The Ashland City Council quickly and unanimously confirmed long-time Ashland planner Bill Molnar as director of the Community Development Department.




The vote came on Tuesday as the council approved several agenda items at the same time, including Molnar's confirmation and a quarterly city financial report. Audience members broke out into applause after the vote.




"I'm assuming that applause was for the acceptance of the quarterly financial report?" Mayor John Morrison quipped.




A 20-year veteran of the Community Development Department, Molnar decided not to seek the director post after the departure of former Director John McLaughlin in 2005. Molnar did serve as interim director during a lengthy search that eventually resulted in the hiring of David Stalheim in January.




Stalheim recently accepted a new job in Washington state.




Morrison then announced his appointment of Molnar as new director, pending the City Council's Tuesday confirmation vote.




"Thank you for changing your mind and being interested in the job," Morrison told Molnar at the meeting.




In a recent interview, Molnar said he didn't seek the job in 2005 because he felt the community wanted an outside candidate with a fresh perspective. He said he decided to accept the mayor's appointment because he felt city officials would support him in the position.




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