ALPENA - The search for a person to replace former City Manager Thad Taylor is going to take longer than originally expected. On the recommendation of the city's hiring consultant Frank Walsh, the council voted Monday to wait for the holidays, winter weather and February's special election to pass before beginning the search.
Walsh said by moving the timeline back, he believes the council will be able to make a hire by the end of April, one year after Taylor was terminated.
Walsh presented two options for the council members to consider. The first was to continue moving forward and begin to advertise for the position, currently held by Greg Sundin on an interim basis, and interview in January. Walsh said with the election looming and the hire being forced to move to Alpena in the winter could affect the quality of candidates who apply for the job. Instead he recommended the city wait until a lot of the uncertainty is removed and the weather breaks. Councilman Shawn Sexton said he would have liked the process to move forward at a quicker pace, but if by moving it back means the city will get better candidates then he was in favor of it.
News Photo by Steve Schulwitz
Mayor Matt Waligora presents the 2012 City Wide Pride Award winners during Monday’s meeting. The winners are city workers who go above their specific job duties. From left to right are, Kathy Himes, Steve Shultz, Waligora, Steve Davis and Kelli Liske. Tammy Romel and Robert Adrian also were winners, but we unable to attend the meeting.
"If it means that we could get somebody better, then I don't see how it would hurt waiting a few more months," Sexton said. "I would like to see this done as soon as possible, but if it means we will have a chance to get better people then it is probably the way to go."
Councilman Sam Eiler said he wished Walsh would have had another option that would have allowed posting the job now so once the election was done just the interview and review process would have to be done.
"I wish there was an option C in which the resumes would start rolling in a little sooner and would all here by the time the results of the late February election were," Eiler said. "There is no plan C, then I think we are all in agreement for waiting."
The vote to delay the process of finding a new city manager was 5-0. Mayor Matt Waligora said Walsh's recommendation makes sense and he supported delaying the process as well in order to get the most qualified candidates.
"He made a lot valid points and makes a good case," Waligora said. "I feel good about the recommendation."
Both Mike Polluch and Susan Nielsen believed it was best to wait until after the election was done. Both recently were appointed to the council, They both intend to run for the seats in February. They believed by waiting it provides an opportunity for the winners in the election to be included in the selection process.
In other business:
Steve Schulwitz can be reached via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 358-5689.