Michael Young, Rockford’s city manager for 17 years, had his employment contract extended one year after his recent annual city council evaluation.
Young’s contract is a three-year agreement. He asked for and was given a two percent salary increase. Once again this year, the increase is in line with the City of Rockford employee groups with whom he had negotiated contracts.
The council rated Young’s overall performance as “excellent.”
A city manager wears many hats, including managing the city’s diverse staff and work flow; controlling the city’s budget and financial position; interacting and serving the public; and communicating with the city council. Young is able to juggle all of the hats. The council fully supports Young for his ability to successfully work with the several and diverse community groups, governmental agencies, and local businesses located in Rockford. As the council looks around the city to contemplate changes that have happened during Young’s 17-year tenure, they deem it impressive.
Mayor Steve J. Jazwiec stated, “I couldn’t think of a better person to represent us. He is an extremely valuable asset to our community. Michael’s influence and impact on the community are very noticeable.”
All Michigan cities, townships, villages and counties are encountering difficult financial situations. Rockford, under Young’s leadership, has been able to do two things that are exemplary. First, it has been able to maintain a healthy fund balance while keeping the tax rate at 10.9 mills, the third lowest millage rate in the county for municipalities without a city income tax. The 2012-2013 budget as presented by Young and approved by council will ensure that continued excellent financial condition through June 2013.
Second, Rockford has been able to continue to provide excellent service to the public despite a declining revenue environment and staff reductions that have totaled 25 percent over the past three years. For example, residents have continued to see improvements to the various parks throughout the city. Many of these improvements, such as the recently completed Rogue River Trail Phase Three, are due to grants written by Young. Infrastructure improvements, as proposed within the budget, have continued to occur such as this summer’s repaving of Division St. from the Bridge east to Wolverine Ave. In addition, the combining of the police, fire, and public works departments into one Public Safety Department will have a far-reaching positive effect on service to the public and will help maintain the budget.
The highlights are many. The net result is that Michael Young is an excellent city manager who has given his best to the City of Rockford for the past 17 years. Rockford City Council feels he is prepared to continue that performance into the future.