Ishpeming has found new city manager

The search for a city manager in Ishpeming may finally be over.

The Ishpeming City Council voted 4-1 to offer the position to former Sandisfield, Massachusetts, Town Administrator Fred Ventresco during a special meeting Wednesday.

Ishpeming’s Interim City Manager Jim Lampman or Mayor Karl Lehmann were expected to reach out to Ventresco following the meeting.

Ventresco was brought before the council for an interview last Thursday after being interviewed by phone in June. He was the only candidate granted a second interview by the council. He has 15 years of work experience in state and local government administration, according to his LinkedIn profile.

Lehmann, who made the motion to hire Ventresco, said he is a good fit for the community.

“I spent some time with him while he was here, sat through the two interviews top to bottom, and everything I found out about him checked all the boxes of what I thought we were looking for,” Lehmann said.

Councilman Stu Skauge, who cast the sole nay vote, said he was concerned that Ventresco did not have enough experience in communities the size of Ishpeming, among other things.

“I can’t vote for him because I feel we can do better,” Skauge said. “He’s the only one on the table right now, but I am willing to look a little harder because I think we can do better. Don’t just settle for someone because he is the only choice you have.”

We hope that whether Ventresco accepts the position or not, the city is able to bring this ongoing search to a conclusion. The former city manager, Mark Slown, left behind some big shoes to fill, but we believe the council will do its very best to find a worthy replacement.

“Sometimes we think only in terms of the candidate impressing us,” Lehmann said. “But conversely, we have to impress upon the candidate that the wage and benefits, the community, the support from the community and all the other things that make a successful city manager are also in place, and I think this is one of them.”

It is unclear when Ventresco would begin work for the city if he accepts the offer, officials said.