The new city manager in Bellbrook was a former administrator for the village of Yellow Springs, where she continues to lead fitness classes.
Melissa Dodd started this month, taking over for Mark Schlagheck, the former city manager who accepted a position as the chief financial officer with The Jefferson Health Plan.
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Dodd, 37, a Xenia Twp. native, was hired at an annual salary of $100,000. She was chosen over the other two finalists for the position, Stacy Schweikhart, Kettering’s community information manager, and Katie Smiddy, finance director for the city of Montgomery north of Cincinnati.
Dodd was hired as the finance director for Yellow Springs in December 2013 and she served additionally as the assistant village manager there when she was appointed in September 2015, according to her resume.
Yellow Springs Village Manager Patti Bates said they are doing interviews to fill the finance director position vacated by Dodd.
“We are not filling the AVM position at this time,” Bates said.
Prior to working in Yellow Springs, Dodd worked as the business operations manager for the police department at Wright State University, where she earned a bachelor of fine arts degree and a masters degree in public administration, according to her resume.
Dodd said her short-term goals in the new position are to understand the dynamics between the city of Bellbrook and the growth that surrounds it in Sugarcreek Twp. and Centerville.
“I hope to find ways to ensure that collaboration continues between all entities and foster good communication,” Dodd said.
Dodd said she is working with the Greene County Regional Planning Commission to update the city’s comprehensive plan. She said the city’s zoning codes haven’t been updated for “a number of years,” and she will be looking for opportunities to grow and revitalize the downtown area.
“The biggest challenges for the city in my opinion will be funding necessary services through all of the cuts from the state,” she said. “Without an income tax, the city relies heavily on property taxes to fund its core services. This challenge is not unique to Bellbrook, but for so many municipalities in the state. As administrators, we are continuously looking to become more efficient to save money and being creative in funding projects.”
Dodd said she’s been a fitness instructor for nearly 15 years and still teaches Zumba classes in Yellow Springs and Xenia. She said health and fitness are a big part of her life and she enjoys competing in area 5K events.
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