By Bill Duffield
December 14, 2013
XENIA — After considering various options for filling the vacancy created by the upcoming retirement in January of current city manager, James Percival, the Xenia City Council unanimously decided it was in the best interest of the city to give first consideration to Assistant City Manager Brent Merriman.
“Our city is extremely lucky to have an internal candidate like Brent who can take over the reins and continue Xenia on a course of fiscal stability, strategic planning, economic development, and overall excellent service delivery for our citizens and visitors,” said Council President Mike Engle. “Brent’s integral involvement in the day-to-day operations and leadership of many city initiatives has earned him the respect of council, city staff, community members and other government agencies and partners.”
Merriman began his career in public service with the Ohio Department of Mental Health, Office of Quality & Strategic Planning, immediately following his graduation from Bowling Green State University with a bachelor of arts in political science. As Assistant for Special Projects and Initiatives, Merriman represented the agency in the development and project management of statewide initiatives, advised executive leadership on strategic planning practices, and served as liaison between the ODMH and consultants, other state agencies, advocacy groups, and the community.
Merriman’s commitment to public sector service led him to completing his master’s in public administration from The Ohio State University, School of Public Policy and Management in August 2006. His education, experience and energetic professional character made him the ideal candidate for Xenia’s assistant city manager position in November 2006.
Since joining the Xenia staff, Merriman has served as acting city manager, acting human resources director, and during the economic downturn, stepped in and assumed the duties of the director of public service in addition to maintaining his responsibilities as assistant city manager.
“Over the past seven years as assistant city manager, it’s been my pleasure to get to know this community, and I’ve come to appreciate the resiliency and traditional values of its people,” Merriman said. “My family and I are proud to call the Xenia area home and we look forward to being a part of all that Xenia has to offer.
“Our community will face many challenges in the years ahead, but I remain confident in the promise of Xenia, and I am encouraged by the devotion and determination of city council and city staff to ensure a prosperous future,” he continued. “We will capitalize on the good work already done, and we will move forward with a renewed focus on service, leadership, and positivity. I believe abundant opportunities are on the horizon for Xenia, and city leadership will need citizen input and participation to achieve all we can for our community.
“It is my humble privilege to be afforded the opportunity to serve the people of Xenia as their next city manager.”
Merriman will be sworn in as city manager at the Feb. 13, 2014 council meeting.