AURORA — Harry Stark, who most recently has been assistant director of public service in Wadsworth, has been appointed as the city’s new permanent service director.

The announcement was made Feb. 12 by Mayor Ann Womer Benjamin. "Harry brings the experience, integrity and constituent orientation that will be of great benefit to our community," she said.

"His knowledge base and management skills will take the department to the highest level, and provide the best service possible to our residents."

Stark, who will receive an initial salary of $110,000, replaces former Service Director John Trew, who was not reappointed by the mayor when she began her second, four-year term on Jan. 1.

"It’s a pleasure and privilege to be appointed to the post in Aurora," said Stark. "Aurora is a wonderful community and I’m excited to begin working with the team to provide excellent services to the community.

"I look forward to meeting and getting to know the employees and residents of the city."

At Council’s Feb. 12 meeting, Councilman Harold Hatridge said, "I’m very impressed with Harry’s credentials and knowledge, and wish him well during his term of service in the city."

Stark will head a department with more than 30 employees and oversee road maintenance, engineering, storm water management and water and wastewater operations.

He also will manage capital projects across the city, including a long-term wastewater facility upgrade and a $4.9 million traffic signal modernization project which was recently approved for federal funding through the Akron Metropolitan Transportation Study.

With 26 years of public service experience, the new director is the founder and executive director of Tinker’s Creek Watershed Partners, overseeing stream and wetlands restoration and conservation easements.

He began his career at the Cuyahoga County Board of Health in 1992 as manager of water programs, then was a supervisor and deputy director. He has been with the city of Wadsworth since 2010.

Stark holds a bachelor of science degree from the University of South Florida and a master’s degree in public administration from the University of Akron. He lives in Streetsboro and is expected to start his new job Feb. 26.

He is a certified professional in municipal stormwater management and incident command, and is a registered sanitarian. He is a member of several professional organizations and recipient of several awards.

A search team appointed by the mayor to fill the post consisted of Council President George Horvat, Councilman Jim Vaca, Law Director Dean DePiero, Chief of Staff Karen Aldredge and resident Dennis Mervis.

The committee interviewed finalists for the position.

Trew was first appointed service director by former Mayor Lynn McGill and began his duties Jan. 1, 2002. He has said he plans to officially retire, but is seeking to do consulting work for area counties, cities, villages and developments.

During the last 2 1/2 months, Assistant Service Director David Frisbee has been heading the service department, with Aldredge helping out with some managerial duties.

Reporter Ken Lahmers can be reached at 330-541-9400 ext. 4189 or klahmers@recordpub.com