A fractured Huber Heights City Council sidelines search for city manager

HUBER HEIGHTS — The search for a Huber Heights city manager has been stopped and sidelined so the city council, described by the mayor as fractured, can search for unity among its members to deal with economic development and other projects.

The city manager search, now nearly 18 months old, has led to accusations among council members and concerns among residents about perceptions of dysfunctional leadership.

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Mayor Jeff Gore told News Center 7′s Mike Campbell on Thursday that he’s searching for common ground between the eight city council members -- four who often align with him and four who usually don’t.

Councilman Glen Otto called the council “highly dysfunctional. My opinion, too much attempt at control in the city.”

The Rose Music Center is one big project that jump-started a lot of development in Huber Heights, but that progress is being threatened and no one wants elected leaders to be the ones to slow things down.

Otto often leads the four council members opposed to the four council members that often agree with the mayor’s vision.

That fracture has led to the messy, unsuccessful 18-month search for a city manager.

The search firm the city hired found 12 candidates for the council to consider. The council cut the field to four, none of whom ever received a up or down vote because of council bickering and backstabbing.

Gore said the only issue the council has been able to agree upon is to pause the city manager search for six months.

The pause won’t cost taxpayers because the Baker Tilly search firm has said the executive recruitment is guaranteed for 12 months, according to an email News Center 7 obtained from the search firm to the council this week, noting, “the replacement recruitment will be repeated with no professional fee.”

The mayor believes council members will work together to approve huge economic developments in the six-month pause period, one being a a project along Executive Boulevard across from the Rose Music Center. Other developments include housing and economic projects designed to draw more industry.

“We are the third largest city in Montgomery County, we absolutely deserve the best that is out there,” Gore said.