Finance director contract approved, Talarico stays

By Evan Goodenow -



Finance director Sal Talarico didn’t get to be city manager, but he is getting a raise.

Council members on Friday approved a contract for Talarico that will hike his annual salary from $97,000 to $113,000.

Until the approval, the city manager position, which pays $120,000 annually, was the only municipal job that included a contract.

The decision to give Talarico a contract was made to retain him. After being passed over by council for city manager in favor of Rob Hillard, Talarico unsuccessfully sought the Brunswick city manager position and hadn’t ruled out applying elsewhere.

If Talarico left, Hillard, who began work last Monday, would’ve been searching for a new finance director while looking for a new electric director and police chief. Steve Dupee left Oberlin Municipal Light and Power System to become Wellington village manager earlier this month and police chief Juan Torres announced last week that he’s quitting in April.

Talarico has worked in Oberlin since 2000 and council president Ron Rimbert said council values his institutional memory.

“He knows the little nuances that a lot of people just don’t know,” said Rimbert, who negotiated the contract with Talarico.

Talrico served as finance director and interim city manager from January until Hillard took over. He replaced Eric Norenberg, who took the city manager job in Milford, Del., in December of last year.

Talarico had the support of four of the seven council members in August, but lacked the five-vote super-majority needed for appointment. Council then re-opened the job search and hired Hillard last month.

Councilwoman Sharon Soucy said council appreciated Talarico’s double-duty, which saved taxpayers at least $82,000. She said he exhibited good leadership while interim city manager and has done an exemplary job as finance director for Oberlin. The city has about 110 municipal employees and a $9.4 million budget.

“He’s shepherded the city through some very difficult times (and) we have never had to lay anyone off during the past recession and our financial security is the envy of a lot communities,” Soucy said.

Talarico said he appreciated the vote of confidence.

“I can’t be effective and do a good job without your support,” he said.

Evan Goodenow can be reached at 440-775-1611 or @GoodenowNews on Twitter.


By Evan Goodenow