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Traverse City -City Manager, Clinch Repairs On City Agenda

City Manager, Clinch Repairs On City Agenda

April 20, 2015
City Manager, Clinch Repairs On City Agenda

Traverse City commissioners will review the applications of 34 candidates for city manager tonight (Monday) to determine which applicants they’ll invite for interviews in May. Also on the board’s agenda: authorizing up to $72,000 for consulting services for Clinch Park shoreline repairs, amending the city’s TIF 97 plan and reviewing a first draft of the 2015-16 budget.

City Manager Candidates
Commissioners have up to 10 points to allocate to city manager candidates tonight they believe should be invited to a first round of interviews May 1 and 2. Human Resources Generalist Jamie Caroffino says 34 qualified candidates submitted resumes to the city for its top position, with 23 public and 11 confidential. Commissioners could go into closed session to discuss confidential candidates, whose names will be released only once they’ve accepted an interview invitation.

Of the 23 public candidates, only seven come from Michigan and just two from northern Michigan, including Benzie County Administrator Karl Sparks and former Blackman Charter Township Supervisor Dan Hawkins, who now resides in Lake Ann. The remaining candidates hail from states as far-flung as Alaska, California, Florida, Texas, Washington and North Carolina. All 23 of the identified qualified candidates are male.

Caroffino also provided commissioners with the resumes of 15 candidates – two of them confidential – whom her office deemed unqualified for the position. Four female candidates landed on that list, including Traverse City Commissioner Barbara Budros. Budros – who provided letters of recommendation from former TC Mayor Chris Bzdok and Traverse City Light & Power Executive Director Tim Arends – says her professional background as an attorney combined with her long-time residency in Traverse City and years of service on the commission make her “an ideal candidate” for city manager.

However, Budros landed on the unqualified list because she does not have prior government administrative and management experience – a requisite set by commissioners. Fellow board members could still opt to extend an interview to Budros or any other unqualified candidates tonight, but those applicants would have to garner more votes than their qualified counterparts to move ahead.

After winnowing down the applicant field, commissioners will submit their proposed interview questions to Caroffino Tuesday. An ad hoc committee will determine Thursday which questions will be used during the first-round interviews. The salary range for the new city manager will be $100,000-$125,000, depending on experience.

Clinch Repairs
Commissioners will consider pouring more funds into Clinch Park tonight when they decide whether to hire engineering firm Baird & Associates to develop design documents for park shoreline repairs. The contract – which could cost between $54,500 and $72,500 – would generate plans to stabilize the terraced wall along the shoreline and install a kayak lift and dock at the site.

If approved, Baird staff say they could complete the analysis and design work within two months. The actual construction work – a separate expense – would need to be bid out if and when commissioners were ready to proceed with the project following the design phase.

TIF 97, Budget
Acting City Manager Penny Hill will give a brief presentation tonight on her proposed 2015-16 city fiscal budget. Commissioners will provide general feedback on potential areas of city spending and budgetary priorities for the coming year. A public hearing on the city budget is scheduled for May 4.

Commissioners will also consider amending the city’s tax increment financing (TIF) 97 plan to allow reimbursement for brownfield-eligible expenses. According to Downtown Development Authority (DDA) Executive Director Rob Bacigalupi, “adding brownfield expenses will give the city greater flexibility and better align our economic development efforts with current Michigan Economic Development Authority policy.” Bacigalupi notes that any brownfield reimbursements would be on a case-by-case basis and would have to go through both the DDA board – which unanimously supported the amendment at a January 16 meeting – and city commission for approval.

Finally, Grand Traverse County Deputy Director of Planning and Development Jean Derenzy has asked to go into closed session with commissioners tonight to “discuss the possible purchase of real property” on the Eighth Street corridor. While the property in question was not identified, Hill says its potential purchase could “advance the Corridors Master Plan." Going into closed session will require five affirmative votes by commissioners.

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