Northwood last week hired an experienced administrator to take over when long-time employee Patricia Bacon retires at month's end.
City Council concurred with Mayor Mark Stoner's recommendation to hire Dennis Recker, 56, of Whitehouse, for the administrator's position. Mr. Recker started Tuesday so he could work with Mrs. Bacon before she retires, and he will be paid about $77,000 a year.
"I'm raring to go, and thank you very much for the opportunity," Mr. Recker told the mayor and council members last week.
Mr. Recker last worked as manager for Jasper County in Georgia, and he moved back to Ohio in September. The former administrator for Whitehouse and Delphos said he had considered retiring, but the Northwood opportunity came up.
Northwood has challenges and opportunities, said Mr. Recker, referring to the Wood County city's struggling tax revenues and potential for economic development.
City income tax revenues started this year down, but through September they are 2.6 percent ahead of last year. And auto supplier Norplas Industries Inc. recently was awarded a $500,000 state tax credit for a proposed expansion that would add 300 jobs.
On Nov. 2, voters will be asked to raise the city's payroll tax by 0.25 percentage point to 1.75 percent, which would raise an additional $500,000 a year. To grapple with reduced revenues, Northwood has laid off police officers and other personnel, as well as made other moves to reduce expenses.
Toby Schroyer, Northwood's finance and revenue director, said he started working on the city's budget for next year. Tax revenues were at their lowest point in April, at 18.4 percent below the first four months of 2009, but started to rebound.
The city lacks the money to resume contributions to the city's capital replacement fund, Mr. Schroyer said. "We're on a positive side now, a little bit more than we were in August," he told council members during their finance committee meeting last week.