List cut for Moraine city manager job sought by many local officials

The list of candidates to become the next Moraine city manager has been cut by about two-thirds as officials seek to begin interviewing later this month.

Fewer than 15 remain, according to Moraine Mayor Elaine Allison, of the original 44 applicants – including several local administrators - from about a dozen states who expressed interest in succeeding longtime City Manager David Hicks.

City council met Feb. 27 in executive session to discuss how members would like to see the list compiled by The Novak Consulting Group trimmed going forward, Allison said.

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“There was a further winnowing down of applicants that we were interested in,” she said. “And then a further winnowing down of applicants that Novak is going to do some more homework on.”

This news organization has filed a public records request with the city of Moraine seeking the names of the remaining candidates. The city had not provided that information by publication deadline.

The salary range for the job is $120,000 to 150,000, according to the city.

Allison said Novak, the consulting group the city hired last year to assist in the search, has recommended Moraine officials interview anywhere from five to eight candidates.

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“That would account then for anybody who might drop out,” she said. “Maybe there’s cold feet or a change of heart…… that will be somewhere of the number that we’re shooting for.”

The remaining candidates are nearly “evenly split” between Ohio and out of state prospects, according to Allison. Of the in-state applicants, several administrators with local ties applied. They include:

•Pete Bales, Fairborn assistant city manager;

•Nathan Cahall, Centerville economic development administrator and acting city manager;

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•Bryan Chodkowski, former Riverside city manager and current town manager with Enfield, Conn.;

•Michael Davis, Moraine economic development director;

•Julie Hoffman, Moraine parks and rec director;

•Jesse Lightle, Washington Twp. administrator;

•Brock Taylor, Riverside director of planning.

Allison didn’t comment on any specific candidates, but said “there was certainly a high quality group of people that had applied.”

The city hasn’t altered it’s philosophy since posting the city manager’s job a few months ago, she added.

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That posting required “at least five years of progressively responsible experience in a local government, including supervision and/or executive level management.

“Preferred qualifications include a master’s degree in public administration or a closely related field and strong human resources/employee relations, budget management, labor relations, economic development, and regional and intergovernmental expertise,” records show.

Hicks is targeting a July 1 retirement after 43 years with the city. He began in the Moraine Police Division, where he was eventually promoted to chief.


Hicks was hired as city manager in 2001 and is credited by many local officials with helping guide Moraine through turbulent economic times.

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