ALPENA - The Alpena Municipal Council has selected Voorhees Associates to lead the search for a new city manager to replace Thad Taylor, who was terminated in April and accepted the same position in Cedar Springs recently. It will take until at least the end of January for a final replacement to be named.
Frank Walsh, who is working with the city on behalf of Voorhees, has submitted a timeline to the city in how the search is to be conducted, and barring any further delays, Jan. 21 could be the day an announcement is made on the new city manager.
It was hoped the process would be completed sooner, but with uncertainty surrounding who may be on the council after the November election, Walsh advised the city to wait until a clearer picture was present after the election. Interim City Manager Greg Sundin said Walsh initially wanted to move at a more heightened pace to replace Taylor, but as the current circumstances developed in terms of the recall effort against Councilmen Mike Nunneley, Dave Karschnick and Mayor Matt Waligora, he thought it would be best to see how things transpire.
"He is very well aware of the situation here. He had done his homework and was aware of the recall effort here," Sundin said. "He had a very aggressive timeline, but it was just before council acted that he submitted a revised plan, which spread it out more."
The plan recommended by Walsh would begin seeking input from council, staff and key stakeholders to create a vision for the what the ideal candidate offers. After compiling a job profile, Walsh would begin the search by placing ads on Nov. 13, after the Nov. 6 election. The deadline for candidates to apply is slated for Dec. 13. He said after the council chooses Taylor's replacement, it could still take additional time before they would be able to start.
"The process starts in October, but the actual search process won't begin until after the general election and go on until the council makes its choice on Jan. 21," Sundin said. "How long a person would then take to come to Alpena, if they were from outside the area, I don't know. Could they be here in a week or two? Would it be a month? It would depend on what their other responsibilities and obligations are. So knowing when someone would actually start is hard to predict."
Voorhees' Manager Hiring
- Oct. 1: Meet with council and staff to create a vision for the ideal candidate.
- Nov. 13: Begin process by placing ads with a Dec. 13 deadline to apply.
- Dec. 20: Council selects semi-finalists.
- Jan. 12: First round of interviews.
- Jan. 17: Final interviews.
- Jan. 21: Council selects new manager.
*Dates are subject to change
Voorhees and Walsh, who are being paid $8,975, not including travel and accommodations for trips to Alpena, hope to have as many as six to eight candidates selected before narrowing the field down to several finalists for a second interview. Sundin said he is unsure what type of pay or incentives the council will be offering. He said there is also a chance the schedule could be altered by Walsh down the road should something unexpected arise.
Steve Schulwitz can be reached via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 358-5689.