The city manager had been criticized last month after a grant application error.
By ERIC GROSSO
NEWTON FALLS -- City council announced Tuesday that it will begin a search for a new city administrator after deciding not to renew Manager David Watson's contract.
Watson started with the city in 2003. His contract expires Sept. 22.
"I'd like to thank council for appointing me to this position. I've appreciated the diversity of views," Watson said at the end of the meeting. "The position has allowed me to learn a lot about myself, both personally and professionally."
Watson had been criticized last month after an application error by the city resulted in the loss of about $350,000 in state grants. The money would have been used to repair Lowry Dam, but the error is leaving city officials looking for other ways to fund the work.
Council members also addressed their concern to Watson last month that the city was not being kept clean, citing graffiti that had not been removed and a litter-filled city park.
Councilman Eric Thompson specifically noted industrial trash containers and fallen trees that had been left untouched for months. "What does that say about our city?" he said.
John J. Nemet, operator of the city's waste treatment plant, will serve as interim city manager until the position is filled. Working as plant operator since 1998, Nemet has worked for the city in various departments since 1992.
Nemet had worked as operations manager for Internet telecommunications company Executone Information System for 14 years.
Nemet is a lifelong Newton Falls resident who graduated from the city's high school in 1976 and from Youngstown State University in 1981.