Scottville commission selects Newkirk as next city manager. 

April 19, 2021

Jim Newkirk

Scottville commission selects Newkirk as next city manager. 

SCOTTVILLE — Scottville City Commission voted unanimously tonight, Monday, April 19, during its regular meeting, to hire O’Neil James (Jim) Newkirk III as the next city manager. Newkirk, 46, who lives in Oscoda, grew up in Scottville and graduate from Mason County Central High School in 1993.

He has a bachelor’s degree in political science/campaign management from Grand Valley State University, along with a teaching certification in secondary education from Saginaw Valley State University. He also studied history and social studies from Central Michigan University and regional planning at Grand Valley State University. 

He currently works for the Michigan Department of Natural Resources as a park ranger. 

The city commission interviewed Newkirk, along with Jessica LaPointe of Branch and Christopher Frazer of Cass City, during a special meeting on April 15. LaPointe is the finance and human resources manager for Lake County Road Commission. Frazer is currently a graduate student at Central Michigan University. 

“When reviewing our applicants, I was keeping in mind some key points that I believe will be important for the rejuvenation of Scottville,” said Commissioner Nate Yeoman. “While it is vitally important that we have someone who can competently handle the administrative duties of the city manager, I believe in a city such as ours, it would be salutary to have an individual who offers much more. 

“I would like to see a city manager who can efficiently guide us through necessary capital improvements over the coming years.” 

“Mr. Newkirk fits the character of Scottville,” said Mayor Pro-Tem Rob Alway. “His family roots are deep in the community but he also has spent time away from the area. I believe he brings the leadership skills that we are looking for in a city manager. I was impressed that when asked what are Scottville’s most pressing development issues, he stated housing and downtown development. As a commissioner, those have been two areas I have also felt were two of highest priorities.” 

“I am seeking to relocate to be closer to my family while continuing working within civil service,” he stated in his cover letter to the commission. “The opportunity to return and serve my hometown is an opportunity I am quite excited about.

“I know that my proven leadership skills, strong commitment to high ethical and professional standards, and flexibility in devising proactive responses to changing conditions would allow me to make a significant contribution to the City of Scottville team,” he said.

Newkirk said he is well versed in the history of Scottville; his grandmother, June Newkirk, wrote a biography, “Back Home With Ruth”, on pioneer Ruth Falconer, which told the history of the town. Newkirk’s mother, Connie, and grandfather, O’Neil “Boots” Newkirk, were teachers at Mason County Central. His father, O’Neil James Newkirk II, was a teacher at Hart Public Schools. 

The commission authorized City Attorney Carlos Alvarado and Mayor Marcy Spencer to begin contract negotiations with Newkirk, under the consultation of the city’s personnel committee, which consists of Spencer, Alway, and Commissioner Sally Cole. The contract is expected to be ratified at the commission’s next regular meeting on Monday, May 3. 

Arch Staffing of Ludington was hired to assist in the search for the city manager. President Carla Hanson, a graduate of MCC and resident of Riverton Township, wrote a letter to Mayor Spencer announcing that her company was waiving its $5,000 fee. 

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