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Interviews set

Four candidates left vying for Marquette Township manager seat

MARQUETTE — The field of candidates for the Marquette Township manager position has been narrowed down to four.

The Marquette Township Board on Tuesday reviewed a draft contract for the position and discussed how interviews would be conducted.

The board is holding a special public meeting from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday to interview the candidates, who will remain anonymous until they appear before the board.

Each interview is expected to take up to an hour.

The names of those vying for retiring Township Manager Randy Girard’s position should not even appear on the agenda for the meeting, Township Attorney Roger Zappa said, to prevent unforeseen issues.

“Until … you see the whites of their eyes, so to speak, they have the option of withdrawing their candidacy,” Zappa said. “And I believe that at least some of the ones that you are addressing had specifically requested confidentiality while we are able to maintain that. And I have explained that, in my opinion, you can only honor that so far, and that is completely ended once they show up.”

Michigan law MCL 15.268 states that while consideration of the contents of an application for employment or appointment to public office can be held in closed session if the candidate requests confidentiality, all interviews conducted by a public body “shall be held in an open meeting pursuant to the act.”

The board narrowed the candidate pool from 17 during a special meeting on Nov. 11. Prior to moving into closed session, the board voted to remove seven candidates, identified only by alphanumeric characters, from consideration.

The board approved an up-to-six-month extension of Girard’s contract, which was set to expire on Dec. 31 in order to allow “sufficient time to complete the transition and orientation” of Superintendent of Public Works Jon Kangas, who began working for the township in September, and to “provide the board sufficient time for recruitment, placement and orientation of a new township manager,” according to a previous memo from Girard to the board.

Lisa Bowers can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 242.