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Marquette Township hires consultant

Randy Girard, manager, Marquette Township

MARQUETTE — As it continued taking steps to find a new township manager, the Marquette Township Board conducted its business in a novel way at its Tuesday meeting due to coronavirus concerns.

Four of the seven board members were present at the Marquette Township Hall, which constitutes a quorum under the Open Meetings Act, according to Attorney Roger Zappa, while the remaining three board members participated in the meeting via teleconference. No public was present.

The board voted unanimously to hire Frank Walsh of Walsh Municipal Services to conduct the manager search for the township at a cost of $12,500.

According to the company’s website, the firm’s primary focus is “recruiting and finding municipal managers for Michigan municipalities.”

Current Marquette Township Manager Randy Girard had provided information to the board about the search prior to the meeting and contacted Walsh Tuesday. He said he expected to receive a formal contract from Walsh by the end of the day Wednesday.

“We talked a little bit about the history,” Girard told the board. “He is going to put together a formal contract. I am going to be in place for this, so I can do some of the things that he needs done here locally as opposed to having us pay him to do it. And he is OK with that.”

Girard, who has held the position for over 17 years, is set to retire in June. The board has been actively seeking a replacement since August but had not previously sought the services of an outside firm.

The board also approved a resolution to amend the township’s 2020 budget, for an additional $13,928 in expenditures from its general fund into its Township Improvement Fund for proposed road maintenance approved at its March 3 meeting.

Several other proposed items were removed from Tuesday’s agenda for consideration during a future meeting, including a discussion of a payment in lieu of taxes for the Lost Creek senior living apartment complex, as well as the possible expansion of township ambulance services.

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

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