Council discusses options for city manager vacancy

REED CITY — Change has come to Reed City. As two new faces were welcomed to the Reed City council table, board members worked together to decide how to fill the vacancy left by outgoing City Manager Ron Marek. After announcing his resignation in September, Marek will leave the administration on Friday and enter the private sector. To fill one aspect of Marek’s duties, the council approved 17-year Department of Public Works employee Tom Plummer to serve as the city’s new interim DPW superintendent. Plummer will receive a $2 an hour raise. The position was last filled by Kevin Rambadt, who retired earlier this year. Marek had served as interim superintendent since Rambadt’s retirement. Having been the DPW foreman for the past six years, Plummer said he anticipates the workload being manageable. “We’ve all been helping since Kevin left. Ron had been doing a good job, and now he’s leaving. Everybody has to work together,” Plummer said. Plummer, 59, said he would not be interested in filling the position full time, because he plans to retire in a few years. Plummer will be in charge of the DPW until June 30, 2013. Along with appointing Plummer to manage a portion of the vacated duties following Marek’s resignation, the council formed a committee to seek an interim city manager. The committee will seek an individual to fill the position part-time interim city manager to help the city treasurer after Marek’s departure. The city charter dictates, the council has six months from Nov. 16 to fill the vacant city manager’s position. “I have a couple of feelers out for people, but I think we would need a committee to see if they would have the qualifications to help us,” said Mayor Bonnie Danzeisen, who was appointed to serve as mayor for two more years at the meeting. The committee to chose an interim city manager will consist of Danzeisen, newcomer Roger Meinert, Phil Rathbun, Marlene Fatum and city treasurer Barb Westerburg. At Danzeisen’s request, another committee will meet with representatives from the Evart City Council to explore ways of potentially sharing personel resources for the city’s vacant positions. “We all know that the governor has been suggesting that communities look at these kinds of things to be able to save money and share,” Danzeisen said. After commending both Westerburg and city clerk Jackie Beam for their hard work during the election and auditing processes earlier in the meeting, Marek gave his last remarks at the council table. He encouraged the city to maintain its relationship with the surrounding townships, which have been formed through the creation of the Reed City/Richmond Economic Development Committee and the Greater Reed City Area Recreation Authority during his time as city manager. “The thing that I’m going to miss the most about this job are the department heads and employees,” Marek said. “The biggest asset of this community is the people.” The next meeting of the Reed City council will be at 7 p.m. on Dec. 17 at Reed City City Hall.