Manager choice expected this week

Sunday Times Newspapers

LINCOLN PARK — Two key votes are expected this week by city council, one to accept the terms of state oversight, the other to appoint the city manager who will serve under those guidelines.

Mayor Thomas Karnes said city officials will likely accept a consent agreement that had been negotiated with state treasury officials (see related story), and also confirm who will succeed City Manager Joseph Merucci, who will vacate the office this week.

Karnes said three candidates for the position were selected for vetting, and he expected background check results in time for a decision this week. Representatives of the state financial review team were also advised of the pending selection for city manager.

“We’re waiting for the state to come back with their recommendation,” Karnes said last week. “We’ve done our investigations. I don’t know the results just yet.”

Four candidates to succeed Merucci — who will next week begin as city manager of Wayne — have been interviewed by city council members. Robert Cady — assistant city manager for Roseville — was interviewed last month but the appointment stalled with a deadlocked 3-3 city council vote. Dissenting votes held nothing against Cady, but had hoped to consider more than one candidate for the critical position.

A second round of interviews were held earlier this month, from which two more candidates were selected for background screening and vetting.

Karnes said that when the council votes this week it will likely be between Cady and two candidates from the second round of interviews: Michael Mitchell, who has served as city manager in Hillsdale and New Buffalo, and Chris Olson, whose experience includes consulting with the Village of Elberta during that community’s deficit-elimination plan.

(James Mitchell can be reached at