November 21, 2014

Au Gres City Council appoints Pritchard as interim city manager

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Au GRES — City Clerk LaVonne Pritchard was appointed to serve as the interim Au Gres City Manager at a special city council meeting May 5.

The city was without a manager after longtime City Manager Pat Killingbeck retired from the position April 30. The motion to appoint Pritchard was approved unanimously.

“LaVonne has volunteered to do this job until we get somebody,” said City Councilman Larry Malace. “As far as I’m concerned she’s doing it anyways.”

Malace said he felt additional compensation would be in order for Pritchard for picking up the extra work, but no figures were discussed at the meeting.

“When I talked to LaVonne earlier, I mentioned that to her, but I didn’t have a chance to talk to anybody else on council, but it will be brought up,” he said.

Pritchard accepted the interim appointment, but said she does not wish to have the position permanently.

“I’ll do what it takes to get the city through this until we get somebody else in here,” she said.

How to move forward to permanently replace Killingbeck was discussed, but a motion to advertise the position was tabled until council members could receive more information on how and where to advertise the position.

Pritchard presented the council with a draft advertisement that she created using a sample from the Michigan Municipal League website, but ultimately council members decided they would seek out more opinions before posting the position.

“Why don’t we talk to Chris Shannon and see what Bay City did?” said city attorney Pat Winter.

Councilman Keith Edmonds said he felt the council should research what cost-free methods the city could use to advertise, including forwarding the position to universities that had city management programs.

“I would contact every resource we have that isn’t going to cost us and go from there,” he said.

Councilman Dan Pockrandt said some community members had expressed interest in the position.

“There are a few local people that are interested, that are going to be putting their resumes in,” he said.

Public input was heard on the issue, and a few residents in attendance raised the possibility of changing the manager position to part-time.

“Have you decided that you want a full-time manager? Have you discussed a part-time manager?” said Bill Borushko. “You have a $600,000 budget here. That is miniscule.”

The city’s next regular meeting is scheduled for May 19, which will also serve as an organizational meeting with newly elected council members. However, city council members said they would like to have a special meeting prior to May 19 to discuss advertising the manager position again. The special meeting date will depend on the availability of Shannon, who is the mayor of Bay City and the director of the Arenac County Economic Development Corporation.

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