Hunt for New Clare City Manager Begins

February 17, 2020

After 22 years with the city of Clare, City Manager Ken Hibl will retire in June.

By Pat Maurer

With City Manager Ken Hibl retiring June 30th, the City Commission is gearing up to find a replacement.

Hibl submitted a letter to the Clare City Commission December 6th announcing his plans to retire on June 30th. He has been City Manager for the past 22 years.

At the February 3rd City Commission meeting in Hibl’s agenda report he said he would not be making any recommendations regarding the search to the board because, “selecting a new city manager is solely the prerogative of the Clare City Commission.”

He did however list a range of options available to the board including selecting an internal candidate; selecting a local (City of Clare) resident or businessman for the position; conducting a formal external search using City resources; or conducting an external search using the services of a professional search organization. “There are a number of high-quality search companies available to do this work,” he reported.

Hibl said, “I invited the search firm that I am most familiar and comfortable with based on my long-term relationship with the Michigan Municipal League, one of the absolute best at what it does, and one that already knows Clare by reputation and as a neighbor.”

He continued, “MML’s Lead Executive Recruiter is Kathie Grinzinger, the former (retired) City Manager of Mt. Pleasant. Kathy has a team of retired, experienced, former Michigan city managers/administrators to assist her in the selection process.

Grinzinger, of the MML gave a power point presentation to the board outlining options available to the City if they were selected to conduct the candidate search. She said the process takes 120 days from the first meeting with the board. She said MML would develop a recruitment profile to attract quality applicants including a candidate profile; community profile; and organizational profile.

Next, they would develop an advertising strategy creating a brochure and ads based on profiles ad develop an outreach strategy using access with municipal managers, profiles on MML website, ICMA outreach and other including social media contacts and national associations. Grinzinger recommended advertising for four weeks for the best candidates.

MML will receive, review and rate the resumes, conduct initial reference checks, present screened candidates to the Commission and develop an interview strategy with customized interview questions.

The final phases for the search for a new manager will include extending a conditional offer of employment to the board’s choice; provision of information and contract template to negotiators, and conducting an extensive background investigation and an additional reference review if necessary.

The typical service package costs $17,000 and includes elected officials and staff in the profiling process; development of a candidate and community profile and professional recruitment brochure; featured placement in the leagues’ classifieds; recruitment of passive candidates; application analysis and personal pre-screening of viable applicants; reference checks, social media check and in depth background investigation by a third party on the final candidate; and the customized interview questions and selection format process.

The basic package at a $14,000 cost, has only three site visits with the search facilitator; only council involvement during profiling process; a basic candidate and community brochure; advertisements on MML, ICMA, and two other job boards; and recruitment of active candidates only.

After the MML presentation, the Commission voted to approve the typical search package with Grinzinger for $17,000.

Water rates for the city residents and businesses will be going up this summer to cover the costs of the water system improvements and replacing the lead service lines discovered downtown.

The Commission approved a $200,000 interfund loan from the Sewer Fund to the Water Fund to cover the excess cost of the water plant improvements (iron filters) and for the upgrade of 14 water service leads in the downtown area that are partly or completely made of lead. The lines will be replaced (the low bid for the project was $128,000). The $200,000 loan will be repaid to the Sewer Fund over four years with semi-annual payments of $25,828.22 including interest. The project will require City water rates to be increase by 6.8 percent beginning July 1 to pay for the improvements.

In another matter at the regular meeting that evening, the Commission voted to recognize Police Captain Dave Saad for “20 years as a sworn police officer and [for] previously serving as a firefighter with the Clare Fire Department for four years. He has also served as the acting Police Chief when needed.

Dave was presented with a $75 employment longevity stipend and a resolution for the City. Hibl said “He is one of the best, a cops’ cop.”
Other business at the City meeting included:
*Approval of a pay application from Peerless-Midwest for the remainder of the funds due for the project water improvements: the fabrication and installation of the iron removal filters totaling $173,338.68.
*Approval of an increase in the monthly cost of recycling upping those services from $4.85 per month to $6.25 a month. Hibl reported, “We unexpectedly received an unanticipated rate increase from Waste Management for recycle services.
*Approval of the renewal of Jason Koch and Larry Wyman to the Cherry Grove Cemetery Advisory Board and approval of the reappointment of Larry Wyman, John Audretsch and Mel Johns to the Tree Advocacy Group.
*Approval of bills totaling $351,789.64 the total for the street improvement projects contracted to Robbin Harsh Excavating.
*Approval of payables totaling $197,628.68.

Share This Post

Error, no group ID set! Check your syntax!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *