James Dinneen’s career spans over 43 years in the public sector which includes 23 plus years as a City or County Manager, the last 12 years managing in Florida. In addition, he has over 26 years in executive leadership roles in Public Works, Solid Waste, Transportation, Budgeting, and Planning.

In 2006, he became the County Manager of Volusia County, Florida, where he successfully provided crucial leadership until his retirement in 2018. He was tasked to restructure for greater efficiency an organization of 4,000 employees.   This reorganization became even more critical and complicated as the U.S. economy entered the Great Recession of 2007- 2014.  During his tenure of 12 years, he accomplished the following: Implemented major tax reductions starting in 2007 while ensuring service stability saving citizens of over $200 million while reducing the workforce by 500 full time positions. Developed and implemented a plan known as “Go to Zero” that achieved zero debt in the General Fund in 2018, completed the consolidation of emergency dispatch services county-wide and managed over $500 million in infrastructure construction. Implemented a county-wide emergency transport system (EVAC), developed a county diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) strategic masterplan, implemented a Green Volusia program, developed a county dynamic masterplan which won a 2018 NACO award.

Prior to his career in Florida, Mr. Dinneen spent 18 years in Dayton, Ohio where he advanced from Planner to Deputy Public Works/Director of Operations,  he became the Director of Montgomery County Ohio’s Department of Solid Waste and Public Works.  In 1995, he was promoted to Assistant County Administrator and was responsible for numerous management reorganizations and projects, such as the successful public/private partnership named Riverscape including $23 million worth of public infrastructure creating a regional interactive theme park.  Development of a criminal justice and administrative services master plan including a new $30 million juvenile detention center and the implementation of a county wide facility reinvestment and capital depreciation program.

In 2002, Mr. Dinneen was recruited back to the City of Dayton, Ohio as its City Manager to streamline the organization and prevent a looming fiscal crisis.  During this time he did the following:  brought Dayton’s budget under control by aggressive actions that erased a year end deficit of $12 million by eliminating 345 positions, reducing overtime  and restricted future hiring.  Developed 5 housing and urban redevelopment initiatives defining a new strategy around community anchors, introduced a new Community Oriented Policing Enforcement Program (COPE), exercised leadership in collaboration with regional partners in implementing County-wide dispatching, combining SWAT teams, and emergency management services.

Over the course of his long career, Mr. Dinneen has developed in-depth professional expertise in the following skill areas: Community Engagement, Personnel Management, Budgetary/Fiscal Management, Labor Relations/Negotiations, Reorganizations, DEI initiatives, Economic Development, Construction/Capital Project Management, and Strategic Planning.

Educational Background

  • 1972 Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology, University of Dayton, Dayton, OH
  • 1975 Master of Arts in Urban and Regional Planning, Virginia Tech University, Blacksburg, VA
  • 1977 Master of Arts in Public Administration, University of Dayton, Dayton, OH
  • 2004 Graduate of Senior Executive Program, John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA

Memberships and Affiliations

  • ICMA (International City-County Management Association), Senior Member
  • Team Volusia Economic Development Corporation, Member
  • Halifax Urban Ministries, Board Member

Local Government Background

Over 40 year’s experience as a local government
management professional
  • 2006-2018 County Manager, Volusia County, FL
  • 2002-2006 City Manager, Dayton, OH
  • 1995-2002 Assistant County Administrator, Montgomery County, OH
  • 1992-1995 Director Department of Solid Waste, Montgomery County, OH
  • 1985-1992 Deputy Director of Public Works, City of Dayton, OH
  • 1982-1985 Superintendent of Fleet Management, City of Dayton, OH
  • 1978-1982 Senior Budget Analyst, City of Dayton, OH
  • 1975-1978 Department of Planning, City of Dayton, OH