Delaware County Engineer Chris Bauserman has extended an offer to former Orange Township Administrator Lee Bodnar for a newly created administrator position within the engineer’s office.
Bauserman said that not too long ago the need for an administrator was identified by his office.
“I think (Lee) will be a good fit,” Bauserman said.
According to the offer letter emailed to Bodnar, his responsibilities would entail the day-to-day administrative functions of the office, which include supervision of the accounting department, information systems, permit department, intergovernmental coordination, the office budget, public relations, public outreach, control of the website, and social media.
The full-time unclassified service position reports directly, holding a fiduciary relationship, to the county engineer.
Bodnar’s annual compensation is set at $111,280 with the full-time benefits of a cellular phone allowance, health insurance, life insurance, and employee-paid dental, vision, and supplemental life insurance. He will also be eligible for a retirement package with the Ohio Public Employee Retirement System if he accepts the engineer’s offer.
As for Bodnar’s response to the offer letter, Bauserman said, “He hasn’t sent in the signed letter, but we did get a verbal response from him accepting the offer.”
As it is right now, Bodnar will begin his duties with the county engineer’s office Feb. 17, however, the offer “is subject to an acceptable drug screening and background check per Delaware County policies,” states the letter.
According to Lake County Clerk of Courts records, Bodnar “pled guilty to the charge of drug abuse” in the 1980s, which he complied with and was “discharged at the end of his sentence.”
Bauserman was asked if the county background check would detour him from hiring Bodnar.
“He fully disclosed his background in the interview process, so whatever the background check reveals won’t be a surprise, because he already revealed it,” Bauserman said. “It happened 35 years ago, but if it had happened in the last 10 years, I would have to take a closer look at things.”
The Orange Township Board of Trustees voted 2-1 to accept Bodnar’s resignation as township administrator following more than an hour-long executive session Tuesday, Jan. 21. No reason was given for the immediate resignation, but according to the mutual separation agreement, Bodnar will receive four months of severance pay along with four months of continued health insurance benefits at the current level.
Bodnar’s health insurance benefits with the engineer’s office will become available May 1.
In December 2019, after returning to the public meeting from a closed-door session, trustees granted Bodnar a two-and-a-half-year extension on his contract. Bauserman commented that he didn’t believe that his offer was in any way connected to his resignation from Orange Township.
“We did talk about it prior to his leaving Orange, and he did express some interest in the position,” Bauserman said.
Trustees initially hired Bodnar as administrator on May 27, 2016, with a starting pay of $103,000 annually. During his tenure, he focused internally on the township’s day-to-day operations, staff, and procedures.
At that time, Trustee Lisa Knapp said she was impressed with Bodnar’s background as an administrator.
“You’ve got great references from everybody in Lake County,” she said.
Before Orange Township, Bodnar served a total of 14 years as administrator for three different townships in Lake County, Ohio.
Bodnar couldn’t be reached for comment on his new position with the engineer’s office.