Marine City keeps manager, police chief jobs separate

By Tony Wittkowski | City Reporter | The Times Herald

Marine City will not combine the jobs of city manager and chief of police.

The commission made its decision during a Thursday night meeting, said police Chief Don Tillery.

While the board chose not to combine the two jobs, Tillery said there was a resolution to appoint him as acting city manager. He will also work on the sub-committee formed to find the permanent city manager.

“I agree wholeheartedly with the decision,” Tillery said. “I think it is a good decision for the city, and I look forward to my new challenges and role as the acting city manager. I look forward to assisting in any way I can for the search for the new city manager to take us to the next level.”

Lisa Hendrick, Marine City commissioner, said many of the people at the meeting spoke against the proposal to combine the job.

“Everybody tried to be diplomatic about it,” Hendrick said. “They expressed that they didn’t think combining the jobs was a good idea. After that the board decided not to combine them.”

Commissioner Dianne Lovett moved to appoint Tillery as interim city manager after some discussion, Hendrick said.

The motion passed 5-2 with Hendrick and Commissioner Raymond Meli voting against it.

“I can only speak on behalf of the people who contacted me, but I think it’s controversial in the community,” Hendrick said. “They just weren’t comfortable with it, so I voted against it.”

John Gabor, the city’s current manager, is leaving at the end of January to be deputy city manager and treasurer in Hamtramck.

Gabor proposed the job of city manager be combined with that of police chief.

After Gabor leaves, the commission has 90 days to fill the job.

The sub-committee to find a new city manager includes Hendrick, Lovett, Tillery, Mayor Raymond Skotarczyk and a person from the community, who will be appointed to the board after expressing interest and providing a resume.

Skotarczyk said he asked to bring a citizen-at-large to the sub-committee to reach out and make them part of the process.

The sub-committee will be looking for a city manager candidate who is experienced and can bring some energy to the job, Skotarczyk said.

“Originally, I was in favor of the consolidation to save the city $60,000,” Skotarczyksaid. “That changed because the overwhelming feedback was they wanted more out of their city manager and not less.”

The commission will discuss at the next meeting at 7 p.m. Feb. 5 how Tillery will be paid as acting city manager. Hendrick said Tillery will not take over until the end of January.

“I look forward to the search to find someone to take our downtown development and our city as a whole into the next chapter of our book,” Tillery said.

Contact Tony Wittkowski at (810) 989-6270 or twittkowsk@gannett.com. Follow him on Twitter @tonywittkowski.

(Author’s Note: This article was originally published on Jan. 16, 2015)

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