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Finding a manager not always an easy task to complete

Sometimes government works slowly.

This concept isn’t new, but circumstances can dictate how slowly it works, often beyond a governmental entity’s control.

For instance, Marquette Township still is searching for a new manager to succeed the retiring manager, Randy Girard.

The township started the search in October, but a new manager might not be in place for a while.

Township board members interviewed three candidates on Nov. 23, but didn’t offer employment to any of them. Former Township Supervisor Dennis Liimatta then asked to have his name removed from consideration because of personal reasons, but was asked if he would interview for the position later.

He subsequently interviewed for the position on Jan. 3, after which he was tendered an offer of employment. However, he eventually declined to take the position.

That leaves the township in a bind. Girard’s contract was set to expire on Dec. 31, but it was extended until June 1, with Girard possibly staying until the end of June if needed for a smooth transition.

In the meantime, township staff will place ads with the Michigan Townships Association and the Michigan Municipal League.

It’s expected Girard will present options to obtain direct recruitment services for the position from either the MML or a private consultant unless candidates are found before that date at the board’s March 18 meeting.

The estimate for consulting services is between $12,000 and $27,000.

It appears the township followed normal procedures, although it could be argued the Liimatta situation could have been handled differently early in the process.

Still, the board had no idea he wouldn’t accept the position eventually, and it would have to start over.

We are confident the Marquette Township Board and staff will handle these unforeseen circumstances and move ahead in a timely manner, barring other issues, with finding a manager.

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