XENIA — City Finance Director Mark Bazelak wasn’t sure if he wanted to retire or hang around Xenia a couple more years.
So he decided to both.
Bazelak, who has been with the city more than 30 years, received a new, 2-year contract from council during last week’s meeting and will utilize a retire/rehire option July 31 to begin collecting retirement benefits.
The new contract goes into effect July 17.
“It was a difficult decision for me,” Bazelak said. “When I was kind of evaluating to retire and not rehire … I looked at a number of things.”
Among the items cited was the city’s financial forecast. While a tax issue does not appear imminent for this year, that could change in 2017 and the city could ask voters for a tax increase to make up for a cash-flow shortage.
“I feel I can be of assistance in that endeavor,” Bazelak said.
The retire/rehire will not place any financial burden on the city. Although Bazelak is slated to receive a raise of approximately $4,000 — increasing his annual salary to $99,000 — health insurance contributions from the city will go down, basically negating the raise.
“Council carefully weighed his request and evaluated the potential financial implications for the city’s budget,” Council President Mike Engle said. “At the end of the analysis, the retire/rehire proposition for Mark proved to be a virtual wash — meaning no significant difference in expenditures for the city. From my perspective, this made the retire/rehire decision very easy. It’s clearly a win-win for the city, Mark, and Xenia’s citizens.”
Bazelak has helped the city accomplish several things of which he is especially proud, contributing to his decision to stay. By working with the city’s financial advisor, Bazelak was able to increase the city’s bond rating to AA-, which saved the taxpayers money on the facilities project. He also helped advise the city during its law department restructuring. Most impressive, perhaps, is the city’s long run of earning the Governmental Financial Officers Association Certificate of Excellence in Financial Reporting.
Xenia received it 31 years in a row before ending the streak with 2014’s report due to complications from new reporting software.
“Mark Bazelak has served this city with great distinction over his 30-plus year career,” Engle said. “We’re looking forward to continued great counsel and financial management from Mark.”
Contact Scott Halasz at 937-502-4507.