City Offers Community Development Director Job to Ben Harrington

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Ben Harrington was appointed as the new Community Development Director for the City of Saline.

The City of Saline has appointed Ben Harrington as the city's Community Development Director.

Saline City Council voted unanimously to approve the appointment of Harrington during Monday's meeting, effective May 23.

The City of Saline has been without a community development director since assistant city manager Mike Greene resigned in January. Greene wasn't actually in the role very long, having served as interim city manager after longtime city manager Todd Campbell left the city.

City Manager Colleen O'Toole said the city is excited with the hiring of O'Toole.

"We had an extensive search process and identified several highly-qualified candidates and ultimately the members of the search committee were really blown away by the performance of Mr. Harrington when he had the opportunity to join us for a meet and greet," O'Toole said.

The youthful-looking Harrington said he was mistaken for one of the "youth of the year" award nominees in attendance for Monday's meeting.

"Despite my age, I can assure you I'm excited to be here, I'm excited to use data-driven solutions, community-led solutions and listen to your voices about how you see Saline growing over the years, and the best ways to serve the community, grow the economy and improve the quality of life for residents of Saline."

Mayor Brian Marl served on the hiring committee with O'Toole, Councillor Kevin Camero-Sulak, Hartman's Insurance co-owner Jill Durnen, and Quantum Signal president Mitch Rohde.

"From my perspective, I think Ben is going to be an outstanding fit. I think he has a lot of enthusiasm and a lot of energy," Marl said. "I particularly appreciate and respect his focus on economic development and the expertise he brings in reading, writing and interpreting municipal code. So I expect great things."

Marl said he anticipated Harrington will become the staff liaison to the city's code review committee, which reviews and writes ordinances for city council approval.

Camero-Sulak said he had confidence Harrington would help the city. 

"I am confident that you are going to bring a lot of good ideas and communication in assisting our community," Camero-Sulak said.

Councillor Dawn Krause said she hoped Harrington could help unite the east side, west side and Main Street (downtown) areas.

"I look forward to seeing what you do to kind of unite us as one city," Krause said.

Before coming to the City of Saline, Harrington worked at Ann Arbor SPARK as the entrepreneurial Services Analyst.

The search committee interviewed several candidates over a six-week period and identified two finalists who interacted with staff and council during meet-and-greets.

The job pays $68,475 plus benefits.

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