he never expected to have, but for which he said he was thankful.
Council members presented Coffey with a proclamation expressing their gratitude and appreciation for Coffey’s service to Greenfield over the last five years. The proclamation names Friday, March 30 as Ron Coffey Appreciation Day. On that day the public is invited to attend an open house for Coffey from 2 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. in the council chambers on the first floor of the City Building.
On another matter, a piece of legislation that was to come before council in regard to “Amusement Arcades,” or skilled gaming, was not approved by council following its first reading.
The legislation is new, said law director Brian Zets, not a modification of an older ordinance, which is what council members thought they were getting. The ordinance that Greenfield does have on the books is regarding internet cafes. Zets said skilled gaming is a different thing entirely and is something that is “highly regulated” by the state of Ohio.
According to previous discussions, council wanted to modify fees contained in the old ordinance that would make it easier for skilled gaming establishments to open up in Greenfield.
Councilman Chris Borreson has said on more than one occasion that he sees this as an opportunity to bring revenue and jobs to the village. He said the businessman that approached council about such a facility said his planned establishment would require five employees.
Councilman Eric Borsini said he would like to know more information from Jeffersonville, where the businessman currently runs a skilled gaming facility – like police reports, the sort of clientele that it draws — to be better informed about how it could affect the Greenfield community.
Following the first reading of the skilled gaming legislation, it was discovered that not everyone was on the same page about what the legislation was about. It will be revisited at a future meeting.
There is currently a skilled gaming facility in the Greenfield area, but it lies just outside the village limits.
In other business, the Greenfield Police Department report for February presented to council stated (with year-to-date numbers in parentheses) that there were 392 (815) call handled, 23 (63) offenses investigated, 82 (151) arrests, and 35 (56) prisoners.
The Greenfield Village Council meets in regular session the first and third Wednesday of every month at 7:30 p.m. in the council chambers on the first floor of the City Building. The meetings are open to the public.