Finalists found for city manager

MARQUETTE — Negaunee’s search for a new city manager and city attorney may be over soon. The Negaunee City Council learned at its regular meeting Thursday that the city manager search had narrowed to four candidates, and two firms had applied for the city attorney position.

At the request of interim City Manager Gerald Koski, the council scheduled a special meeting 6 p.m. Thursday, with two items on the agenda.

The first agenda item will include presentations from each law firm vying for the city attorney position.

At the conclusion of the presentation, the council will go into closed session to review the resumes of the final city manager candidates presented by the Harding Group, a consulting group hired by the city in April.

“It looks like we have four equally qualified candidates,” Koski said, “So, we will have a little bit of work to do to decide how many we want to bring in for committee.”

Once the finalists are narrowed down, the council expects to interview each candidate separately in the next couple of weeks.

“In my experience, each interview can take between an hour to an hour and a half,” Koski said.

“It’s overwhelming to do more than one in a meeting — it’s an overload.”

Former City Manager Jeff Thornton’s last day with the city was March 9, after the council voted 5-2 to approve an employee separation agreement at a Feb. 20 special meeting.

Koski was appointed as interim city manager at the regular city council meeting March 10.

According to the city charter, an interim city manager may be in place for six months until a permanent replacement can be found.

Bruce Houghton, who has served as attorney for the city of Negaunee since 2012, tendered his resignation at the council’s regular meeting in April, citing the demands of his law practice as the reason.

Houghton agreed to stay on as city attorney into July.

Lisa Bowers can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 242. Her email address is