WADSWORTH — After eight years serving Wadsworth as director of economic development and assistant director of public service, Harry Stark is moving on.
Stark has accepted a position as director of public service for Aurora. His last day working for Wadsworth will be Feb. 23.
“I think it is a great opportunity to go out there and put my own stamp on the community and on the department,” Stark said.
He said that in addition to becoming director of public service, his new position is closer to his home in Streetsboro and in a city he is familiar with.
“I was married in Aurora, I spend a lot of time in Aurora and have a lot of connections in that community,” he said. “It feels right.”
A highlight of his time in Wadsworth is the economic growth the city has experienced, Stark said.
“We have had a number of manufacturers here in the community that have expanded and created a lot of new job growth in the community,” he said. “Just being part of that, working with them through the process and keeping it here in the city of Wadsworth, I feel good about that.”
Stark also cited constructions projects including the opening of the Wadsworth YMCA Community Center in 2012, the Wadsworth Grizzly Outdoor Pool in 2014 and the recent completion of the High Street road construction project.
At-large Councilman Tom Stugmyer said Stark was heavily involved in the High Street reconstruction project, working to maintain business levels in the area during construction.
“That project went extremely smoothly because of Harry’s guidance,” Stugmyer said. “We are going to miss him.”
According to Stark’s biography on the city’s website, he has worked to add more than $7 million to the city’s payroll during his tenure.
Stark said he has enjoyed his time in Wadsworth, and it has been great working with Mayor Robin Laubaugh and seeing how Wadsworth has changed.
“I admire him greatly. If you know him, he is a very efficient individual, he is a self-starter, so because of those wonderful qualities he was able to accomplish a great deal,” Laubaugh said of Stark.
Wadsworth Public Service Director Robert Patrick said the city is updating the job description for director of economic development and assistant director of public service.
“We will advertise the posting for probably three weeks and then we will go through an interview process,” he said.
Patrick said the position, which will be posted both internally and externally, requires a unique set of skills, including managerial, communications and time management, as well as an economic component. The salary range for Stark’s replacement will be between $71,667 and $107,516, Patrick said.
Of leaving Wadsworth, Stark said “It was a tough decision to make but sometimes you have to make those tough decisions.
“Wadsworth is a great community, but Aurora is a great community.”
Contact reporter Nathan Havenner at (330) 721-4050 or firstname.lastname@example.org.