Shores Council Hires Interim City Manager
In a 4-2 vote, the Grosse Pointe Shores council approved an interim city manager whose name will be familiar to many in the Grosse Pointes and beyond. He is slated to begin March 20.
Mark Wollenweber will serve as the interim city manager for Grosse Pointe Shores after the council approved his appointment Monday during a special meeting.
Wollenweber managed Grosse Pointe Woods for five years and more recently served as the interim city manager in Ferndale as they searched for a permanent replacement. He retired from St. Clair Shores after several years as its city manager.
The Shores will pay Wollenweber a pro-rated amount of an annual $80,000 salary for up to four months as officials search for a new city manager. He will also receive a four percent contribution into a deferred compensation plan, such as a 401 account, according to a letter of agreement Wollenweber signed Monday night after the meeting.
He will not receive any other compensation or benefits, which he said is not a problem because he receives those from St. Clair Shores.
Shores council members voted 4 to 2 to approve Wollenweber as the interim city manager after much discussion about whether the council should have "shopped around" more to fill the temporary position.
Wollenweber said he was called by several residents in the community and then by Mayor Ted Kedzierski about filling the interim position. He will begin officially March 20 upon returning from a vacation he already had scheduled.
Councilmen Dan Schulte and Robert Barrette voted against the contract, both clarifying they were not voting against Wollenweber but against the process in which he was chosen.
Councilwoman Kay Felt emphasized the need to fill the position and to keep city business moving. She also emphasized that it is a temporary position and more effort needs to be put into the search for the permanent search.
Kedzierski said the need to have a person in place quickly is important as all of the department heads as well as the council members are trying to work together to ensure no city business "falls through the cracks" while the city is without a manager.
The council members did alter his original agreement to say "up to four months" after Felt inquired with Wollenweber about whether he would be willing to shorten his temporary term with the Shores should they find a permanent manager more quickly. He agreed.
In addition to hiring Wollenweber, the council voted unanimously to begin its search for a permanent replacement.
After the meeting, Wollenweber said he is looking forward to helping in the Shores. He knows there are several big topics, including a challenging budget with a projected $500,000 shortfall. He said he is looking forward to working with the department heads and will offer help to alleviate some of the service problems Shores residents have experienced with the non-emergency dispatch line since the city consolidated its dispatch with Grosse Pointe Farms.
The problem has been identified as old hardware in the Shores and Wollenweber said he has a contact with AT&T who should be able to help.
In addition to his years of municipal work, Wollenweber has been active with several organization throughout the state including Michigan Municipal League. He has made contacts through various roles, such as a municipal counseling program he helped develop to offer advice to municipal employees or help transition outgoing managers. All of those contacts, Wollenweber said, are likely to help him in his new interim position in the Shores.