Orange Township trustees hired Lee Bodnar of Madison Township near Cleveland Friday morning as the township’s new administrator.
Bodnar will officially start with Orange Township Tuesday morning. He will earn $103,000 annually.
In a special meeting Friday morning, Trustee Debbie Taranto announced Bodnar as the township’s new administrator. “We’ve gone through a long process to fill the position of administrator,” Taranto said.
“I couldn’t be more excited,” Bodnar said. “I see this as a great opportunity and as a challenge.”
Bodnar has served as administrator for Madison Township in Lake County, Ohio, for the last two years. Before that, he served as administrator for Concord and Painesville townships, giving him 14 years of experience as an administrator. “I think my 14 years as township administrator will prove me to be an asset to the community as well as to the board of trustees,” Bodnar said. “I think that will serve this community well.”
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.
“We’re happy to see you,” Trustee Robert Quigley said. “Welcome aboard.”
“I will do my best to the best of my abilities,” Bodnar told trustees.
Bodnar said he wants to spend time focusing internally on the township’s day-to-day operations and the staff, and to take a look at procedures. “I like strong strategic planning. I believe that if you don’t plan on where you’re going, you won’t know when you get there,” he said. “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.”
Bodnar, his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Natalee, said they all look forward to moving to Orange Township. “I’m just excited and I think this is going to be a great adventure,” Michelle Bodnar said.
Bodnar said he has two thoughts he considers to be important for those working in public service. “When in public service, it’s about how you conduct yourself and it’s important to me to leave a community a little better than I found it,” he said.
Trustees have been looking for an administrator since Jan. 20 when Gail Messmer retired. At a special meeting on March 15, Orange Township trustees agreed to enter into contract negotiations with Jason Loree for the job.
Taranto said Loree decided to stay with Boardman Township near Youngstown as administrator. “Loree and Bodnar were really neck and neck,” Taranto said. “We’re really looking forward to have him come aboard.”
D. Anthony Botkin may be reached at 740-413-0902 or on Twitter @dabotkin.