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Published: Monday, September 14, 2015 @ 9:24 PM
Updated: Wednesday, September 16, 2015 @ 5:30 PM
DAYTON — City Manager Warren Price has resigned, ending eight months in office as the city’s shortest-serving manager in recent history.
UPDATE @ 5:23 p.m. (Sept. 16)
A separation agreement for Warren Price includes a $24,600 payment for vacation leave; a $18,450 severance payment; and a lump sum estimated at $3,816, which is equal to three months COBRA premiums for health insurance, according to city documents.
His separation agreement totals $46,900, according to the document. Funding for the payments will come from the City Manager’s Office 2015 General Fund.
For serving as interim city manager, Shelley Dickstein, effective Sept. 17, will get an annual salary of $150,000.
UPDATE @ 4:02 p.m. (Sept. 15)
Warren Price, Dayton’s shortest-serving city manager in recent history, said he resigned partly because he felt it was in his best interest based on ongoing discussions with elected leadership about expectations and goals.
“I was not forced out. I was not asked to resign,” Price said in an interview with the Dayton Daily News. He said he had positive interactions with Mayor Nan Whaley and the City Commission and his decision to leave was mutual between himself, the commission and the mayor.
“Ultimately, I made the decision to resign,” he said.
Price said he doesn’t know “where my path will go next,” but he intends to remain in the region.
He and city officials said he will receive a severance package from the city even though his contract does not call for the payment.
UPDATE @ 1:24 p.m.
Mayor Nan Whaley said Warren Price resigned Monday and his last day with the city will be Wednesday, Sept. 16.
“He made a decision to resign for personal reasons,” she said. “It’s certainly not expected to be in this situation, making the appointment in January.”
Whaley also confirmed that Price’s resignation has “nothing to do with the issue with FOP.”
She said the city has been “pleased” with Price’s work since January, including most labor negotiations completed through 2018.
UPDATE @ 11:39 a.m.
Price is the shortest-serving Dayton city manager in several decades, possibly longer. The interim city manager in 1994 was on the job longer than Price.
Price’s personnel file is seven pages and contains no information related to his job performance or discipline.
UPDATE @ 10:21 a.m. (Sept. 15)
Price’s sudden departure is surprising and disappointing because he was on track to become a superb city manager, said Mike Galbraith, president of the Dayton Fraternal Order of Police, which represents about 330 employees.
In the short time he held Dayton’s top post, Price had good dialogue with FOP members and acted with consummate professionalism, he said.
“We really seemed to care about the citizens of Dayton as well as the safety forces,” Galbraith said. “I truly believe he is a good person.” Galbraith said the dust-up over the “eye contact” traffic stop does not explain Price’s stepping down. He said the police union and Price have cleared the air by having productive conversations.
Price also helped negotiate the union’s contract and reach a fair agreement, Galbraith said. Galbraith said he is eager to learn why Price is leaving.
He said he has worked with Interim City Manager Shelley Dickstein on some projects. He said his limited interactions with Dickstein were positive.
UPDATE @ 9:24 a.m. (Sept. 15)
Dayton City Manager Warren Price has stepped down effective Wednesday, according to the city.
Shelley Dickstein has been named interim city manager. .
Dickstein, assistant city manager since 2007, has 20 years of urban administration and economic development experience, according to city officials.
“The City Commission is excited that Shelley has agreed to take this leadership role for the organization,” said Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley. “Her economic development expertise will be vital as we continue to move the City of Dayton forward.”
UPDATE @9:09 a.m. (Sept. 15)
Dayton city officials said an interim city manager will be introduced this afternoon. A news conference has been scheduled for 1 p.m., and the interim leader is expected to speak to reporters late this afternoon.
UPDATE @ 8:15 a.m. (Sept. 15)
We have contacted the city manager’s office by phone this morning, but no one was available to answer our call.
We also have left a message with the City of Dayton Public Affairs office, inquiring about the employment status of Warren Price and requesting a copy of his personnel file.
UPDATED @ 10:45 p.m.
City Manager Warren Price, who has resigned or has been fired, was the first person since 1996 to be hired for Dayton’s top job without having worked for the city. He received glowing reviews from previous employers and colleagues.
Price’s an annual salary is $160,000 and includes paid holidays, annual leave, health insurance and dental insurance.
On Sept. 4, Price upset members of the Dayton Fraternal Order of Police when he publicly apologized on behalf of the city and the Dayton Police Department for a traffic stop that gained national attention after video footage of the encounter went viral.
The cell phone video from the incident that has become known as the “direct eye contact case” shows Dayton police Officer Randy Betsinger, who is white, telling a black motorist, John Felton, “You made direct eye contact with me and held onto it when I was passing you on Salem (Avenue).”
The FOP accused Price of giving credibility to a complaint the organization said had no merit.
Price issued a statement to “clarify” his public remarks and declare his support of city employees.
FIRST REPORT (Sept. 14)
City Manager Warren Price has resigned or has been fired.
We’re hearing conflicting reports about Price, the 18th manager in the city’s history who has been on the job since January.
City Commissioner Jeff Mims said tonight that Price has resigned.
There are “a bunch of issues,” Mims said by phone. He did not specify whether the issues were personal or professional.
Mims said Price announced his resignation in a general conversation with him and Mayor Nan Whaley on Monday. Whaley has not responded to phone calls from reporters tonight.
Price has not submitted a letter of resignation, said Mims, who noted that no decisions have been made about an interim city manager.
Price was selected city manager in January. As the manager, he was hired to oversee a municipal corporation of nearly 2,000 employees, a general fund budget of $158 million, and services for 143,000 residents.
When Price was hired, he said during an interview with media that he planned to focus on city efforts and resources critical to Dayton’s future — customer service, economic development and planning/infrastructure investments. He said he would work with businesses, residents, and regional partners to develop systems that better meet the needs and expectation for all stakeholders.
As outlined by the City Commission, Price’s mandate would be to continue focusing on fostering the talents of Dayton’s workforce, continue to make Dayton a welcoming city and promote the city’s core values of respect, integrity, accountability and commitment to excellence.
Price came to Dayton with 12 years of local government management experience. He also has served in a leadership role on numerous boards and organizations within the public administration field. Prior to becoming Dayton city manager, he worked for the city of Canton, Ohio, from 2009 to 2013.