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Ludlow City Administrator Resigns, Lagoon Art Project Proposal Scrapped

Ludlow City Administrator Brian Richmond has departed the city and now the search is on for his replacement.

Richmond, who led the city administration for two and a half years, will focus on practicing law and political consulting. " I had an awesome time in Ludlow. We accomplished amazing things. I think anyone can see that," Richmond said.

His resignation was effective April 30. Ludlow canceled its most recent city council meeting due to a lack of business according to a news release from the city clerk.

Mayor Ken Wynn said that in Richmond's absence, department heads have joined him in picking up the extra work. 

"Honestly, we've got some good department heads and everybody has stepped up the plate and we've all divvied up the work and it's business as usual," Wynn said. "They make sure we meet the needs of the citizens. It's been great. It hasn't just fallen on my shoulders."

Three department heads were hired during Richmond's tenure: police, fire, and public works. "Those guys get top-billing in what they do," Richmond said. The outgoing city administrator points to some of his successes as including an improved code enforcement that put 90% of blighted houses back into code and collecting past due taxes and liens in an amount of $150,000. "I'm very happy and proud about my time there. I loved working with the people there," he said.

"He did a great job and I hate to see anybody go but it's just part of the process. People come and people go," Wynn said. "He's a smart, bright guy and I wish him the best. I'm happy for Brian but sad at the same time."

Resumes are already arriving at the city building, the mayor said. The position pays between $60,000 and $90,000 depending on qualifications. Ludlow has a population of 4,407 and a $3.2 million budget with 18 full-time employees and 17 part-time employees.

"Ludlow's got a lot going on. I think it would be a good fit for somebody to keep them busy," Wynn said. "It's keeping us all busy."

"It's a great town and we just have to keep it going."

Meanwhile, both Richmond and Wynn confirmed that an ambitious art project proposal at the former Ludlow Lagoon site has been nixed. Some of the creative forces behind the wildly popular Lumenocity light show in Cincinnati's Over-the-Rhine made the pitch at Ludlow's April city council meeting. Richmond was an enthusiastic supporter of the proposal but council seemed lukewarm or unsupportive of the plans.

The plan was to etch a huge mural across the vacant field that could be visible from the sky with a hope of generation national and possibly international media attention as the city celebrates its 150th birthday.

The proposal was submitted by Cincinnati-based AGAR, a creative firm, but Wynn said that Ludlow-based Circus Mojo would be working on a project for the city's celebration during that weekend later in the year instead.

"I know (Circus Mojo) will go a good job," Wynn said. "We've got a lot planned leading up to that weekend. It'll draw a lot of people."

Richmond, meanwhile, moves on to find his next opportunity. "Sometimes in your life, the old adage that there is a spoke in the road and sometime you have to make a change," he said. "Nothing against Ludlow. I loved it and am certainly willing to help out any time they call and ask for my help."
 
"It was something where I just felt like it was time for a change and other opportunities presented themselves."
 
Ludlow will accept applications for the city administrator position through the end of May, Wynn said.
 
Written by Michael Monks, editor & publisher of The River City News
 
Photo: Ludlow