EAST PALESTINE — It took over a year, but East Palestine finally has a new city manager. On Tuesday, the village announced that Chad Edwards will officially fill that role starting today.

According to a press release issued by the Village of East Palestine, Edwards has over 17 years of governmental management experience and has served as the city manager of Shinnston, West Virginia since 2019. Edwards oversaw the day-to-day operations of the city, including its budget, finance, human resources and public works departments. He also has successfully managed a variety of major initiatives, including a water treatment distribution project that replaced outdated sewer lines, and the renovation of the city’s downtown area.

Edwards was previously the chief administrative officer, recorder and deputy mayor of Sistersville in West Virginia. He has served as president, vice president and secretary of the West Virginia City Managers Association. Aside from his time spent in the Mountaineer State, Edwards has also served as the city manager of Gordon, Nebraska.

Edwards is a native of Marietta and a graduate of Ohio University. He holds a master’s degree in public administration from the George Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs at Ohio University.

“Chad Edwards brings a wealth of experience and knowledge as our new village manager,” said Mayor Trent Conaway. “We will certainly put his expertise to work as council, business owners and residents focus on rebuilding our village and making sure everyone knows East Palestine is once again a great place to live, work and enjoy.”

Edwards will step into his role as the village is still recovering from the Feb. 3 Norfolk Southern train derailment and subsequent chemical release. The city manager position has been pending business for nearly a year. Former City Manager Mark McTrustry announced his resignation in October of 2022 , citing personal reasons. The village had expected to replace McTrusty at the beginning of this year but the derailment put personnel matters on the blackburn while the village shifted its focus to response, remediation and recovery. Finance Director Traci Spratt has been serving as interim manager since McTrusty left.

The hiring of Edwards helps the village return to a sense of normalcy as East Palestine looks to a better and brighter future with Edwards at its helm.

“I am honored to have been selected as the next village manager of East Palestine,” he said. “I look forward to working with the village council and the community to build a strong and vibrant future for our village.”

 

Steph Elverd

Morning Journal News