Search on for new AP administrator

Sunday Times Newspapers

ALLEN PARK – In the wake of former City Administrator John Zech’s resignation, the city is looking “outside the box” the fill the position, City Councilors said Tuesday.

Mayor William Matakas said Tuesday that since Zech left May 31, he has contacted organizations including the Michigan Municipal League, the city’s financial management firm, Plante and Moran, and its bank, Comerica Bank, to look for recent retirees or people with management experience looking to change careers as well as posting the position on websites accessible by graduates of Eastern Michigan University, University of Michigan-Dearborn, and Wayne State University.

“People aren’t rushing through the doors here when they see you’re in the preliminary steps of an emergency manager,” Matakas said. “So this will not be an easy search.”

But though the search continues, Matakas mentioned two candidates – Former Grosse Pointe Shores City Manager Brian Vick and former Emergency Financial Manager of Pontiac Fred Leeb – who the city’s Human Resources Commission and Human Resources Manager Don Wood will interview at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday at City Hall. Trenton City Administrator Jim Wagner will moderate. The interview is open to the public.

Matakas updated the council on his progress in filling the position – by charter he has 60 days to recommend a candidate for the council’s approval – after Councilman Harry Sisko introduced another resolution directing Wood to start a search for a city administrator by using methods including ads in newspapers and other media.

Sisko said his resolution, which was voted down after Matakas’ update, was meant as a “tool to the mayor” and that he was “just hearing about” any steps Matakas had made toward a new city administrator.

Councilman Dennis Hayes agreed, citing a lack of communication between Matakas and the council.

That miscommunication also took center stage during a related discussion – about an email Zech had sent to the council on his last day in which he named his temporary replacement – Building Official Dave Boomer. In his email, Zech said Matakas appointed Boomer – a task not outlined in the mayor’s role by charter – at the meeting, Matakas said Zech did.

“I’m very careful about the duties of the mayor,” Matakas said. “I cannot explain why Mr. Zech said what he did, but it’s not how I believe it happened.”

Boomer accepted, but had “reservations” including how he would handle his current position, which includes marketing the city’s former studio property. Councilors approved the appointment of Boomer on a temporary basis pending additional details.