City manager finalist will make decision Saturday

City manager finalist will make decision Saturday by David Lias The Vermillion City Council will know by Saturday if James H. Patrick, its choice to be Vermillion's new city manager, has accepted their offer.

Patrick was one of three finalists for the position weeded out of approximately 50 applications received by the city following the resignation of City Manager Jeff Pederson.

Mayor Roger Kozak, who has been in contact with Patrick, had hoped to receive a positive reply from him by Thursday regarding the city's offer.

Patrick told Kozak he would like just a little more time to talk with his family about the pending career decision.

Patrick hasn't had an opportunity to do that yet because he's currently away from his home.

Kozak said Thursday that he has, on behalf of the city council, made an employment offer to Patrick.

"We anticipate a decision to be made this weekend," he said. "I told him we would have to know by Saturday, and I appreciate him not being able to sit down across the table to sit down with his wife to discuss this," Kozak said.

The mayor said that Patrick did request copies of the contract involved in the job offer to be sent to him overnight so they would arrive at his home before Saturday.

"I think it's 99.9 percent there," Kozak said. "It's just that he's finalizing arrangements with the movers; they've got their house on the market; and they want their two oldest kids to be part of the decision.

"I still feel very good about it," he said, "and I respect the fact that they are making sure that this is the right decision for them as well, because they are looking toward the future � not for just what they can get for a job in a moment � they want to come here, they want to raise their family here, and they just can't say enough good things about Vermillion. They want to make sure that all the chips fall into place."

Patrick, a native of Colorado, has a B.S. degree from Wheaton College, Illinois, and is a graduate of the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College.

He holds a master's degree in systems management from the University of Southern California, and is a graduate of the UNC Economic Development Program.

Patrick retired from active duty in the United States Army with the rank of lieutenant colonel. He has since served as the Butler Township manager (Pennsylvania), was selected to serve as a board member of the Greater Hazelton Economic Development Corporation, and was a member of a Select Pennsylvania State Committee representing 1,456 townships.

He has been the city administrator for New London, WI and was also elected to two terms as president of the Waupaca County Economic Development Corporation.

He has also been the city manager for Lebanon, OH.

Patrick lists several military and civic awards earned during his military and civic careers. He is married to the former Anita Kohler, originally from Johnstown, PA.

The Patricks have four children: John, 9; Austin, 7; Julie, 3; and an infant, Alma.

Should Patrick decide not to come to Vermillion, the city council likely will narrow its decision once again among the two other finalists that were considered earlier for the city manager position.

"We certainly have not ruled out the other candidates, because if there isn't a final culmination in our agreement, the council certainly would have an option of opening discussions with one of the other two remaining candidates," Kozak said.

The other finalists considered by the council are Patrick DeGrave and Michael Hays.

In 1994, DeGrave became the town administrator for Mt. Pleasant, WI and in July 2000 became town administrator for Menasha, a community of 16,300 in the central Wisconsin Fox Valley.

DeGrave and his wife, Sue (a high school classmate) have a son, John, 5.

Hays of Iowa Falls, IA, holds a B.S. in community and regional planning from Iowa State University (1980) and a master of public administration from Drake University (1985). Hays has held several city administrative positions in Illinois and Iowa.

He is currently in his 11th year as city manager of Iowa Falls, IA, population 5,123.

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