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Sunnyside inks city manager contract

The Sunnyside City Council made it official last night, Tuesday, in approving a contract for new city manager Eric Swansen.

Swansen will receive an annual salary of $95,000 and the city will pay $2,500 for him to take Spanish language lessons.

Other terms under the deal include paying 100 percent of family health coverage for Swansen, pending a physical examination.

Swansen will also receive:

- Eight weeks of sick leave.

- Fourteen days of vacation.

- A $350 monthly vehicle allowance.

- $15,000 in contributions each year to a retirement account.

After rubber stamping a contract struck last week, council engaged in a love fest of sorts. Council members praised staff and citizens for their participation in a city manager selection process that included a citizen advisory board and a meet and greet for the final four candidates selected from a pool of 29 applicants.

Councilman Bruce Epps said he received "phenomenal feedback" from the community, adding there was "not a single negative comment."

City Attorney Mark Kunkler praised council for allowing city staff to participate in the selection process. "That's the first time that's happened," he said.

Councilwoman Carol Stone praised the work of consultant Scott Staples in capturing council's vision for what it wanted in a new city manager. Stone went on to say that Staples' efforts were crucial in helping all seven council members agree on one candidate.

Council also expressed appreciation to Kunkler for "wearing several hats" as interim city manager during the six months Sunnyside has been without a full-time city manager.

Swansen, most recently the village manager for Yellow Springs, Ohio, is scheduled to start work in Sunnyside on or about June 25.

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