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City administrator takes job in Ohio; last day will be July 3
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City administrator takes job in Ohio; last day will be July 3

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RACINE — After a long job hunt, Racine City Administrator Jim Palenick submitted his resignation and plans to relocate to Ohio in July.

Palenick is scheduled to start his new job as the city manager of Middletown, Ohio, on July 13 and stated in his resignation that his final day with Racine would be July 3.

A new gig

Middletown, Ohio, population 48,861 and located between Dayton and Cincinnati, announced earlier this week that it had selected Palenick from a pool of 22 applicants. The Middletown City Council approved Palenick’s appointment at its meeting on Tuesday evening.

Shortly after the Racine City Council wrapped up its meeting, Palenick sent his resignation to aldermen.

“It has been my distinct honor and privilege to have served the City of Racine for these past three years during a time of both challenge and fulfillment,” Palenick wrote in his resignation. “I have found Racine to be a wonderful community whose residents welcomed and embraced me, and whose leaders bestowed me with their support and respect. For that, I will be forever grateful and will always remember my experience here with fondness.”

Palenick stated that he would spend his remaining six weeks in office, “effectuating a smooth transition” and “tying up any and all ‘loose ends’ — particularly as they might exist with with any major development or redevelopment projects and initiatives.”

Palenick was appointed by former Mayor John Dickert to succeed Tom Friedel, who retired. The City Council approved his appointment with a three-year contract, starting April, 2017 running through April, 2020. The City Council in April approved a proposal to extend Palenick’s contract an additional four months, through late August, and grant him a 4.13% pay raise.

Palenick has been in the running for several positions since July. In September, he stated that he was seeking a position that was more “well-suited to (his) skill-sets and strengths.” Before coming to Racine, he was a director of economic and business development in Fayetteville, N.C.

“While I have very much enjoyed my role in Racine, and continue to do so, the governmental structure here isn’t as well-suited to my skill-sets and strengths and I feel like my leadership and abilities, particularly in the areas of economic development and redevelopment, strategic planning, and fiscal stewardship might yet be more fulfilled, utilized, and appreciated if given the right opportunity,” he said in an email.

“I want to thank Jim Palenick for his three years of service to the Racine Community,” Racine Mayor Cory Mason said in an emailed statement. “His commitment and support for Racine, and particularly the Downtown, will be missed. We wish him well in his new role as city manager in Middletown, Ohio.”

Watch now: UW-Parkside holds virtual commencment

Saturday’s Spring 2020 Commencement ceremony at the University of Wisconsin-Parkside was supposed to resemble other spring celebrations: The Alfred and Bernice De Simone Gymnasium packed to the rafters with family, friends, and well-wishers cheering as their special graduate crossed the stage and received a diploma.

COVID-19 changed all of that.

Instead, a record class of just over 500 students with 55 master’s degree candidates, viewed online messages from UW-Parkside Chancellor Debbie Ford, Provost Rob Ducoffe, UW Regent Emeritus Torrey Tiedeman, and Chancellor’s Award Recipient Zachary Atkins of Racine.

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Reporter

Christina Lieffring covers the City of Racine and the City of Burlington and is a not-bad photographer. In her spare time she tries to keep her plants and guinea pigs alive and happy.

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