XENIA — After 33 years with the City of Xenia Finance Department, Mark Bazelak figured it was time to retire.
“There were some things I wanted to accomplish with getting into this building,” the 56-year-old said after making it official June 23. “I think the city is in a good financial position at this point. It’s looking positive for the city. Now’s the time. Everybody knows when it’s time. It’s just time.”
His retirement will be effective July 31 when current assistant city manager and former assistant finance director Ryan Duke takes over.
“The City of Xenia is fortunate to have been in the hands of such a seasoned fiscal manager and director as Mark Bazelak over many years,” City Council President Mike Engle said. “His rational fiscal stewardship and stellar performance in the finance department for more than 33 years served the taxpayers of Xenia well.”
Under his watch, Xenia was rewarded with certificates of achievement from the Government Finance Officers Association for excellence in financial reporting from 1986 through 2013 and also received the Auditor of State Award with Distinction for financial reporting in 2001, 2002, and 2003 — a distinction given to fewer than 5 percent of local governments. Also, the city’s bond rating from Standard & Poor improved from A1 to AA.
With Bazelak leading the finance department, Xenia developed investment and debt management policies and authored an economic impact analysis policy. Bazelak also developed the city’s five-year financial projection analysis to measure financial health and oversaw the development and implementation of the city’s information technology strategic plan.
However, Bazelak said he is most proud of helping the city recover through a recession despite challenges from the state.
“We’ve been able to weather the storm,” he said.
A 1979 graduate of Xenia, Bazelak received a BS in finance from The Ohio State University in 1983 and was hired as a temporary finance clerk by Xenia in March of 1984. In September of 1984 he was hired full time and took on many assignments until being named administrative assistant in the finance director’s office in 1987. He was promoted to assistant finance director in October of 1988 and became finance director in September of 2004.
“I would like to thank city council, past and present, for the opportunity to serve the community as finance director,” Bazelak said. “I have been fortunate to work with many tremendous people over the years. As I leave, there continues to be challenges to address, but Xenia is moving in a positive direction with the promise of endless possibilities.”
Contact Scott Halasz at 937-502-4507.