Yellow Springs Village Manager Patti Bates

Yellow Springs manager to retire, process underway to find replacement

It will be five years of service as the village manager when Patti Bates retires from her position in June. The nationwide search for the next village manager is underway and applications are being accepted until Feb. 15.

Council members have opted to find the next village manager without hiring a consultant. Council is forming an eight-member advisory committee that will be tasked with reviewing resumés and interviewing candidates who are chosen out of the pool of those who apply.

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Bates said the “intensive process” will be similar to how she was originally hired, the difference being a recruiting consultant was involved in her hiring. Bates recalled doing multiple interviews over the Memorial Day weekend with various “stakeholders,” including business leaders and members of the arts community.

“It was a very intensive process, but I think it was a very good process,” Bates said. “Everyone has an idea of that person and how they should act in public situations.”

In a Dec. 19 letter to council, Council President Brian Housh outlined the steps that will be taken to hire the new village manager. The timeline started last month when the village created a six-page advertisement, describing the village as “an eclectic, politically progressive community of approximately 3,700 residents” that needs a skilled and dedicated public servant.

The job description lists the priorities for the new village manager, which will include improving infrastructure, attracting new businesses and improving affordability in housing and living in the village.

The salary range will be $85,000 to $125,000 with “competitive fringe benefits,” according to the job description.

The successful candidate will be selected in April and begin working in June, a month before Bates’ last day, according to Housh’s timeline.

Housh described the process as “complete and critical.”

“The village is at a critical juncture with major initiatives reflected in our 2019 village goals and we need a highly skilled individual to deliver on these goals, which is why we are willing to offer an excellent compensation package,” he said. “For a community of less than 4,000 people, we have an incredible amount of economic/community development activity and amazing opportunities to lead the region and nation.”

Bates said the new manager will have plenty to do.

“The village is extremely busy right now,” she said. “Affordability in the village is a very important topic right now, and availability of affordable housing. Those two topics do not have an easy solution for a small community that manages its own public utility infrastructure.”

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Bates said her immediate plans after retiring will be to relax, but she expects she’ll eventually get bored and will be looking for opportunities to continue working. She said highlights during her career in Yellow Springs include landing marijuana cultivator Cresco Labs and getting the new water plant financed and constructed.

“Cresco is definitely a feather in our cap. It took a lot to make that happen,” she said. “You always wish you had done more. The big things that so directly impact the village, I think we’ve made headway on those, but the job is never finished. You just do the pieces you can do and pass on to the next person to continue the improvements.”

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