Consultant hired to lead village manager search

Village Council on Monday will take the first step toward hiring a new manager when it meets with Michigan Municipal League consultant Bill Baldridge to define an ideal candidate.
Marie Havenga
Mar 1, 2012

The village will pay Baldridge between $7,000 and $8,000 to guide and oversee the quest for a replacement for Ryan Cotton, who will take over as city manager in Holland on March 27 after a decade leading the village.

Baldridge, a North Muskegon resident, assisted the Spring Lake Township Board in its search for a manager, which ended in 2007 with the hiring of Gordon Gallagher. He also served as Grand Haven’s interim city manager for several months in 2004 before the hiring of Pat McGinnis, but was not involved in the search process that landed McGinnis.

“Bill is a veteran at this kind of thing,” said Village President Jim MacLachlan. “He’s a very experienced and learned gentleman, and we’re very happy and pleased to have him onboard to help with this.

“With the help of Mr. Baldridge, we’ll be developing a candidate profile,” MacLachlan continued. “We’ll be talking about what kind of experience we’re looking for, educational background and characteristics we’d like in a new manager.”

From there, Baldridge will advertise the position, set up interviews with council’s choice of candidates, facilitate the interviews and assist in contract negotiations.

MacLachlan noted that no one on Village Council has experience searching for or hiring municipal managers.

“Having someone there to guide us along in the process I think is very important so we don’t make any missteps along the way,” MacLachlan said. “We feel it is money well-spent. We feel having a professional consultant is really the prudent thing to do.”

Baldridge has been conducting manager searches for Michigan municipalities since he retired from his post as Royal Oak city manager in 1995 after 19 years. He also served as the Norton Shores city administrator from 1968-75.

To read more of this story, see today’s print or e-edition of the Grand Haven Tribune.

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