Harrison hires recruiter to find a township manager
The Harrison commissioners are in the market for a township manager.
The township hasn’t had a manager, but officials say one is needed, especially before the township’s long-tenured executive secretary leaves, whenever that may be.
“Before she would decide to retire, we want to try to be proactive,” commissioners President Bill Heasley said of longtime township Executive Secretary Faith Payne. “We don’t want to be caught at the last minute.”
Commissioners have hired a recruiting firm, Public Partners, to conduct the search. Their services are expected to cost about $5,000, Heasley said.
Payne has been Harrison’s secretary since 1976 and a township employee since 1971. She said she’s not involved in the discussion about hiring a manager and declined to comment.
Payne said she has no plans to retire.
“I’ll know when it’s time to go,” she said. “I could have gone within the last four years.”
Commissioners hope to hire a manager by October so that person will be able to work on the 2019 budget and work with and learn from Payne, Heasley said.
Payne is welcome to stay as long as she wants, he said. “Faith has done a great job for us as the executive secretary,” Heasley said. “We want to make sure any transition we make is smooth.”
Harrison has a budget of about $6 million and around 30 employees. It has about 10,300 residents.
“The complexity of funding, regulations, organization — it’s time that we have a professional manager so the board is not in a position of having to climb into the details of daily operations,” Commissioner Chuck Dizard said.
Dizard also stressed Payne’s value to the township and the need for her to mentor a manager.
“She’s an encyclopedia of our history,” he said.
Heasley said Harrison once had a manager, but he didn’t know how long ago that was. He said they want a manager to oversee the township’s departments, and they’d like to find someone with good leadership skills and knowledge in finances, engineering and municipal laws.
“Ideally, an attorney-engineer-banker,” he said. “Hopefully, we can come close to that.”
Heasley said commissioners have a salary range in mind, based on comparisons with townships of similar size and economic makeup, but he would not disclose it.
“We’re flexible as far as that goes,” he said.