Thursday, November 15, 2001

Hamilton official weighs job offers

By Steve Kemme
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        HAMILTON — City Manager Steve Sorrell is considering at least two out-of-state job offers, but the newly elected mayor and City Council want him to stay.

        “I like his energy and his love of Hamilton,” said Mayor-elect Donald Ryan, currently a councilman.

        “It would be difficult if the first thing the new council has to do is search for a new city manager. That would take a lot of our time.”

        Mr. Sorrell declined to comment on whether he has job offers.

        “I'm aware of the concerns, but I'm not willing to discuss my private life in the newspaper,” he said.

        “No matter what happens, I will never do anything to hurt the city of Hamilton.”

        Several council members confirmed that Mr. Sorrell has been offered at least two jobs.

        They said he wanted to find out whether Mr. Ryan and the new council want him to continue in the job he has held for three years.

        Mr. Sorrell, 52, has worked for Hamilton for 30 years, including seven as assistant city manager.

        James Noonan, who was the top vote-getter in the City Council race in the Nov. 6 election, said he hopes Mr. Sorrell stays.

        “Steve has a lot of credentials in the city and knows an awful lot about what's going on,” he said.

        “To break in a new city manager at this time would be very hectic.”

        Hamilton, which has lost about 3,000 jobs in three years, has been struggling to attract new businesses and to diversify its economy.

        Besides Mr. Noonan, the new council will consist of incumbents Katherine Becker, George McNally and Richard Holzberger and newcomers Ed Shelton and Christopher Flaig.

        Mr. Sorrell has clashed at times with some members of council.

        “I think he has done some things to upset a few members of council by saying "I' instead of "we,'” Mr. Holzberger said. “But I think that's behind us.”

        He said Mr. Sorrell has the expertise to help the city stop its economic slide and become financially healthy again.

        Ms. Becker said she believes that the dissension on the council has been exaggerated.

        She said she will support whatever decision Mr. Sorrell makes.

        “I have faith that we all will work together and do what is in the best interests of the city,” Ms. Becker said.


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