Township looks to replace retiring administrator

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By Amanda Ensinger
Staff Writer

Tracy Hatmaker

As the current Prairie Township Administrator Tracy Hatmaker inches closer to retirement, the township is hard at work finding his replacement. At a recent meeting, Hatmaker gave an update on the search for his replacement.

In the summer, Hatmaker announced his retirement after 15 years with the township, saying he was ready to take on a new chapter in his life.

“I’m just ready for a change and for the next step in my life,” Hatmaker said.

However, this leaves a hole to fill and township leadership have been hard at work to find a new administrator.

“The township hired Novak Consulting (for $21,000) to work with the trustees to determine a job description, coordinate advertising and brochures promoting the position and recruiting candidates,” Hatmaker said. “At this point, they have narrowed down the search to a group of people and they will be coming in for interviews.”

Hatmaker added that the township hopes to make a final decision by the end of November since his last day with the township is Nov. 30.

Candidates did not need to be from the township to apply. According to a brochure promoting the position, the new hire will be paid between $110,000 and $125,000 a year, plus benefits. Currently, Hatmaker is making $110,000 a year and receives five weeks of vacation.

According to the brochure, the township administrator must be a strategic thinker, analytical, politically astute and a creative problem-solver, among other skills.

“The township administrator is the manager of the board of trustees and is on-site everyday to run the operations of the township,” Hatmaker said. “All the department heads report to the township administrator who then reports to the board. They advance township goals and objections, manage budgets and coordinate township projects and programs, among other duties.”

Since Hatmaker originally took on this role he has continued to see the job evolve and sees it changing even more in the future. Among the changes he sees is working with the board to seek investments and offer incentives to secure development and investment in the community, deal with potential growth issues and work with Franklin County and Columbus on water and sewer in the township.

“I see a lot of wonderful things continuing to happen to this community,” Hatmaker said. “I see us continuing to fill in existing neighborhoods, redeveloping areas and having high capacity transit lines on West Board Street.”

However, Hatmaker said as the township continues to grow and evolve, the employees in the township will be the greatest resource and his replacement should utilize them to their fullest abilities.

“There are some amazing people that work for this township,” Hatmaker said. “Make sure you utilize their wide variety of talents to further efforts as they are an amazing resource.”

Hatmaker also said to embrace the challenges that may occur and look at everything as a learning opportunity.

“All challenges are great potential, so embrace them,” he said. “Also, have a strong stewardship with the community. People take such pride in this area and that is a huge asset.”

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