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Manager candidate interviewed in Negaunee

February 3, 2011
By JOHANNA BOYLE Journal Ishpeming Bureau

NEGAUNEE - Continuing its search for a new city manager, the Negaunee City Council held an interview for one candidate Wednesday, with an interview with a second candidate set for next Wednesday.

Former Delta County administrator Joe Erickson met with the council to answer questions about his experiences working with Delta County, as well as a previous position held position as township superintendent in the Iron Mountain area.

"Being a manager in a small city, you wear a lot of hats," Erickson said.

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Erickson said he was familiar with issues facing Upper Peninsula small towns, and was familiar with Marquette County, having attended high school in Gwinn.

During the interview, Erickson characterized himself as dedicated, thorough and open to ideas.

"I don't have all the answers and it's nice to listen to what other folks have to say," he said, adding that he liked to meet one on one with department heads and council members to get their input.

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Joe Erickson, one of the candidates for the position of Negaunee city manager, talks with the city council Wednesday during his interview. Erickson is a former Delta County administrator and has worked with communities in the western Upper Peninsula. (Journal photo by Johanna Boyle)

The council questioned Erickson on his experience dealing with city issues from public works projects to grant writing to managing employees.

"I was always focused on the small town and smaller issues," he said. "As I've had the experience of working in small cities ... I learned a lot of practical ways to deal with situations where you don't have a lot of funds to work with so you have to get creative in some ways."

Erickson also spoke about his experience with projects carried out by more than one municipality, such as helping to set up the Gogebic Range Water Authority in the western U.P. and working with the local Native American tribes.

Council members also asked about Erickson's experience with labor negotiations and putting together a budget. Council members said they were pleased with Erickson's answers.

"I thought it was a good interview," Councilman Paul Maino said. "You sure hit home with some of your answers."

The council has scheduled another interview with a second candidate for 6:30 p.m. Wednesday at the Negaunee Senior Center.

Negaunee also recently saw the resignation of Department of Public Works Superintendent Dan Czarnecki for a career advancement opportunity, interim City Manager Gerald Koski said. Koski said City Assessor David Palmer, who has prior experience heading the DPW, will be serving as the interim superintendent while the city evaluates the position and decides how to move forward.

Johanna Boyle can be reached at 906-486-4401. Her e-mail address is



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