City of Upper Arlington, Ohio

City Manager


Theodore J. Staton, City Manager

Biography
Theodore J. Staton
Theodore J. Staton (Ted) joined the City of Upper Arlington, Ohio in October of 2011. Ted previously served as City Manager for the City of East Lansing, Michigan, bringing with him a proven track record of steering a municipality successfully through challenging financial times, while simultaneously maintaining core service standards and seizing upon new opportunities to enrich citizens' lives and the attractiveness of East Lansing to prospective residents and businesses.

Ted joined the City of Upper Arlington at an important time in its history. Economic challenges continue to take center stage at the State and national level, with the trickle down effect becoming ever more apparent for local governments. The City is feeling the effects of a significant reduction in revenues from the Local Government Fund, as well as elimination of the Estate Tax, which began in 2013 and has impacted both the General Fund and reduced the City's ability to aggressively address the needs of its aging infrastructure such as roads and underground sewer systems. Maintaining and enhancing the community's commercial districts as drivers of both vital revenue generation and important community services and amenities remain a top priority for assuring Upper Arlington's success in the coming months and years - and all while upholding Upper Arlington's place as a desirable, primarily residential community.

In his first two years with the City, much of the necessary groundwork has been laid to position Upper Arlington for a successful future. Significant work with both City Council and the Administration set forth a series of goals and implementation steps to address the City's fiscal challenges, begin a detailed exploration of service priorities, and consider options for maintaining an aggressive capital improvements program. In 2014, a Citizen Financial Review Task Force is working with the City Manager and his Administration to review the City's financial history and present day challenges in order to develop a set of viable options for consideration by City Council. Additionally, Council has prioritized the City's mid-to-long-term strategies as part of a 10-year Master Plan update (adopted March 2013).

Internally, the organization continues its efforts to streamline operations. Staffing levels are being "right sized" in light of the fiscal challenges - as positions come vacant they are not refilled unless absolutely necessary - and adjustments to healthcare, pensions and benefits are being reviewed and phased-in over time to help contain costs. The City has entered into several shared services arrangements, such as providing vehicle maintenance support to two local fire agencies, as well as expanding partnership efforts with the UA Schools, which has already resulted in the production of a combined City/Schools newsletter and better coordination of the maintenance and use of various shared facilities.

Significant progress has been made in the economic development arena, with the successful completion of an impressive mixed-use project, the community's first hotel and a redeveloped Whole Foods on Lane Avenue, as well as the annexation of property to make way for a 250-plus apartment complex and office site.

In the time that Ted has been City Manager of Upper Arlington, the City has been the recipient of many accolades and has continued to claim its place as a premier Central Ohio community. The City has successfully retained Triple A financial ratings from two national ratings agencies. Upper Arlington was named the second best suburb in Central Ohio by Columbus Monthly Magazine (April 2013), a Top 10 Best Community for Families by Family Circle Magazine (August 2013), and the Third Best Town in Ohio for Young Families by nerdwallet.com (October 2013). The community's reputation for safety has also been affirmed on a national level. Upper Arlington was named one of the Top 100 Safest Cities in America by neighborhoodscout.com (Spring 2013) and the 14th Safest City in Ohio by Safewise.com (January 2014).

During Ted's tenure at the City of East Lansing, the community saw its land area increase by nearly a third, land and property values more than double, and in 2010 the City attained a Triple A financial rating. In 2009, East Lansing was named a top college town for business startups by Entrepreneur Magazine and in 2011 a top 20 city in the nation for job growth by Forbes, with its downtown area experiencing significant new private investment. East Lansing came to be beloved by many in the region for its art and music festivals, and for its commitment to expanding recreation and park facilities. Resident perceptions of East Lansing saw a significant positive upswing during Ted's tenure, as evidenced by regular community surveys.

Previously, Ted served in several positions at the City of Dayton, Ohio, including Assistant City Manager, Director of Office Management and Budget, and Director of Public Works. He has a Master of Arts in Public Management and a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science, both from Wright State University in Dayton. He also has completed the Program for Senior Executives in State and Local Government at the Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.

Throughout his career, Ted has been actively involved in professional and civic organizations:

  • He is a Legacy Leader and Credentialed Manager with the International City/County Management Association;
  • He is a member of the Upper Arlington Rotary Club, Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission, Central Ohio Municipal Council, Upper Arlington Community Foundation Board of Trustees, and Upper Arlington Community Improvement Corporation;
  • He served on the Board of Directors - including as President - for the Michigan City Management Association, is a Past President of the Leadership Dayton Association, and was a member of the Michigan Municipal League and the East Lansing Kiwanis Club.

Ted is a recipient of the John L. Patriarche Distinguished Service Award from the Michigan Local Government Management Association, and received the Vocational Excellence Award from the Rotary Club of East Lansing for "demonstrating vocational excellence and the practice of high ethical standards in the workplace." He has shared his experiences internationally in Malawi, Nigeria and Romania and has lectured on local government issues to Humphrey Fellows from over 50 nations and members of the British Parliament.

Ted and his wife, Carol, are both Ohio natives and have held a special place in their hearts for their home state since their move to Michigan, visiting often with family and friends. Both knew they would ultimately like to return home when the right opportunity arose. They have two sons - Paul and Ben - who are currently happily ensconced in school life at the Upper Arlington High School and Jones Middle School.

To Ted, public service is both a vocation and a passion. He is a firm believer in the value of good governance, and the provision of core services to assure a high quality of life for the members of any given community. As the appointed head of the City's administration, he is committed to upholding the highest standards of ethics, accountability and transparency in fulfilling the City of Upper Arlington's pledge of service to its citizens.

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News & Notices

  • City Holiday - Thanksgiving Day
    City offices will be closed Thursday, November 23 in observance of Thanksgiving Day. Thursday trash collection will be delayed by one day. Click here for more information.
  • 2017 Community Survey
    The 2017 Community Survey process is complete and the report can be viewed here. Our thanks to all who participated.
  • UA Insight - Fall 2017
    There's lots of good info in our fall edition: the Parks & Rec. Comprehensive Plan, an update on the J. Liu project, the Fire Division's launch of a new paramedicine program, highlights of the Community Survey, fall service updates & more.
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