New county deputy administrator settling in to job

February 16, 2024

Kaitlyn Szczypka

New county deputy administrator settling in to job

By Rob Alway, Editor-in-Chief

PERE MARQUETTE TOWNSHIP — Mason County’s government is in the process of a historic change. After 30 years, the county is in the process of transitioning to a new administrator. On Jan. 2, Kaitlyn Szczypka began her role as deputy administrator with the expectation that she will become administrator within the year.

In November 1993, the Mason County Board of Commissioners hired Fabian Knizacky, a Free Soil native who had been serving as Eaton Rapids city manager. Knizacky was the first county administrator. Prior, administrative duties were handled by the elected commissioners. Knizacky was scheduled to retire this month, but, at the request of the county commission, agreed to stay on to mentor Szczypka.

Szczypka was previously the clerk of the Village of Elk Rapids. Previous to that she served in the register of deeds office and emergency operations at Antrim County. Szczypka grew up on a farm in rural VanBuren County. She is a 2017 graduate of Michigan State University where she earned a bachelor’s degrees in public policy and history.

“Mason County is very similar to where I grew up,” she said. “There’s a small town atmosphere. The community members are so kind. I have met so many great people so far who are just interested in moving the communities forward.”

Szczypka said she has been learning a lot about Mason County both in an administrative level and as a community. She is currently working on a grant that will provide $500,000 to assist homeowners with home repairs.

She said working with Knizacky is allowing her to understand the specifics of how Mason County is governed over the course of a year. One of the major processes will be working on the budget and the audit.

“I’m very grateful that Fabian has extended his retirement for a year,” Szczypka said. “This really allows me to learn from someone who literally defined the position.”

Szczypka said she was also honored to be chosen by the Board of Commissioners to become Knizacy’s successor.

“On a county level, Mason County has no debt. It’s a very financially sound county and the county board has been a good steward of the taxpayers’ money. I hope to continue that, by carrying out the directives of the county board and sustaining our current financial status.”

When Szczypka interviewed in front of the commission, one of her identified strengths was her experience in overseeing website design for her previous employers. She said she expects to be tasked to modernize Mason County’s website to make it more user friendly and more transparent.

“I have a lot of experience in building accessible data archives,” Szczypka said. “One of my college degrees is in history and I have a strong interest in making sure that documents are scanned and searchable by the public.”


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