By Richard Van Winkle, News of Mill Creek.
Those who attended the September 1, 2020, virtual Mill Creek City Council meeting were pleasantly surprised to see Finance Director Jeff Balentine had quietly returned to his job full time.
It’s unclear exactly why Balentine left his job at the city on August 17th. In a telephone interview he said that there were some “philosophical differences” that were subsequently resolved.
He stressed that he didn’t give City Manager Michael Ciaravino any “ultimatums” regarding his return, but “recent significant positive changes at the city” prompted him to come back. He declined to be more specific.
“Rebuilding the city’s team by hiring in key positions and managing ongoing budget amendments are critical to the city’s success,” commented Balentine.
He indicated that he has a good relationship with Ciaravino, who reached out to him a number of times after he left the job in August.
Balentine said he was very hopeful that he would have a long term position with Mill Creek, because “the staff is fantastic and there is great potential there.”
He noted the city has a number of important projects on which he can focus, including making sure the city’s federal CARES Act funding is received, managing a change to passport operations allowing increased revenue, and finalizing the 2021-2022 biennial budget.