City Hires New SSD

ST. MARYS — The city of St. Marys has a new safety-service director.

St. Marys Mayor Pat McGowan confirmed to The Evening Leader this morning his intentions of hiring Jason Little to serve as the city's new safety-service director. Little, who lives in Washington Courthouse, takes over for interim Safety-Service Director Craig Moeller, who was appointed to the post when Tom Hitchcock resigned to take the same job for the city of Celina.

"We had a lot of really stringent requirements that are placed on who can apply so that narrowed our scope down to really five people," McGowan said. "Jason met all of the requirements that we were looking for. Besides being a professional engineer, a PE, he's a PS, a professional surveyor. Jason just interviewed excellent and his references, people were just glowing about him ... As he interviewed for the job, it just seemed that he would fit in."

Little currently serves as deputy engineer in Fayette County. Before that post, Little worked for the Ohio Department of Transportation as a transportation administrator. He was responsible for the construction and maintenance of state highways in Fayette County. Little also worked as a city engineer in Washington Courthouse. He is a graduate of Ohio Northern University.

McGowan said Little is scheduled to start March 30 with a salary of $91,000 as well as use of a city-owned vehicle. Hitchcock's outgoing salary was $85,000 a year as well as use of a city-owned vehicle. McGowan plans to take an ordinance to city council during Monday's meeting regarding Little's hiring.

"Jason's a conscientious guy," McGowan said. "He's surveying the bridges (in Fayette County) and making sure the bridges meet standards so we wanted to go ahead and finish that for the county so we said go ahead and do that. We thought that showed a lot of initiative about him and the type of person he is."

McGowan praised Moeller for helping during the transition.

"Craig's given us the ability not to worry about that job," McGowan said. "Craig's very capable. He's just been a tremendous fill and he stepped up into that job like he's been doing it forever."

The next step will be hiring a development manager. McGowan said that pool has been whittled down to three or four candidates who will appear for second interviews next week.

"We're going to have Jason come back up sometime next week and do second interviews with people," McGowan said. "We want someone in as soon as possible, mainly because we feel there are a lot of grants floating around and we want to remain competitive in securing those grants. We also want to stay involved in trying to attract new businesses."