Life after Staton

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By Kambui Moore
Entirely East Lansing staff writer

Even though city manager Ted Staton is leaving, citizens can find solace in East Lansing’s history of  picking capable, qualified leaders.

Following his surprise resignation announcement at the July 17th council meeting, people have been wondering who will replace their beloved city manager. East Lansing Council member Nate Triplett suggested that involving the people of East Lansing in finding this new candidate is important. The city is looking into possible firms to aid in the search and making the process as transparent as possible. A similar idea was used for finding the new police chief Juli Liebler.

Some qualities that Liebler had before her selection: a community resident, active in the MSU/public school community, volunteer of EL organizations, served in the department at a high position.

In the fall, Theodore Staton will take over for city manager Virginia Barney, following a unanimous vote of approval by Upper Arlington City Council on July 11.

Barney intends to retire at the end of the year. Staton, currently city manager of East Lansing, is marked to a start date in mid-October.

Staton is not new to Ohio, its his foundation. Before coming to East Lansing in 1995, Stanton served the state for nearly 18 years. He served as the Assistant City Manager and Director of Public Works in Dayton, Ohio. He also worked at Wright State and was a legislative aide to the Ohio House of Representatives.

Even though the city of Upper Arlington believes it is in a great position compared to others, last year Upper Arlington’s expenditures were more than their revenue. According to the city’s annual financial report, which is available on their website:

Expenditures equaled 43,228,232 in 2010, while revenue totaled 38,288,387.

Technically you would call this a deficit year, even though the reports don’t include bond proceeds or the city’s enterprise funds.

The city of Upper Arlington has invested in ten acres of land for new parks, built a new water park, and working on a new fire/police station. Since they want to maintain these facilities and their high standard of living, hiring someone with experience in expansion and effective spending makes sense.

The City of East Lansing has grown by 2,500 acres, land and property values have doubled, and in 2010 East Lansing got a Triple-A financial rating from Fitch Investor Services. Under Stanton’s leadership, East Lansing has been noted by Entrepreneur Magazine as one of the top college towns for business start-ups. Top 20 medium-sized cities in the nation for job growth by Forbes this year.

Upper Arlington Council President Frank Ciotola believes Stanton can bring the same leadership to their community.

“I am confident Ted is the right person to take us forward and to turn challenge into opportunity,” said Ciotola.

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