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Village picks new manager

Yellow Springs has fourth leader since 2006.

Yellow Springs Village Council members on Monday night selected a new village manager who will begin work Saturday.

Patti Bales is the current village administrator of Williamsburg in southern Ohio, east of Cincinnati.

Bates will be paid $99,000 annually. The three-year contract also requires that she must move to Yellow Springs within six months.

“I’m very excited about it. They had a very intensive interview process. I thought it was very good way to meet me and for me to meet them,” Bates said.

Council President Karen Wintrow said leadership experience and community involvement were among several qualities that helped distinguish Bates from the other candidates.

“She did come with a lot of experience in that community that is a little bit smaller than Yellow Springs. Beyond that, it’s about her demeanor, her calmness and her engagement in conversation. She really understood how passionate Yellow Springers are about the community and how they are involved,” Wintrow said.

Wintrow said 61 resumes were submitted for the position, and those were narrowed to three finalists. The finalists met with residents and staff members during what Wintrow described as “a rigorous process.”

“It’s the most exhaustive process we’ve ever done in looking for a new manager,” Wintrow said.

As village administrator in Williamsburg, Bates oversaw the day-to-day operations of the village, securing $4.5 million in funding for infrastructure improvements, enforcing village ordinances and revising the personnel policy and procedures manual, according to her resume.

Bates previously held the position of director of administration for the Kenton County Detention Center in Covington, Ky., from 1999 to 2006, and communications specialist for the Union Township Police in Clermont County, Ohio, for 13 years, beginning in 1986.

Bates will replace former Village Manager Laura Curliss, who left after Yellow Springs Village Council unanimously approved her release from her contract. Curliss offered her resignation during a Aug. 19 council meeting.

Curliss, who had been the focal point of a number of controversies, received $50,500 in a separation agreement.

Curliss was the third city manager to leave the village since 2006. Eric Swansen served from January 2006 to June 2008 when he resigned to take a city manager position in Washington state. Mark Cundiff served as city manager from November 2008 through February 2012 before leaving to become the city manager of Sidney.

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