2017-06-15 / Front Page

Three Advance in City Manager Interviews

By Erich T. Doerr

The St. Ignace City Council has selected three finalists for the job of city manager and will conduct a second set of public interviews with them July 11 and 12. Former Okemah, Oklahoma City Manager Richard Hart will meet with the council online via Skype at 7 p.m. Tuesday, July 11, Kingsford Public Safety Lieutenant Michael Stelmaszek will interview in person at 6 p.m. Wednesday, July 12, at City Hall, and former Lexington Village Business Manager Thomas Raymond will follow at 7 p.m.

“I think they are all qualified; any of them could do the job,” said Mayor Connie Litzner at a council work session Monday night, June 12, during which the selections were made.

A fourth finalist, Darcy Long of Wisconsin, has accepted a job elsewhere.

From interviews with 10 candidates in late May and early June, council members were asked to submit their top choices, with majority votes determining the finalists.

The city planned to interview all finalists in person, but offered Mr. Hart a Skype interview because of the long travel time from Oklahoma. Councilman Luke Paquin said he prefers candidates to visit the city in person to get to know the community.

Council members are now coming up with questions to be used during the next round of interviews and Mayor Litzner will also consult Escanaba City Treasurer and Human Resources Manager Bob Valentine, who has been advising the city in its manager search.

The posted salary range is between $60,000 and $70,000 and the city offers medical insurance to employees, but not their families. The candidates will also be asked to direct the Downtown Development Authority after DDA Director Deb Evashevski retires at the end of the year.

Council plans to check applicant backgrounds prior to the interviews, including police checks, references, and social media.

Resident Steve Ingalls expressed his hope that the manager selected will stay in the city for many years, but Mayor Litzner said the finalist candidates have all said they planned to stay five to seven years. Mr. Paquin added that short-term managers aren’t necessarily bad, either. While they may only stay a short time, he said, many of their ideas will remain with the city for years.

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