Galion City Mayor Tom O’Leary has appointed an acting city safety-service director in the absence of the current safety-service director John Swain.
“I appointed Nikki Ward because the main requirement for the job is to know and understand the day-to-day operations of the city. Nikki has worked closely with John over the last three years and has a great understanding of how the city operates,” O’Leary said.
O’Leary said Swain is off work on medical leave for an undetermined amount of time and is recuperating at home.
Ward, who holds a degree in international studies and has worked in business management for 15 years, said she was hired three weeks after O’Leary took office as the administrative assistant of the mayor’s office.
“Tomorrow (Wednesday) is the three-year anniversary of the day the mayor took office so I have been here almost three years,” Ward said.
O’Leary said the main requirements of the position are that the person reside in the city of Galion, which Ward does, and have knowledge of the city’s operations.
Ward, who is a board member of the Humane Society Serving Crawford County and is heavily involved with the Northside Farmer’s Market in Galion, said she is excited about her new role.
“It’s a new challenge, a step up. I value the fact that I have been a trusted employee of the mayor’s office and that he has confidence in me to do the job,” Ward said.
O’Leary said a large part of Ward’s job is to work closely with the city’s department heads with policies and contract negotiations.
“The city employees nearly 100 people which is the largest expenditure of tax payers dollars so it is important to keep things operating smoothly,” O’Leary said.
O’Leary said Ward has also learned extensively about things like construction contracts.
“We have a lot of projects going on currently,” O’Leary said.
Ward said she is happy to serve the city in her new role.
Reach Gasuras on Twitter: @kimberlygasuras