Oakwood expects to map out city manager hiring process in coming weeks

Credit: doug sanders

Credit: doug sanders

Oakwood wants by early May to finalize its process for hiring a new city manager after its longtime top administrator recently announced plans to retire this fall.

Norb Klopsch earlier this month told city officials he intends to step down in November, ending his 32-year tenure with Oakwood, the past 22 as city manager.

Oakwood Mayor Bill Duncan said city council is talking about having its selection process mapped out in the next two to three weeks and “citizen involvement is under consideration.”

Oakwood has had five city managers since adopting its form of government in 1931, Duncan said. The goal is to have a successor in place before Klopsch retires, he added.

Klopsch will be leaving a high standard for his replacement, Duncan and other council members said.

The longtime mayor said he and Klopsch have been going to the Dayton Area Mayors and Managers Association meetings for years.

“What impressed me so much about that is the amount of respect that the other mayors and managers have for Norb and his expertise,” Duncan said. “Norb knows not only how to manage subordinates, but also superiors. And you’ve done one heck of a job at managing us.”

Councilman Rob Stephens said during his 15 years on council “I’ve never met anyone who’s more passionate about the city” as Klopsch.

“Passion and professionalism” have been significant attributes Klopsch has brought to the job, Vice Mayor Steve Byington said.

First-term Councilwoman Healy Jackson, a longtime member of the city’s planning commission, said what she respects most is his “high integrity and his friendship.”

Before joining Oakwood as an engineer in November 1992, Klopsch worked at LJB Engineers, a local civil engineering firm.

He earlier served five years as an officer in the U.S. Army after earning a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from the U.S. Military Academy in West Point, N.Y.

In 2000, he was promoted to engineering and public works director. About two years later, Klopsch was named city manager. He replaced Mike Kelly, who in 1993 succeeded David Foell after Foell served 30 years, according to the city.

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