Delaware City Council Introduces New City Manager

The City of Delaware City Council formally introduced Paul J. Brake as the next city manager, effective Aug. 1, at its meeting Monday night.

Paul Brake 2024Brake will bring to Delaware 30 years of local government experience, most recently as the city manager in Royal Oak, MI., a metro Detroit suburb with a population of more than 57,000. He oversaw more than 400 employees and a total operating budget of approximately $220 million.

Brake looks forward to calling Delaware home and working with staff and the Council.

“I am very honored and humbled to be selected to become your next city manager,” he said Monday. “This is an important position and an important time for the city. I look forward to working with you to further your goals and add to the quality of life and services we provide.”

Brake managed the redevelopment of Royal Oak’s city facilities and construction of a new park, city hall and police station. He also helped lead voter-approved ballot measures for public safety, roads, and other services. Other initiatives earlier in his career included regional solid waste planning, brownfield redevelopment and deployment of sustainable green technology

He has experience in economic development as a Certified Economic Developer and is a credentialed manager of the International City/County Management Association. Prior to Royal Oak, Brake was a city and/or county manager in Morgantown, W.V., Grand Blanc, M.I., and Shiawassee County, M.I.

“I have been passionate about public service throughout my career,” he said. “Each stage produces different elements of perspective, solutions and hopefully some creative ideas to bring to the table.”

Delaware is a council-manager form of government and operates with an adopted city charter.  The city manager reports to the seven-member elected city council and oversees the day-to-day operations of the organization.

Vice Mayor Kent Shafer noted Brake’s experience in varying levels of local governments.

“Paul achieved results while building and maintaining positive relationships,” Shafer said. “This was an important consideration for Council. We look forward to working with him.”

Current manager Tom Homan announced in 2023 his intention to retire in 2024 after serving 26 years in Delaware.

The Council voted at its May 28 meeting to authorize the mayor to execute an employment agreement with Brake. He was the choice over four finalists and 17 total applicants. Leading the search process was Slavin Management Consultants, of Norcross, Georgia, a local government executive search firm, specializing in assisting local governments in finding chief executive officers. 

The five-month search for Homan’s successor included interviews with the City Council, meetings with staff, feedback from a community panel and a community survey, and a reception at City Hall.  The community panel included representatives from Ohio Wesleyan University, Delaware City Schools, Delaware County, the Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission, Sustainable Delaware, the African American Heritage Council, the Strand Theater Board, the Delaware Chamber of Commerce and the downtown business community. 

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