Kangas offered township manager position


MARQUETTE — The Marquette Township Board has offered its manager postion to public works supervisor Jon Kangas.

The board voted unanimously to offer Kangas a conditional offer of employment for the position of township manager, following a second interview with the candidate during a special meeting on Friday.

If negotiations are successful, Kangas will replace manager Randy Girard, who is set to retire.

Supervisor Lyn Durant and the township’s hiring consultant Frank Walsh of Walsh Municipal Services will negotiate the contract with Kangas prior to bringing it to the board for final approval.

Kangas was hired in the public works department in September to replace outgoing supervisor Kirk Page. He is the former Chocolay Township manager, and prior taking that post he was the supervisor of the city of Ishpeming’s public works department for nearly a decade.

In November, Kangas was one of three township manager candidates interviewed by the Marquette Township Board. At the time, none of those individuals was offered the position. Two conditional offers were made to other candidates over the subsequent six months, one to former township supervisor Dennis Liimatta in January and one to former Lawrence Kansas city manager Thomas Markus in May. Both candidates eventually withdrew their names from consideration.

Board trustee Ernest Johnson said Kangas’ knowledge and experience make him a good fit for the township.

“I think the first time around he was just a new employee to the township, and all we had to go on was his background and experience (from other places),” Johnson said. “Now that he has showed us what he is capable of, that has changed my mind 100%. Just looking at what he had done, and the efforts he has put in there and what’s been accomplished in the department. I think it’s fantastic.”

Kangas thanked the board for its willingness to grant him a second interview.

“Everything happens for a reason. The only thing that made me hesitate is that I have had more time to get comfortable in the position I’m in, too. And I really do like the position I have,” Kangas said, “and what I told you today is also true and I look forward to greater opportunity, greater challenges.”

The board may discuss the contract during its meeting at 6:30 p.m. today, but the topic is not on the agenda.

The meeting will be held via Zoom teleconference due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Those wishing to join via computer or smart device should go to https://us02web.zoom.us/j/83767515014.

Those wishing to join by phone can dial 1-646-558-8656 and key in the meeting ID 83767515014# when prompted.


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