Board approves extension for Girard’s position

MARQUETTE — Marquette Township Manager Randy Girard has board approval to work beyond his Dec. 31 retirement date.

Marquette Township Board members on Tuesday voted unanimously to allow Girard to stay in his position up to five additional months beyond his two-year contract with prorated benefits to facilitate a smooth transition to a new township manager.

Township Supervisor Lyn Durant said the extension “makes sense,” for the township.

“If you kind of look at the timeline — and Clerk (Randy) Ritari has done that rather thoroughly — trying to analyze getting a recruitment company in, having them do the work, trying to find the applicants, doing the background checks, completing the testing could take us through November, possibly December,” Durant said. “So by that time, with interviewing, it could end up being into spring before we may actually have someone in place, and we want him to work with Randy (Girard).”

Trustee John Markes made the motion to grant the extension.

“I think that we have had the benefit of having the service of Girard as a manager and an employee that has walked with us through some very troubled times,” Markes said. “My own personal feeling is, if he would like to have an extension of five months, regardless of any other reason, I would support that, and I would encourage others to think about the value that we have of retaining him for five additional months.”

The additional time would provide township officials sufficient time to complete the transition and orientation of the new superintendent of public works and complete a search for a new township manager, Girard told the board.

“I just want to make sure that you as a board is comfortable with who the replacement is,” Girard said.

The board voted to hire current Chocolay Township Manager Jon Kangas to replace outgoing Marquette Township Public Works Supervisor Kirk Page in June. Kangas’ first day is expected to be Sept. 16.

“It was my intention to retire as of December 31 of this year and then Mr. Page basically announced his retirement as of December 31,” Girard said. “So we engaged in this discussion, the board and I in public session. We engaged in several options about extending my retirement to give you the opportunity, if you choose to, to engage in outside resources to do the search for you, which you opted to do.”

The board voted to send out a request for proposals seeking service providers in July, with bids received by Aug. 13.

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