By Tony Wittkowski | Local Government Reporter | The Times Herald
The search for Port Huron’s next city engineer will take longer than expected.
The city extended its application deadline two weeks based on the suggestion of the Michigan Municipal League — the organization Port Huron hired to conduct the search for its new city engineer and director of public works. The deadline that had been set for late February was extended into this week.
With the extended applicant deadline, the city also extended City Engineer Bob Clegg’s tenure. His retirement date moved from April 1 to June 1.
Julie Davis, human resources director, said the position is hard to fill and requires more time to collect applicants. Davis could not confirm whether there were too few applicants to begin the hiring process.
“The deadline was extended because MML felt this is a very critical position to fill,” Davis said. “They decided it would be better if we kept it open a few more weeks to strengthen the applicant pool.”
Davis said the city is not expected to have the position filled until the second week of May. The city will receive the candidates’ names early next week.
Clegg notified the city of his plans to retire in December. The council approved hiring the MML to conduct the search for $9,000 in January.
Davis said the city only uses MML to fill higher level positions, like it did with hiring current City Manager James Freed.
“They worked with us on developing an extensive candidate and community profile to be put into a recruitment brochure,” Davis said. “They actually have professionals that reach out to those who are qualified, even if they are not looking for a position.”
Freed said he doesn’t have an updated number on how many applicants the city will have, as the MML is handling them at this point in the process.
Freed said he wouldn’t be surprised if the list was short.
“It’s a very technical position, so I don’t expect there to be a large amount because of the requirements,” Freed said. “There are not a lot of people who have those requirements.”
Davis, Freed and Clegg along with MML will be part of the interview committee. Davis said they may bring in a few retired DPW directors to be on the committee.
Freed said he’s glad Clegg is staying on a little longer while the city continues its search for his replacement.
“This is a hard earned retirement for him,” Freed said. “It says a lot about who he is to stay behind and help.”
Clegg has been with the city for nearly 16 years. He has an annual salary of about $96,000.
Clegg started working for the city as city engineer and director of public works in 1999. Before that, he spent 21 years with the city of Lansing.
(Author’s Note: This article was originally published on March 6, 2015)