Vandalia names new city manager

Daniel Wendt named City Manager of Vandalia.

Credit: Courtesy

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Daniel Wendt named City Manager of Vandalia.

Credit: Courtesy

After about a six month search, Vandalia City Council has selected Daniel Wendt of Monroeville as its new city manager.

“It’s absolutely an honor to be named new city manager of Vandalia. I very much appreciate Mayor Herbst and the members of city council for conducting a competitive and rigorous process to determine the next city manager. It’s great to be selected,” Wendt said.

Wendt is the assistant city manager and chief operating officer for the city of Fairfield where he manages and develops operating and capital budgets, and oversees overall city operations.

Prior to his time at Fairfield, the administrator served in a similar role as Director of Public Safety and Service at the City of Norwalk, county seat of Huron County. There, he oversaw all municipal government operations and supervised the affairs of the Police, Fire, Sanitation and Parks and Recreation Departments.

He spent three years in the United States Peace Corps developing community and economic advancement initiatives in the Dominican Republic as well as serving as a project manager at an information tech company near Columbus. Wendt holds a masters degree in Public Administration from Bowling Green State University and a bachelor of arts degree from the Ohio State University.

Wendt said he looks forward to improving the quality of life and livability in the city using the city’s comprehensive plans. “I think I’ve got some unique experience that I can bring to that that’ll be supplemental to already a very high performing organization,” he said.

Wendt and his family are excited to move to the city but said the COVID-19 pandemic presents ongoing challenges. “It’s been here for a while but local governments continue to pivot to meet the needs of their community and I will ensure you that we’ll continue to do that and make adaptations that we need to meet the needs of the community,” he said.

The city manager’s position was vacated in July after Jon Crusey announced his resignation. In August, the city announced they would hire consultant Julie Trick to assist in finding a new city manager. Wendt will start in Vandalia on Feb. 1 and Police Chief Kurt Althouse, serving as the interim-city manager, will return to the police division.

“I appreciate councils confidence in me to allow me to serve as the interim city manager during the transition period and it’s been great to work with all the different department heads and I’m proud to say we have a good team here of employees in the city so everybody has pulled together to work during this transition,” Althouse said.

Althouse said he is excited to work with Wendt in the future. “He seems very energetic, has a lot of great ideas for how to move the city forward and I look forward to working with him in the upcoming years.”

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