DELTA, Ohio - Delta got a new village administrator last night who has 34 years experience working for northern Ohio city and village governments.
Village council voted unanimously to hire Ken Knuth, who most recently was Monroeville village administrator in Huron County for two years and previously was employed by the city of Olmsted Falls, southwest of Cleveland, for 32 years.
He was hired on a one-year contract for $48,000, plus Public Employees Retirement System benefits, and is to start Thursday, working with Village Administrator Gary Baker until he retires Feb. 28.
Mr. Knuth's contract calls for a 32-hour work week. It does not provide insurance, paid vacation, or paid sick days.
"I think he's a no-nonsense person," council President Dan Miller said. "He's going to come in and make the employees do a good job."
Councilman Keith Lantz said he talked to several people who dealt with Mr. Knuth in his previous positions, but whom Mr. Knuth had not listed as references. "There wasn't one negative thing said about him," Mr. Lantz said.
Mr. Knuth, 53, who has lived in Sandusky for three years, left the Monroeville position in July. He was paid $45,000 a year to supervise nine full-time and two part-time employees in the village of about 1,400 people.
He was a retiree the whole time he was employed in Monroeville.
Mr. Knuth retired from Olmsted Falls in 2001 at age 48 as service supervisor, a position that paid him $65,000 a year in the city of 8,500 people. But he returned immediately after retirement as special projects manager, overseeing work such as sewer construction, at a salary of $32,000 for two more years.
He started there as a teenager, joining the volunteer fire department in 1969 when high school students were allowed to leave classes to help fight fires.
After graduating from Olmsted Falls High School in 1971, he started work with the city service department as a laborer plowing snow, mowing in parks, and learning city operations from the bottom up.
"I'm self-taught in just about everything I do," Mr. Knuth said.
In Olmsted Falls' public works department, he supervised seven full-time and up to 13 seasonal employees.
In Delta, which has about 3,200 residents, 22 full-time employees, and 10 seasonal employees, Mr. Knuth predicted his biggest challenge will be learning to know the people and the area. "The operations of the communities are pretty much the same," he said.
He added that he likes such work. "There's a great deal of satisfaction when you do something for a community. You aren't doing it for just one or two people. You're doing it for everybody," he said.
Delta's council has disagreed among itself and with the mayor this winter, but Councilman Marcy LeFevre said she hoped Mr. Knuth's "fresh face, fresh ideas, and enthusiasm" will help bring council together.
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