Village may consider shared manager

Village Council members are focused on finding a new manager, and several say they're not opposed to using a close-up lens - and looking in their own backyard.
Marie Havenga
Mar 6, 2012


Council met with professional search consultant Bill Baldridge on Monday to hammer out a profile for a replacement for Village Manager Ryan Cotton, who will take over the Holland city manager post on March 27.

Baldridge planned to finalize a job advertisement today to publish in a national municipal manager magazine. The deadline for applications is April 12.

After Baldridge concluded his presentation and left the meeting, village resident Joyce Verplank Hatton asked council to consider more consolidation with Spring Lake Township — specifically the township’s manager, Gordon Gallagher.

Councilman Dave Bennett said it’s possible a neighboring community such as Spring Lake Township, Norton Shores or even Grand Rapids could submit a proposal to share a manager.

“I think we need to be really open-minded,” Bennett said. “What Mrs. Hatton mentioned should be considered. We should continue with the search process, but we could run dual tracks here. If someone from another municipality wants to come in and interview, we could take a look at it.”

Bennett noted a shared manager could save the village money in salary and benefits.

The village and township currently share planning and zoning services, fire coverage, assessing services, and maintaining Central Park and Lakeside Beach.

When contacted by phone Monday night, Spring Lake Township Supervisor John Nash said the Township Board would listen to any proposals village officials had to offer.

“We’re always interested in collaborating,” Nash said. “If Village Council wants to share a manager, I’m sure we would be very receptive to the discussion. We would have to see exactly what the parameters are. To add 2,000 residents to a municipality of 12,500 shouldn’t be something we can’t handle.”

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


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