Mayor appoints two to key positions

Amanda Banas

Amanda Banas

Rocky Alazazi

Rocky Alazazi

TAYLOR – The first two appointments to key positions in city administration recently were made by new Mayor Jeffrey Lamarand.

Amanda Banas has been appointed director of executive affairs, while Rocky Alazazi has been appointed director of building and safety. Both report directly to the mayor.

Lamarand, a former City Council member who was elected mayor in November, said that Banas and Alazazi bring expertise to their positions. Both were hired with lower salaries than their predecessors, Lamarand said, and they are armed with ideas to save the city money.

Banas, who lives in Trenton, is part of mayor’s office staff. Lamarand said her background as an attorney could offset some of the city’s legal expenses, and that she will be an asset in the Human Resources Department as well.

Banas earned a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from Grand Valley State University and her law degree from the Thomas M. Cooley Law School in Lansing, where she graduated cum laude.

Since 2004, she has worked as a practicing attorney, most recently at Mizerowski and Associates P.C. in Plymouth. She managed large caseloads in many areas, including employment law and contract law, provided legal opinions and recommendations and participated in contract negotiations.

She established a reputation as a detail-oriented and highly analytical professional who works productively with people at all levels, Lamarand said, including supervisors, executives, colleagues, staff, clients, subordinates and the public.

Working in a service-driven environment, she reviewed case law and court opinions to make recommendations regarding claims, litigation, settlements and appeals by analyzing, interpreting and applying the law. She also mentored and trained associates on all aspects of the law.

A director of building and safety, Taylor native Alazazi oversees the day-to-day operations of the Office of Development Services in City Hall. The office oversees building, planning, zoning, economic development and code and ordinance enforcement.

Alazazi arrived at City Hall with an excellent reputation of handling multiple projects simultaneously, Lamarand said, as well as coordinating businesses’ operations and developing and implementing standardized practices and procedures to accomplish goals. Lamarand also cited what he calls Alazazi’s comprehensive background in project management related to building commissioning of mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems, building automation controls, lighting life/safety and heating and cooling systems.

Alazazi is certified as a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Accredited Professional, or LEED AP, and as a Commissioning Process Management Professional, or CPMP, and has other licenses and certifications. He also has a degree in heating, ventilation and air conditioning.

Alazazi’s memberships include the American Society of Heating Refrigeration and Air-Conditioning Engineers, which set the standards for building codes and designs throughout the country. He also is a member of the United States Green Building Council, whose focus is on energy-efficient building design.

Alazazi spent 14 years as a facilitator at American Axle and Manufacturing, where he managed 15 associates. He also has owned two companies: Iceman Refrigeration and Dependable Cab.

Most recently, Alazazi served as a project engineer with Novi-based Horizon Engineering Associates. He was the primary commissioning authority during all project stages, from predesign to occupancy. Projects under his watch included commercial, municipalities, schools, higher education and health-care facilities. His specialty is “green” energy-efficient buildings.

The mayor believes Alazazi’s energy-efficiency analysis work at the Taylor Sportsplex already has saved the city substantial money.

Lamarand said further reductions will be necessary to compensate for the city’s projected loss of an estimated $1.1 million in state revenue sharing funds and a projected budget shortfall due to anticipated property tax reductions.