(Crystal A. Proxmire, Feb 11, 2014)
The City of Pleasant Ridge has embarked on the search for a long-term City Manager. The job posting went live on the Michigan Municipal League website with details about what they are looking for, and offering.
“The ideal candidate must also possess the leadership skills to inspire and motivate staff, elected officials, and other stakeholders, and promote collaboration between city officials and residents. Comfort with being easily accessible to residents is a key attribute. The candidate must have demonstrated experience in both visioning and strategic planning, intergovernmental relations, grant management, planning and economic development, personnel and labor relations, budget and finance, and a proven track record of successful community engagement,” the ad states.
The salary range is $75,000-95,000 plus benefits, and applicants must apply by March 4. The position became available after Former City Manager Sherry Ball announced her retirement in July. John Zech was then selected to work as the Interim City Manager, but then family issues prevented him from taking on the task. Instead he is helping facilitate a Citizens Advisory Committee while longtime Assistant City Manager Scott Pietrzak is serving as the Acting City Manager.
Describing the community, the ad states “Pleasant Ridge is a small community of about 2,500 residents, 1,100 homes and approximately 28 businesses. With a general operating budget of $2.4 million and 17 full-time employees, Pleasant Ridge prides itself on offering a full suite of services to its residents, while maintaining its autonomy and fiscal stability. The direction for the city is set by the mayor and four city commission members, while the operation of the city is supervised by the city manager. The city has had five managers since 1971. The city manager is the city’s primary interface to its community, business partners, neighboring communities, and state government.”
The Pleasant Ridge City Commission is working with the Michigan Municipal League to attract qualified candidates. “The Michigan Municipal League is the umbrella organization for cities and villages in Michigan. Among the many services they provide is that of Executive Searches – City Manager being top on the list. Persons looking for job opportunities in municipal government know to look on the MML website. They provide an expert consultant who works to develop a comprehensive posting and then screens the applicants to provide the Commission with the top 8 -10,” said Pleasant Ridge Mayor Kurt Metzger.
“While the job description provides a detailed overview of the background and skills we are looking for, the critical characteristic is VISION. I am looking for a candidate who believes strongly in community engagement and has experience with the tools to enhance that experience. I want someone who is well versed with technology and social media. Finally, I am looking for a person who will seek out his/her fellow city managers in our neighboring communities to plan collaborative activities around complete streets, regional transit, economic development and much more.”
Pleasant Ridge has a history of working with its neighbors. Examples include a previous arrangement with Oak Park for leaf collection, work with Royal Oak for water bills, and a 50 year old relationship with the Ferndale Fire Department for fire and rescue.
To learn more about the City Manager position, check out the listing on the Michigan Municipal League website at http://www.mml.org/classifieds/results2.php?id=6065. Other cities listing City Manager positions on the site include South Lyon, Hamtramck, Imaly City, and Sault St. Marie.
For previous stories about Pleasant Ridge leadership, see:
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NOTE: This story has been updated from a previous version to reflect the Acting City Manager’s position status.