City manager candidates speak about the city

By Frank Lewis

September 5, 2013

Frank Lewis

PDT Staff Writer

With last week’s announcement by President of City Council Steve Sturgill that Council had narrowed down its list of candidates for the position of city manager to three, and with an announcement there will be a meet and greet at 4:30 p.m. Monday at the Holiday Inn for residents to meet the candidates, the Daily Times took the time to contact those candidates to find out why they had applied for the new position.

“I think that the challenges Portsmouth is facing are matched with the skills that I possess,” Derek Allen, village administrator in Delta, Ohio, said. “I have a financial background, and I think I could help with the fact that the city is on Fiscal Watch.”

Allen said he had not been involved in any municipality placed on Fiscal Watch status, but has dealt with communities in financial straits.

“I came down last week and drove around and looked around,” Allen said. “So I’m looking forward to coming back.”

Allen was impressed with some of the things he experienced in his trip to Portsmouth.

“I thought there were some nice aspects to it,” Allen said. “It still has challenges, but overall it was a nice looking community.”

Patti Bates, village administrator in Williamsburg, Ohio sees the challenges of coming to Portsmouth as a plus for her.

“Portsmouth has a couple of challenges facing it, and I like a challenge,” Bates told the Daily Times. “I like to work through things and get issues resolved so that things are better for the citizens, which primarily is what my job is. So I think it’s a good opportunity and a new challenge.”

Bates is on a short time frame for the Monday meet and greet, but will nevertheless be here to meet the citizens of Portsmouth.

“I’m looking forward to meeting everybody on Monday evening,” Bates said. “Unfortunately I will only be there for part of the time because I do have leave early for a conditional use hearing and then come back again. So I will be there at 4:30, and I will probably have to leave about 5:15 (p.m.) or so to get back to Williamsburg and I have my conditional use hearing and then I will come to Portsmouth.”

Steve Golnar is a former city manager in Rawlins, Wyoming.

“I’m interested in Portsmouth because it sounds like an interesting community,” Golnar said. “It has some industrial background. It’s on the river. And it does face other challenges. Also it is kind of evolving back in a city manager form of government, which I really find challenging and interesting.”

Golnar said he has done some research on Portsmouth.

“I’m continuing to research and looking into the Charter Ordinance and so forth, and do want to do some additional follow-up on the challenges,” Golnar said. “I think a lot of that is meeting with people, and then really getting a feel for what’s going on. So I think that next week will be really critical for understanding more about the community.”

Frank Lewis may be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 252, or at flewis@civitasmedia.com. For breaking news, follow Frank on Twitter @FrankLewisPDT.