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Long wait in city of Ishpeming may be over very soon

It’s been far too long since the city of Ishpeming had itself a fully committed manager, but the wait may nearly be over.

Mark Slown left the post almost six months ago, and after a botched attempt or two at hiring his replacement, it appears the Ishpeming City Council has finally found the person for the job.

Craig Cugini is expected to take over as Ishpeming’s city manager by the beginning of February.

Cugini isn’t new to working for John Q. Taxpayer. He’s got more than 25 years of government service, and most recently he’s been acting as deputy garrison commander at Fort Greely in Alaska. The position is “analogous to public sector city manager or city administrator in terms of running operations and infrastructure and programs,” according to his resume, as cited in a recent Journal article.

The council on Wednesday unanimously approved an employment agreement with Cugini, who’s expected to sign the contract.

The agreement is written for two years, but officials said it’s indefinite, meaning it could be extended beyond that time frame.

Following Slown’s departure in early June, Ishpeming Finance Director Jim Lampman and later Police Chief Steve Snowaert stepped up to fill the role.

From where we sat, the city appeared to be in quite capable hands, as both men seemed to do a fine job at running the municipality’s operations.

But, more than likely, they had other duties in their respective positions to tend to as well, so getting a full-time manager behind the desk again was an important task the council had to get done.

“I think it’s been a long process for the city,” Snowaert said in the Journal story. “It’s been since June, ever since Mark Slown left, and I think the city has found a very competent, qualified individual to take over as city manager. I think we are very happy with (the council’s) choice.”

Assuming Cugini signs the contract, we look forward to his arrival in Ishpeming. With a more stable sense of leadership at city hall, the municipality and its employees can finally get back to work on other issues.