In the final minutes of Tuesday's Dayton City Council meeting a resident stood up and asked Mayor Ken Rankle and the rest of the council a direct question. “Can we talk about the elephant not in the room? Where is the City Administrator?”
The seat to Rankle’s left was empty at the start of Tuesday night’s meeting, with no nameplate or microphone in place. Roll call omitted his name.
And, until someone asked, there was no mention of the City Administrator Dennis Redmond.
Rankle was the only official at the bench to respond to the resident's question, saying, “He offered me his resignation, and I accepted it. He’s offered it before. This time, I accepted.”
In a follow-up phone call Wednesday, Michael Giffen, Dayton's Main Street Manager, reiterated Rankle's comment, saying, "At this point we don't have a comment beyond Mayor Rankle's remarks at last night's meeting." Giffin also confirmed the official date of Redmond's resignation as last Thursday, January 2.
Mayor Rankle was not available for further comment.
Another resident in attendance Tuesday night also addressed the issue, asking that the city not grant Redmond any sort of severance or retirement package. "How many years have we had someone in here who doesn't know about economic development?," the resident asked Council. She also added that granting Redmond these benefits would "look poorly on the city."
Rankle again responded, saying that the details of Redmond's severance from city employment are currently "under litigation."
This resident's discontent, and the city's lack of comment regarding the resignation, comes as a surprise in light of Redmond's involvement with the Manhattan Harbour development, a major, already-initiated plan to revitalize Dayton's riverfront.
The project entails developing a 73-acre mixed-use (residential and commercial) area on the riverfront at Manhattan Harbour, which will host new luxury homes and locally-owned businesses, and has the potential to add between $250,000-300,000 to the city's annual revenue, Redmond told the Enquirer last August.
There has been no comment on when the process to replace Redmond will begin.
Written by Pat LaFleur, RCN Contributor
ORIGINAL POST (Tuesday 9 p.m.):
Dayton City Administrator Dennis Redmond resigned his position quietly Tuesday night, The River City News's Pat LaFleur reports from tonight's city council meeting.
Redmond did not attend the meeting. Mayor Ken Rankle told LaFleur, "He offered his resignation and I accepted. He's offered it before. This time I accepted."
Council quickly adjourned to executive session with no further comment on Redmond's resignation.
Redmond has been city administrator in Dayton since 2005 and previously served in similar roles in Maysville and North Palm Beach, Florida.
His departure comes at a time of great activity on the city's riverfront where forty new homes are to be constructed and where the long-awaited Manhattan Harbour project is seeing progress.
This story will be updated.
Photo: Redmond stands during a Dayton City Council meeting on October 16, 2013/RCN file