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Change ahead

Change ahead Change ahead

Fales, city council approve deal for him to step down on September 15

City coordinator John Fales will retire effective Sept. 15.

Following a closed session discussion at Tuesday’s Medford City Council meeting, council members approved a retirement agreement between Fales and the city. Under terms of the agreement, Fales’ retirement is effective on Sept. 15.

According to Mayor Mike Wellner, until that date Fales will continue to work with the mayor and department heads to tie up loose ends, work on the budget process and assist with the transition. In addition, council members agreed to a lump sum payout of $21,995.72 for unused personal day, vacation days and sick leave. Fales is also entitled to $11,338 in accrued sick leave which will be used to pay the employee’s share of city-provided health and dental insurance in the future. The city will also continue to pay into Fales’ health savings account through September. Fales has been a long-time fixture in city of Medford government with 36 years of experience in the city in a variety of positions. He has been city coordinator since May 7, 2003 when the position was created as the chief administrative leader in the city under the mayor and city council. He also retained the director of public works title.

Fales has had numerous achievements during his tenure with the city including efforts to expand and update the city utility infrastructure including water, sewer and electric utilities positioning the city for growth for decades to come. He also oversaw the construction of the Frances L. Simek Memorial Library and the Medford Fire Hall. Under his leadership, the city’s finances excelled with the strategic use of tax incremental districts. The city was able to pay down debt and refinance bonds leaving the city in excellent financial shape.

Fales has been recognized at the local and state level with recognition for his service to the Medford community and high achievement in running the city utilities.

“John will helped the city transition administrative leadership responsibilities over the next month and a half. On behalf of the city, its employees and officeholders, we wish John well in his retirement,” Wellner stated.

The past year has been one of major transitions in the city beginning with the retirement of long-time treasurer Kevin Doberstein and continuing with Fales retirement in September and the retirement of city clerk Virginia Brost at the end of the year.

At Tuesday’s city council meeting, aldermen officially approved appointing Ashley Lemke as clerk to replace Brost. Lemke currently holds a clerical position in the city hall. She was one of three finalists interviewed for the position.

After approving Lemke’s promotion to clerk, aldermen then looked at her current position approving title changes and tweaks to make it formally a deputy clerk position. Alderman Mike Bub noted that this may make the position more attractive for applicants.