Saturday, April 20, 2002

Lebanon ends search at home

New city manager comes from within ranks of city

By Cindi Andrews,
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        LEBANON — This city of 18,000 is apparently about to get a new city manager, and this time leaders didn't have to look beyond the four walls of City Hall.

        City Council will consider legislation Tuesday to appoint George “Pat” Clements city manager. He was hired as service director a year ago and became interim city manager in December.

        “Everybody that I've talked to over the last six months just thinks the world of him,” Councilman James Reinhard said Friday. “There's just a lot of great reasons to keep the momentum moving forward.”

        Mr. Clements replaced James Patrick, who was pressured into resigning after a tumultuous 2 1/2-year tenure that included indictment on criminal charges. The charges were later dropped.

        Lebanon is Mr. Clements' first stop after retiring from the Army as a lieutenant colonel. He does, however, have a master's degree in public administration.

        What he lacks in municipal experience he more than makes up for in management and interpersonal skills, council members say. Besides, they know him.

        “You spend a lot of dollars looking for somebody (in an external job search), and then you wind up with an unknown quantity,” Councilman Norm Dreyer II said. “That's what happened with (James) Patrick.”

        The wide support Mr. Clements enjoys is rare in Lebanon, which has seen some bitter political battles the past few years.

        “He's going to have to rise above it, and I think he can,” Councilman Ben Cole said.

        Mr. Clements could not be reached for comment Friday.

        His proposed three-year contract includes an annual salary in the mid-$90,000s, Mr. Reinhard said.


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