Finalist withdraws from Marquette city manager hunt

One candidate remains; city commission to discuss course of action at Monday meeting

MARQUETTE — The pool has been narrowed down to one finalist in the search to find the city of Marquette’s next manager after candidate John Kramer withdrew his application from consideration, city officials confirmed Friday.

Kramer was named one of two finalists under consideration for the position at a Marquette City Commission special meeting Tuesday night. The other finalist named Tuesday is Karen Kovacs, city administrator for downstate Milan.

Kramer was named one of six finalists to advance to the public interview stage along with Kovacs, Dan Stoltman, Richard Downey, Sean Hobbins and Gary Simpson. The city received a total of 40 applications for the position after a national search that began earlier this year. ­

It’s unknown why Kramer withdrew from the search. The Mining Journal attempted to contact Kramer for comment, but a response was not received before press time Friday night.

Marquette City Commissioner Evan Bonsall provided the following statement:

“John Kramer has withdrawn his application for city manager. The city commission will be discussing the city manager search at our regular meeting on Monday night, and we will likely entertain and vote on a motion on how to move forward with Karen Kovacs. After the city commission makes a conditional offer of employment to a candidate, a negotiating subcommittee composed of three city commissioners will negotiate a contract with the new city manager.”

Marquette Mayor Jenna Smith did not return a request for comment before press time.

Kramer is currently the director of operations for the Fox Valley Park District in Aurora, Illinois, a position he’s held since 2016. He was previously employed by the Chicago Zoological Society and the city of Wood Dale, Illinois. He’s a graduate of Northern Michigan University, as well as Aurora University in Illinois, where he earned his master’s of business administration degree.

Kovacs has been the city administrator of Milan since July 2019. Before that role, she spent almost four years as the finance director and treasurer for the city.

Prior to that position, she was a governmental accounting professional consultant for Plante & Moran PLLC. Kovacs graduated with an accounting degree and a minor in applied technology in business from Oakland University.

Walsh Municipal Services LLC was hired by the city in February to conduct the search for a new manager. Current Marquette City Manager Mike Angeli is set to retire at the end of the month.

Monday night’s regular commission meeting is slated to begin at 6 p.m. A full agenda can be found at https://marquette.novusagenda.com/Agendapublic/.

To watch the livestream, visit www.youtube.com/user/CityofMarquetteGov or tune in to Spectrum Channel 191. Written public comments will be limited to 500 words and can be submitted to Marquette Assistant City Manager Sean Hobbins by emailing shobbins@marquettemi.gov. Written submissions will be accepted until noon on Monday.

To provide a public comment over the phone, call 312-626-6799 and enter the meeting I.D. 854 4272 7958.

Ryan Spitza can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 248. His email address is rspitza@miningjournal.net.


Today's breaking news and more in your inbox

I'm interested in (please check all that apply)
Are you a paying subscriber to the newspaper *

Starting at $4.62/week.

Subscribe Today