Saturday, July 5th, 2014

Preston new Auglaize County administrator

Wapakoneta native hired for position

By Amy Kronenberger
WAPAKONETA - A Wapakoneta native has accepted the Auglaize County administrator position, pending a background check.
County commissioners John Bergman, Don Regula and Doug Spencer on Thursday offered the position to Erica Preston, 32, at a salary of $65,000.
Preston is a licensed attorney at a law firm in Columbus. She and her husband recently moved to Wapakoneta to raise their children.
The Wapakoneta High School graduate said her previous job will help her with the next.
"During my tenure in my current position as a corporate and business attorney I have developed skills associated with and gained experience in board governance and compliance matters, policies and procedures as related to administration and business and succession planning," she said. "I am absolutely humbled to have been offered the position with such a talented pool of applicants."
Preston had her hometown in mind when applying for the position.
"I am passionate about serving, maintaining, and growing the Auglaize County community," she said.
Out of about 25 applications, the commissioners called nine candidates to interview June 19 and 20. They then narrowed the choices to three - Preston, St. Marys native David Weilbacher and Wapakoneta resident Danyrae Scott - for a second interview on Tuesday.
"It was a very hard decision," Bergman said Thursday. "Their skill sets were all good. To me, it (choosing Preston) was a gut feeling. They all did very well."
Bergman said Preston handled and presented herself well through the interview process.
"And that's an important quality to have as a representative of Auglaize County," he added.
Preston's tentative starting date is July 28. She could start as early as July 21, depending on when she can leave her current job, Bergman said.
As administrator, Preston's duties will include advising commissioners on county financial conditions, including preparing, administering and monitoring the budget; preparing and submitting reports; recommending measures for adoption; assisting in affairs of the county government under jurisdiction of commissioners; attending board meetings; and assisting in economic development projects.
Bergman said the economic development duties would be a minor aspect of the position.
"The priority is the budget and the day-to-day operations of the office," he said.
Preston said she is excited about establishing a partnership with the Auglaize County Economic Coalition.
"While my main focus will be running the County government and budget, I look forward to the additional responsibility of working together within the existing structure of the economic developers to continue the development and enrichment of our community for a greater future," she said.
Former administrator Mike Hensley resigned without notice on Jan. 14 after serving in the position for about two years. Spencer has said he, Bergman and Regula opted to use the time to evaluate the job responsibilities and determine if changes could be made before refilling the post.
The commissioners shared the job responsibilities during the interim months to determine if alterations should be made, or if the position could be completely eliminated, Spencer previously said. Officials decided to keep the original job description and add some economic development requirements.
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