By Amy Joles
CARO — Former mayor Tom Striffler was named interim city manager at the Caro council meeting Monday evening.
Striffler has served as interim city manager twice before. He will work alongside departing city manager Brent Morgan until Nov. 2.
Morgan has accepted a manager’s position with the Village of Milford. He told the council Monday that it was a difficult choice, but ultimately, the job will put him closer to family in the Metro Detroit area.
“It has been a pleasure serving the residents of the City of Caro,” he said.
Striffler’s contract with the city was approved unanimously by the council.
“This is a win-win for the city,” said Mike Henry, mayor pro-tem. “Tom is a quick study and he hasn’t been gone that long… He will also be a benefit when the new manager comes in. I think this is a real positive way to make a great transition between Brent and the new manager.”
Striffler will earn $40 an hour for his time managing the city. His contract stipulates that he will work 40 hours per week, not to exceed 184 hours per month. The contract is valid through March 31, 2013 unless otherwise agreed upon.
In an effort to find a new manager before that deadline, council members opted to work with Voorhees Associates LLC, an Illinois based public management consulting firm. The company will partner with St. Joseph City Manager Frank Walsh to conduct the recruitment.
According to a timeline provided by Voorhees Associates, a new manager could begin as early as the beginning of February.
“We did consider doing the search internally, but that didn’t work out,” said Mayor Dick Pouliot. “It will be better to have a totally objective person doing the search, somebody that is not going to bring their opinions and has no local connections.”
Striffler told the council that he did not want to be responsible for the manager’s search in addition to his responsibilities as the interim manager.
“I don’t feel that I could do both,” he said.
Voorhees Associates will earn approximately $9,200 in assisting the city with finding a new manager. That price is about $1,000-$1,500 more than the search process cost two years ago when Morgan was hired. The city utilized the Michigan Municipal League in that search process.
MML was contacted about conducting the manager’s search. The representative that assisted the city most recently was unavailable and another representative failed to provide information requested by Pouliot.
Striffler’s starting date with the city was not announced, but left to be determined by Morgan and Striffler.
Striffler served for 18 years on the village/city council. He stepped away from the mayor’s seat in November 2011 after not seeking re-election.