Greenfield has a familiar face as its new city manager, following a unanimous vote by the Greenfield Village Council at its regular meeting on Wednesday.
Todd Wilkin, former safety and service director of Hillsboro, will begin his tenure with Greenfield on April 16.
According to the legislation adopted by council members, Wilkin’s contract is for three years, ending on April 15, 2021, and he will be paid a $75,000 annual salary. His job performance is to be evaluated annually “on or about March 30th.”
Wilkin was not present at Wednesday’s meeting, and a phone call for comment following the meeting was not immediately returned.
“Todd has a lot of experience in government and private service,” council chair Phil Clyburn said. “We just feel he is a really good fit.”
As Wilkin doesn’t officially begin as city manager for more than a week, Greenfield Public Safety Director Brain Smith will continue to handle the day-to-day of the post, and Clyburn will remain as acting city manager until Wilkin takes the office, Clyburn said.
Ron Coffey retired at the end of March after serving as city manager for just over five years.
Wilkin was hired in February 2013 by Mayor Drew Hastings for the safety-service director job in Hillsboro. When Hastings was investigated and indicted on four felony charges in 2016, Wilkin was a key witness at Hastings’ trial. After Hastings was acquitted, the rift between the two was evident at the next council meeting.
Hastings fired Wilkin in late November of that year, leading to a conflict between the mayor and other city officials as Wilkin continued to be paid. Eventually, a suit brought by Wilkin was settled for $82,500, roughly the amount of a year’s salary. The settlement was paid by the city’s insurance provider and included no admission of wrongdoing by the city.
In other business Wednesday, Greenfield council members adopted legislation changing regular council meetings from the first and third Wednesday of every month to the first and third Tuesday of every month beginning with next month’s first meeting on May 1. The meetings will still be held at 7:30 p.m. in the council chambers.
On other matters, Cub Scouts with Pack 190 attended Wednesday’s meeting as part of a project where they are learning about Greenfield.
“What is the best thing about Greenfield,” one boy asked.
Council member Bob Bergstrom answered that the community is “friendly” and “everyone knows each other,” and helps each other, too.
Councilman Chris Borreson said the village is situated in a “beautiful location” close to a lot of natural amenities that offer numerous outdoor activities.
Clyburn offered that Greenfield has a “wonderful history.”
Another question from a Cub Scout was “Is there anything that can be improved?”
Council member Mark Clyburn said that, sure, there are things that can be improved and he said council members were continually working to improve things. “There’s nothing that you can never not improve on,” he said.
Councilman Eric Borsini noted that there are always ongoing improvement needs, like potholes and renovating downtown buildings, and council and community members are continually engaged in keeping things improving.
“What do you guys like?” Borreson asked the boys, who gave the swift reply of, “the people.”
Also on Wednesday, Greenfield Rotary President Andrew Surritt spoke to council about a policy that would allow the “dispensing and/or consumption of alcohol on public property in limited circumstances that do not impair the public interests,” according to the policy draft Surritt presented to council. It is something Surritt brought before the council last year, but nothing ever came of that.
Surritt said it is something Gov. John Kasich made “acceptable” last year, and it has worked for places like the riverfront in Cincinnati.
He said it wasn’t a matter for the state, but that it “comes down to the local government accepting it.”
Surritt said the Rotary Club is looking to do monthly events beginning in June that would benefit from the adoption of such a policy.
Borreson spoke of the matter of the policy being brought before the previous council and receiving no attention. He said he would like this council to respond and not let it “be swept under the rug again.”
Phil Clyburn said he agreed, but he thinks the new city manager should be involved in the conversation, so it will at least wait to be addressed until Wilkin takes the office.
Representatives of Groups, a local opioid-abuse treatment organization, introduced themselves, and the organization to council members.
Regional manager Joshua Davis said the organization’s focus is helping people who have become dependent on opioids to overcome their addiction primarily through things like weekly group counseling and Saboxone therapy, among other aspects of therapy. Programs last from 18 to 24 months.
Lisa Tilton, Groups Office Coordinator, said the organization works with local agencies, local government, and the community, and that was what brought them to council to introduce themselves.
“Thank you for welcoming us to the community,” she said.
Counselor Anthony Gaylon echoed Tilton’s words, adding that he has lived in the area for a decade and has seen the problems and the lack of resources for those needing help. He said collaboration and communities working together are the only way to make things better.
Currently the clinic at 226 S. Seventh St. is open Monday and Thursday 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., but as more people seek help, those hours will expand, Tilton said.
For more information, call 800-683-8313, send an email to email@example.com, or go to the website at joingroups.com.
Finance director Carolyn Snodgrass reported the preliminary numbers for March as: month-to-date revenue – $308,894; month-to-date expense – $231,484; year-to-date revenue – $899,103; year-to-date expense – $681,511; and a general fund balance as of March 31, 2018 as $234,421.
The Greenfield Village Council meets next in regular session on April 18 at 7:30 p.m. in the council chambers on the first floor of the City Building. The meeting is open to the public.