City Manager

City of Middletown Hires City Manager

Middletown, OH (May 18, 2020) – The City of Middletown is pleased to announce the hiring of James M. (Jim) Palenick as the new City Manager, effective July 13, 2020. Palenick has extensive experience serving in local government, most recently as the City Administrator in the City of Racine, Wisconsin (population 78,000).

Palenick has a background in city management, including his most recent position where he worked as the lead on many redevelopment projects and neighborhood revitalization efforts. Prior to his work in Racine, Palenick was the Director of Economic and Business Development in the City of Fayetteville, North Carolina. With over 30 years of experience in local government, Palenick’s record of economic and community development and redevelopment, plus his excitement for the City of Middletown made him a remarkable candidate in the interview process.

“I am thrilled to welcome Jim to Middletown. During the interview process, his experience, skill, and knowledge of the subjects we deal with in Middletown daily made him a stand-out. I look forward to his leadership and working to bring continued success to the City of Middletown,” said Susan Cohen, Acting City Manager.

The interview process included multiple Zoom conference calls with members of city council, city staff, and community members due to the COVID-19 pandemic as well as an in-person interview and tour of the city. City council will approve the appointment of Jim Palenick at the council meeting on May 19, 2020.

“I feel both honored and deeply humbled by the opportunity to be named City Manager for Middletown. Everything that I have come to understand about the community and its leadership tells me that there exists a shared vision and cohesive commitment to continue to take the necessary steps to move Middletown forward in a proactive and positive way. I am excited about joining the leadership team, moving to the City, and becoming a force in that effort,” said Palenick.

Palenick began as City Manager on July 13, 2020 and reside in Middletown.

"I eagerly welcome the leadership, expertise, accountability, and energy I believe Mr. Palenick will bring to Middletown. His past successes reflect his ability to bring groups together and serve as the catalyst to propel our city into the brighter future it deserves,” said Nicole Condrey, City of Middletown Mayor.

Palenick went to Western Michigan University where he earned a bachelor’s degree in public administration. Later, he earned his master’s degree in public administration from the same university.

Management Partners, Inc. was contracted to execute the city manager search on behalf of the City of Middletown. The contract with Management Partners, Inc. was signed Feb 11, 2020.