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Franzen promoted to assistant city manager

Tom Franzen, the city’s economic development administrator, has been promoted to assistant city manager/economic development director, effective Monday.

Franzen, a Northeastern High School graduate, has served in the city manager’s office for 14 years, running economic development programs as well as overseeing operations at the Springfield-Beckley Municipal Airport.

In his new role, he’ll be more directly involved with all the departments of the city’s government.

“Being born and raised here, it’s something I take significant pride in,” Franzen said. “It’s an honor to be able to continue to do that.”

Franzen, whose annually salary will be $99,486.40, will continue in his role as economic development director, but will also have added duties within the city manager’s office. He currently oversees the city’s incentive program, business retention and attraction efforts as well as managing and promoting the city’s industrial parks.

He’s recently served in an acting city manager role when Bodenmiller was away. He feels it should be an easy transition working with the other departments.

“By virtue of working out of the city manager’s office, we get involved in a lot of different things beyond strictly economic development,” Franzen said.

Franzen, a Rutgers University graduate and U.S. Air Force veteran who served in both Desert Shield and Desert Storm, will be the first assistant city manager since current City Manager Jim Bodenmiller was promoted to the position in 2008. The city manager’s office went from 11 employees to three over the last several years during budget cuts.

“Honestly, it’s been a struggle to stay up with all the different things that it takes to manage a city,” Bodenmiller said. “We’ll be back to more or less full staffing.”

Bodenmiller called Franzen a natural fit for the position.

“He really has a knack for the job,” Bodenmiller said. “I’m extremely confident in his ability to pull off both roles.”

The city manager’s office will be up to five positions after a deputy economic development administrator position is filled, which staff believes will happen in late January or early February.

“We look forward to filling that position,” Franzen said. “It will help out greatly.”

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