Marquette Township Board to hold special meeting regarding manager contract/candidate

Marquette Township Department of Public Works Superintendent Jon Kangas listens to a question during a meeting of the Marquette Township Board at the Marquette Township Hall on Tuesday as board trustees Dan Everson and Jon Markes look on. The board approved the $88,000 purchase of a 221 Case tractor from Miller Bradford for year-round use. (Journal photo by Lisa Bowers)

MARQUETTE — The Marquette Township Board will consider who its next manager might be as well as what that person’s contract might look like during a special meeting at 3 p.m. Thursday at the Marquette Township Community Center.

The board voted unanimously to set the special meeting.

Members interviewed three candidates on Nov. 23, but declined to extend any of those individuals an offer of employment. The fourth candidate had contacted the board on Nov. 23 to remove his name from consideration for personal reasons. The board reached back out to the candidate, former township supervisor Dennis Liimatta, during a meeting on Nov. 25.

An interview with Liimatta, who is currently employed by Grand Blanc Township as its superintendent, was conducted on Friday.

The board opted to set the special meeting as opposed to a work session to allow trustees to make motions and cast votes on issues. A work session would allow for discussion of the issues, but would not present an opportunity to cast a vote.

The board also requested that Township Attorney Roger Zappa be present during Thursday’s special meeting.

Current township manager Randy Girard, who has been with the township for nearly 18 years, is expected to retire by June.

The purchase of an $88,610 221 Case wheel loader from Miller Bradford was also unanimously approved by the board.

The machine will be used year-round and is expected to function “much more efficiently” than a John Deere tractor purchased by the township in 2014, Superintendent of Public Works Jon Kangas said.

“I think with this machine, we can do everything that we want to with it currently. And, in the future, if we find other uses you can buy a skid steer attachment that will work right on this same machine,” Kangas said. “That’s the big idea with this quick coupler on the loader.”

Kangas said 50% of the proposed purchase will be funded with $44,305 from the township’s Metro Authority-Vehicles Fund, $22,152.50 from the Wastewater Fund-Vehicles and $22,152.50 from the Water Fund-Vehicles.

Girard said the current tractor will still be used by the township.

“It’s not really past its life, its life has expanded beyond it,” Girard said. “We will continue to use that for lesser activities like the ice rink, cleaning the hydrants — things such as that. But for the heavier work that we are talking about, we will use this heavier piece of equipment.”

Board members also scheduled a special meeting from 1 to 3 p.m. Jan. 15 to discuss 2020 strategic planning for the township.

During the meeting, the board also honored outgoing public works Superintendent Kirk Page for his decades of service.

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