The Rockford City Council has announced the timing and details of the search to find a new city manager to replace the late Michael Young, who passed away in January of 2016. In January of 2017 the City Council met in a work session with the Michigan Municipal League (MML) lead executive recruiter, Kathie Grinzinger. A contract was signed by Mayor Steve Jazwiec on February 1, 2017 to have the MML lead the nationwide search, which is expected to take approximately six months.
On April 19, 2017, the MML will facilitate a manager profile workshop at city hall. Stakeholders from the city staff, the community and the city council will meet in three separate sessions that day. Invitations will be sent by the MML to persons selected by the city council to represent the city as a whole. The profile sessions are not open to the public with the exception of the final session with the city council which will be the last one held on April 19.
After a profile for the new manager has been developed, the MML will spend approximately three weeks putting together promotional material about the City of Rockford to be used as part of the national recruitment for qualified candidates. Once that step has been completed, the MML will advertise the open position nationally for thirty days.
After receiving applications for the position, the MML will review and recommend candidates for the city council to review. The city council will then decide which candidates they will choose to interview. These two meetings are held in closed session to protect the confidentiality of potential candidates who may be employed elsewhere.
Once the candidates have been selected for interviews, the city will host an event to allow the community to meet with the candidates and to briefly hear from them about their experience and vision for the city is. The community at that time will have an opportunity to share with the city council who they feel is the best candidate for city manager.
After city council completes their interviews, and a candidate is selected, the MML will help to facilitate negotiations for a compensation package for the new city manager. Once the new manager is hired, it is common for the candidate to begin work in about thirty days.
Mayor Jazwiec said that a lot of time and effort has been put into developing the plan to find the right person to fill this important position. The Mayor also cautioned that the time table created is a guideline and many factors such as the ability of council members to meet in closed session and the availability of candidates to travel for interviews could influence the timing to complete the hiring process.