David Remy

Human Resources Director David Remy will become the City of Mansfield's full-time public works director after City Council voted 5-2 on Wednesday to approve a change in the city's codified ordinances. The city will seek a new candidate to lead its human resources department.

MANSFIELD -- When David Remy attended Lexington High School, he thought he wanted to be an engineer.

"I did all the math and science classes (toward engineering), but I found I was better at doing history and political science. So I went in that direction and became a lawyer," Remy said Wednesday night.

As the City of Mansfield's new full-time public works director, Remy will now oversee the engineer's office, along with 200-plus employees in a variety of departments.

When Mansfield City Council on Wednesday voted 5-2 to approve a change that allows Remy to assume the new position, it marks the third city hat the Ohio Northern University graduate has worn.

Council members Donnie Bryant (at-large) and Jon Van Harlingen (3rd Ward) voted against the change. Both said they believe the city should hire a new human resources leader before moving Remy into the full-time public works director slot.

Van Harlingen

Mansfield City Council member Jon Van Harlingen (3rd Ward) listens Wednesday as Human Resources Director David Remy discusses a proposed change that would allow him to become the city's full-time public works director. Council approved the change, 5-2, with Van Harlingen casting one of the "no" votes.

Councilman Jason Lawrence said he voted for the change with the expectation the city administration will quickly fill the HR director position.

Remy served as the city's elected law director and then human resources director, a post he will give up to focus solely on public works once a new HR director or manager is hired. The change to the city's codified ordinances takes effect in 30 days.

"I still have that hidden, or latent, desire to be involved in that tech stuff. It's interesting ... just a different phase in my life. I never thought I would be an HR director. It will be fulfilling," Remy said.

"It'll be a relief because in truth, the ability to do both jobs (which Remy has done for the last six months), the responsibility to do both, doesn't do either one (justice). A city this size needs a public works director," Remy said.

Remy said he hoped the city could locate and hire someone to lead the HR department in the next 30 to 60 days.

Don Bryant

Mansfield City Council member Donnie Bryant (at-large) smiles during a safety committee meeting on Wednesday night.

Mayor Tim Theaker said he was pleased the change also gives the city two directors, including Safety-Service Director Lori Cope, who can sign contracts on behalf of the city. The city had a similar arrangement until 2008, when the public works director left and water plant manager Angelo Klousiadis took the role on an interim basis.

Theaker said the city will post the human resources leadership position and the quality of candidates and the city's budget would determine if the city hires an HR director or an HR manager.

"We will review the candidates and determine the best fit for the job. At that point in time, we will determine if that's a director or manager," Theaker said.

In other action Wednesday, council:

-- voted unanimously to approve a May ballot issue, asking voters to approve the renewal of a one-half percent income tax to fund operations of the city's police and fire departments. If approved, the tax would continue for four more years, Jan. 1, 2020, through Dec. 31, 2023.

-- heard a presentation from Angel Ross-Taylor and Brigitte Coles from We ACT about this year's "Spread the Light" week to support local law enforcement. A full week of events kicks off Sunday at 5 p.m. with a public rally at Graham Auto Mall, 1515 W. 4th St. For a complete list of activities, visit the organization's Facebook page at www.facebook.com/spreadthelight2018.

-- approved a police department software maintenance agreement with Superion.

-- Approved sewage backup damage claims to residents Patricia King of 697 Burns St. ($600) and Shirley Weddell of 340 Wood St. ($4,100).

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City editor. 30-year plus journalist. Husband. Father of 3 grown sons and also a proud grandpa. Prior military journalist in U.S. Navy, Ohio Air National Guard. -- Favorite quote: "Where were you when the page was blank?"