OLD TOWN — Ron Single, the village manager for New Lebanon, Ohio, was hired by the Old Town City Council Wednesday night to be this city’s new manager.
On signing the $46,000 annual contract, Single was greeted with warm handshakes from members of the council who congratulated him and welcomed him to Old Town.
Single was one of 98 applicants for the position that opened when the former town manager, David Cole, resigned six months ago. Recreation Director Frank Comeau has been acting manager.
Council Chairman Roberta Fowler said one of the reasons the councilors eventually settled on Single was “his enthusiastic approach. And, he had lots of ideas for the city that we liked.”
Single will spend the next few days looking for an apartment that he and his 80-pound, “but well-behaved,” golden retriever Maggie can share. He said he hopes to purchase a home later, but for now an apartment would be fine.
Single, 37, grew up in Cleveland, Ohio, where he attended local schools before joining the Air Force where he served from 1978 to 1982. On leaving the service, he attended Ohio State College where he received a degree in political science and journalism.
He then attended Kent State where he received a degree in public administration. He did his internship in municipal government in Akron, working first with the finance department. Later, he was promoted to an assistant’s position in the service department.
For four years he was the assistant city manager of Alma, Mich., and in 1992 became the New Lebanon village manager.
When asked what he thought his best accomplishments were in his previous positions, Single said he was proud of some of the grant writing he was involved with in Michigan and Ohio. He was involved in getting a grant to create an industrial park and he also assisted in getting a $20 million expansion for a plant, helping to develop tax increments and financing.
He said he also was pleased with the work he had done in departmental reorganization. At New Lebanon, he said, he was involved in extensive upgrading of the village’s sewer and water companies, and he just completed the organization of an economic development council in the community.
He said he has no agenda planned for Old Town. For now, his plan is to go back to Lebanon and submit his resignation. He plans to begin his new duties on July 5.
As a child, he said, his parents used to bring him to Maine for vacations, and as an adult he has visited New England as often as possible.
What most about Old Town attracted him? “I was fascinated by the beauty of the area. It is such an appealing city to me. You have to realize that the last few towns I have been in were surrounded for 50 to 60 miles in all directions with just corn,” said Single.
In the past he has belonged to Kiwanis and Rotary clubs.
One of his major interests is bicycling. He said he had heard of the bicycle path from Orono to Old Town.