Wednesday, April 23, 2003

Fairfield Twp. picks new administrator



By Jennifer Edwards
The Cincinnati Enquirer

FAIRFIELD TWP. - This fast-growing Butler County suburb has a new leader - Michael Rahall, the executive director of the Hamilton County Municipal League.

Fairfield Township officials unanimously appointed the Milford resident the township administrator at Tuesday's trustees meeting after a more than three-month search that had attracted 68 candidates.

Rahall, 49, said Tuesday he will continue working at the municipal league part time and expects to begin work in Fairfield Township on Monday. He will earn $44,000 annually and receive an additional compensation of $6,000 for health care.

"It's a great opportunity. Fairfield Township has wonderful potential for development and growth," Rahall said. "The greater challenge may be the economic development. (The township) is so close to Liberty and West Chester and Hamilton and Fairfield. We need to create our own niche for Fairfield Township."

Rahall also was a finalist for the administrator position in neighboring Liberty Township, but canceled a scheduled interview Tuesday.

He formerly worked in the city of Reading as the safety service director from 1996 to 2002 and as the youth services director from 1988 to 1996. He earned bachelor's and master's degrees in education at the University of Cincinnati, according to his resume.

Rahall's background in city administration boosted him over the other candidates, trustees said Tuesday.

"He was one of the smarter guys we interviewed. He knows a lot about tax increment financing and joint economic development districts," Trustee Steve Morgan said. "Everything in Fairfield Township is going in the right direction. We have to have a good leader to keep everything going."

Besides luring more business, topping Rahall's to-do list will be to push state officials to widen Ohio Bypass 4, which routinely jams for miles during rush hour, trustees said Tuesday.

As Fairfield Township expands, the traffic congestion could curtail future business growth, the former administrator, Ron Randolph, had warned. Randolph retired earlier this year to move to Aiken, S.C.

E-mail: jedwards@enquirer.com.




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