BY NANCY GAGNET | MIRROR REPORTER — Dr. Patrick Burtch has been named new administrator of the city of Maumee.
He replaces John Jezak, who left the job last year after serving the city nearly 20 years. Burtch will be paid an annual salary of $145,000 plus benefits, with an increase to $149,350 in 2021. He will begin on Monday, February 17.
During a special meeting on January 16, Maumee City Council unanimously approved his appointment to the position. Newly elected council member Jim MacDonald, who also interviewed for the job, did not attend the meeting due to a conflict of interest. Council also voted 5-to-1 in favor of a contract outlining the terms of Burtch’s employment. Council member Tom Wagener voted against that approval because he did not see a copy of it prior to the vote.
Council also moved forward with a restructuring plan for the city’s top-level managers by amending the job responsibilities for Burtch, naming him the safety and service director as well as administrator.
The upcoming retirement of Joe Camp from the director of public service position prompted the restructuring plan. Instead of replacing Camp, the city has created a new commissioner position – the commissioner of public utilities – to accompany the commissioner of public service. Burtch will oversee those commissioners, as well as the chief of building and zoning and the fire and police chiefs.
Burtch brings 31 years of city administration experience to Maumee. He currently works as a city manager for Jackson, Mich., a position he has held since 2011. That city has a population of 34,000 with a $131 million annual budget.
He also served as the Dundee village manager from 1988 to 2011. He holds a bachelor’s degree in political science and a master of public administration from The University of Toledo, and a Ph.D. of philosophy in public policy and administration from Waldon University. He has been involved in negotiating union contracts, creating master plans and acquiring grant money for community projects, said Maumee Mayor Richard Carr.
“There is a vast amount of experience he is bringing to our community,” Carr said.
Burtch grew up in Waterville and said that strong roots in the area made him want to work here. He and his wife have a home in Monclova Township, and he has been commuting to Jackson during the week.
“I’ve spent a lot of time here and this is an opportunity for us to come back home. It feels really good here,” he said.
With an interest in economic development and economic policy, Burtch plans to push related projects.
“It’s really hard to sustain budgets when you are not growing that pie. Otherwise, you are just splitting up that pie into smaller pieces and everybody is upset,” he said. “Maumee is positioned really well to actually expand that pie and expand the economic vitality here.”
He noted that in Jackson, a significant amount of newly constructed market-rate housing in downtown has led to substantial growth.
“I have a personal philosophy that a downtown becomes strong when there is strong residential housing close to the area,” he said.
Having neighborhoods that connect is also important, especially in Maumee, where the Anthony Wayne Trail divides the city.
“US 24 bifurcates this town into two separate halves, and I think people on both sides of this community feel that. I think we can bring that to the forefront,” Burtch said.
A master plan is critical to addressing that, among other concerns, he added.
Burtch knows Jezak through previous work experience and is aware of the events that led to his departure, along with the divisions that have taken place among members of council and city staff.
“What happened here is not unusual. I think people here tend to think it’s unusual, because it doesn’t usually happen here, but if you go to other places, it’s not that uncommon to see that kind of strife,” Burtch said. “This kind of stuff tends to self-heal. I wish John all the best and I hope he feels the same way.”