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Pending an approval from the Racine Common Council, Racine may have a new city administrator starting in mid-April named James Palenick. Mayor John Dickert is recommending that the city hire Palenick to replace Tom Friedel, who will retire on March 31. “Jim is going to be a good fit with the City, his demeanor and the experience he brings should make for an easy transition as Tom begins his retirement,” Dickert said in a press release. Palenick’s career spans over 28 years in local government positions in Michigan, New Mexico and North Carolina.  His current position is the director of economic and business development for the City of Fayetteville, North Carolina. He’s been at the job for a little over a year, but previously served as a town manager for Dallas North Carolina for four years and a city manager for Gastonia, North Carolina for five years. Palenick holds a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from Western Michigan University, with honors. He was chosen because he has a strong background in “place-based economic and community development and redevelopment and financial sustainability,” according to the press release. “Jim’s leadership and communication skills are impressive. I am looking forward to having him as part of the team,” Dickert said. Pending approval by the Common Council, Palenick will start in mid-April. We’ll be updating this story over the next few hours.

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In addition to our education features, we’ll be kicking off a series of stories highlighting how parents, students, and educators are adapting to the impact of COVID-19 on education. If this is important to you, please consider donating to our education reporting fund. https://business.facebook.com/donate/1846323118855149/3262802717172659/

Denise Lockwood has an extensive background in traditional and non-traditional media. She has written for Patch.com, the Milwaukee Business Journal, Milwaukee Magazine and the Kenosha News.