Bloomfield City Council expected to approve new city manager on Monday

Hannah Grover
The Daily Times

FARMINGTON — The Bloomfield City Council is expected to approve Eric Strahl as the new city manager during its meeting on Monday.

If approved by council, the former city manager of Oil City, Penn., will start Aug. 17.

"We wanted to give him time to get packed up and get out here," Mayor Scott Eckstein said.

He said the city is functioning well under interim city manager Donica Sharpe, so he was able to give Strahl more time for moving arrangements.

Strahl was one of three candidates Bloomfield officials interviewed for the job in late June.

Candidates met with three panels — community leaders, department heads and elected officials — during the process. All three panels ranked Strahl as their top choice.

Strahl, 67, has a master's degree in public administration from the University of Western Michigan and has worked as a city manager since 1980. Most of his work has been in small communities in the Northeast, Midwest and southern United States.

In a phone interview on Thursday, Strahl said Bloomfield's size attracted him to the job.

"I enjoy working in that size of community," he said.

He said small communities allow people to get to know each other and make it easier for cities to focus on future projects.

Strahl said some of his strengths as a city manager include strong financial and analytical skills, a solid background in economic development and knowledge of infrastructure.

"I tend to look not only at what's going on today, but what could happen in the future," he said.

Eckstein said Strahl shares the council's vision to continue projects already in motion, such as the acquisition of an electric utility. He said he anticipates having a good working relationship with the new city manager.

Strahl said he is looking forward to working in Bloomfield.

"It's another new challenge," he said.

Hannah Grover covers Aztec and Bloomfield, as well as general news, for The Daily Times. She can be reached at 505-564-4652 and Follow her @hmgrover on Twitter.