Scottville Update: Traits of the next city manager.
A column by Rob Alway
On Monday, the Scottville city commissioners met with Kathie Grinzinger of the Michigan Municipal League to discuss the qualities and qualifications they are looking for in the next city manager. Grinzinger is the league recruiter for the MML and has been contracted by the city to find us a new manager.
It’s not too often that members of an elected board have the chance to sit in the same room and just openly discuss their vision and their feelings about the entity they represent. I am proud to serve on this city commission along with six other individuals who are clearly passionate about the city they each call home.
The commissioners went through an exercise with Grinzinger listing positive traits of Scottville, challenges, goals, and opportunities. Then we discussed the type of person we would like to hire to serve as city manager.
- Small town feel.
- Everyone knows each other.
- Scottville Clown Band, since 1903, 250 members.
- Sense of community.
- Strong public school system with entire campus located in the city limits.
- Public charter academy.
- Considerable efforts made to rebuild city’s infrastructure, such as water and sewer systems.
- Natural resources and outdoor activities: Riverside Park, Pere Marquette River, MacPhail Field, disc golf.
- West Shore Community College
- Access to Ludington Mass Transit Authority public transportation.
- Strong history.
- Western Michigan Old Engine Club
- Working class citizens.
- Scottville Area Senior Center
- Close proximity to Lake Michigan
- Close proximity to US 31 and US 10.
- Agricultural roots.
- Welcoming and friendly.
- Need to attract entrepreneurs.
- Lack of senior citizen housing.
- High ratio of renters compared to home owner occupants.
- Stagnant city revenues.
- Commercial and retail space available.
- Sweetland subdivision ready for new housing.
- Collaborative commission willing to make major changes in the city.
- Financial stability (city operates with a balanced budget).
Attributes/character of city manager
- Good communicator.
- Able to delegate.
- Family oriented.
- Organized. Pays attention to detail.
- Can represent the city in social and community events and committees.
- Creative, innovative thinker.
- Team player.
- Strong listening skills.
- Socially appropriate.
- Down to earth.
- Willing to talk to citizens at all hours.
- Honest and transparent.
Skills/talents (commissioners’ top four traits listed on top).
- Financial acumen.
- Economic development.
- Planning (land use).
- Project management.
- Grant writing.
- Familiar with infrastructure needs such as water/sewer systems.
- Public relations skills.
- Familiar with state and federal regulation.
- Zoning administration.
- Technologically literate with knowledge in social media.
- Minimum of bachelor’s degree in public administration, finance and/or business.
- Experience in municipalities.
- Plus: Has already worked as a city manager or assistant city manager, volunteer history, fly fishing (this was Mayor Bruce Krieger’s tongue and cheek suggestion — anyone who knows Mayor Krieger, knows he is an avid fisherman), member of city manager professional organization(s).
Grinzinger expects to have a job description and advertisement for the job ready with in the next couple of weeks.
Editor’s Note: Rob Alway is owner/editor-in-chief of Mason County Press and serves as a City of Scottville commissioner-at-large, serving on the finance/ordinance committee, public safety/infrastructure committee, Downtown Development Authority and as chair of the City of Scottville Planning Commission. He is also treasurer (and life member) of the Scottville Clown Band and serves on the Mason County Farm Bureau board of directors.