The arrival of Sherry Suttles, the first female and African-American city manager in Oberlin's history, marked a dramatic change in local government. Suttles left an assistant city manager position in Long Beach, California, to take over as city manager following Tom Dalton's resignation. She worked with the Lorain County Planning Commssion on Oberlin's first comprehensive downtown development plan, and she secured a major HUD grant to fix substandard housing in the community. The Oberlin Youth Council was established during her tenure. Yet her leadership style stirred controversy, and she clashed with city council over personnel issues. She resigned in 1981 to become Government Relations Director of United Way Services in Cleveland, and she is presently a management consultant and president of the Atlantic Beach Historical Society in South Carolina. Dale Sugarman followed her as the next city manager.
Sources: Oberlin News-Tribune. November 21,1995, correspondence with Sherry Suttles, July 2003.
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