Hudson -- Jane Howington, who has been the city manager of Newport, Rhode Island, for 2.5 years, appears to be the choice for a new city manager, according to Hudson Communications Manager Jody Roberts.

According to a June 27 press release from the city of Hudson, Council "is moving forward to appoint" a new city manager to replace Anthony Bales, who resigned in 2013.

"Her [Howington's] official starting date and salary will be announced once her contract is approved by Council, an action that may take place as soon as July 8 during a special Council meeting," according to a press release from Roberts.

Bales' salary was $122,000 at the time of his resignation.

"I fell in love with Hudson and its people the first time I visited," Howington said June 30. "I have wanted to be back in Ohio where I have family, and Hudson is such a great community. I'm honored to become a part of this exciting city and look forward to working with Council, the mayor and city staff as we move forward."

Howington turned in a four-week notice June 27 to Newport Mayor Henry F. Winthrop.

"She officially resigned this morning," Winthrop said June 27. "She gave four weeks' notice and she'll fulfill her contract obligation."

Howington's last day with Newport will be July 27, Winthrop added.

Howington's reason for resigning was "significant differences" with two Council members, Winthrop said.

"I will assure you, it is not her -- it was them," Winthrop said of Howington's reason for leaving. "They rode her pretty hard and it got to the point that she could not take the harassment anymore."

Winthrop said the city will miss Howington.

"She's terrific. She was probably the best city manager we've had in 25 years," Winthrop said. "She is fabulous and Hudson is very, very lucky to have her."

Howington's Newport salary is $140,000 a year, according to Winthrop.

Hudson City Council hired the Novak Consulting Group to perform a nationwide search for Bales' replacement.

According to Roberts 70 individuals applied for the position. The applicants were narrowed to 11 by Novak. Five of the 11 were invited for interviews, Roberts said. Scott Schroyer, who has served as interim city manager was one of the five finalists.

"I am looking forward to continuing my role as assistant city manager and working with Jane to serve our city to the best of my ability," Schroyer said. "We will be working toward a smooth transition when she joins our team."

Schroyer will continue as interim city manager until Howington takes over, according to Roberts.

"Selecting the next top administrator for the city is probably the most difficult decision any Council must make," according to Council president Hal DeSaussure. "Jane is a confident, dedicated leader, who is highly accountable and well respected in the communities she has served."

The city is "undertaking several key initiatives, such as the review of our Comprehensive Plan and development of a Downtown Phase II Redevelopment Plan," DsSaussure said. "We believe Jane's extensive city management experience and vision for managing municipal services will bring a fresh perspective to our operations and move our community forward," DeSaussure added.

Howington has more than 25 years experience as a city manager, according to Roberts.

She also worked as city manager for Kalispell, Montana, from 2009 to 2012, assistant city manager for Dayton from 2007 to 2009 and city manager for Oxford, Ohio, from 2000 to 2007.

Howington earned a master' of public administration from Miami University, a master's of urban and regional planning from Texas A&M University and a bachelor's of environmental studies from Ramapo College of New Jersey, according to Roberts.

"She's very creative. She's a very good manager. Her people skills are exceptional," Winthrop said. "And I think you are very, very lucky to have have her down there. I hate to see her leave Newport. She will be missed."

Reporter Laura Freeman contributed to this story.


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