A Lucas County official has been tapped to take over as the next Perrysburg city administrator, making her what is believed to be the first woman to ever hold the position, Mayor Nelson Evans said Tuesday.
Bridgette Kabat, chief of staff for the Lucas County commissioners, accepted the job offer Monday afternoon.
"She brings a lot of experience, a lot of enthusiasm," Mayor Evans said. "She seems to have a very friendly personality, outgoing. She just seemed to click with everybody who has talked to her. I think she'll be a good fit."
Ms. Kabat, 44, is to start July 23. City Council is expected to confirm the mayor's appointment July 10.
Her annual pay will be $98,000. She was paid $94,869 a year at Lucas County government, where she had worked since 1994.
Mayor Evans and Kelly Chalfant, human resource manager, said they believe she is the first female city administrator in Perrysburg.
The city administrator post opened up after John Alexander announced his retirement. Mr. Alexander, the city's top executive since 2005, is to step down July 27.
The city administrator position had been in limbo after city officials interviewed several candidates this year. But officials could not decide on a clear front-runner and restarted the search this spring.
The city received Ms. Kabat's application before council moved forward in hiring a search firm.
"It was actually my husband who pointed out the fact they had not selected anybody," Ms. Kabat said. "He was ultimately the person who encouraged me [to apply]."
Ms. Kabat said she was looking forward to being involved in economic development, learning more about operating the fire division, and working more closely with constituents. She will oversee about 150 full-time city employees.
The biggest challenge will be "just getting my feet wet," she said, as she learns about the city's projects.
She was the commissioners' chief of staff and assistant administrator since July, 2005. Before that, she was assistant director of the county's Management and Budget Office.
During her time at the county, she worked under Mr. Alexander when he was Lucas County administrator. Ms. Kabat called him a mentor.
"I respect John," she said.
Mayor Evans said Mr. Alexander was not involved in the hiring of his replacement.
"He was very diplomatic in this whole process," Mayor Evans said. "He didn't try to push one person or another. He's always been the utmost professional. He's let us make that decision without any influence on his part."
Ms. Kabat grew up in Maumee and graduated from Maumee High School in 1986. She graduated from the University of Toledo with a bachelor's degree in business administration and is a certified public financial officer.
Contact Gabrielle Russon at: email@example.com or 419-351-0361 or on Twitter @GabrielleRusson.