City manager search leading to charter change

By Charles Sercombe
Some 39 people applied to be Hamtramck’s next city manager.
But only three met the city’s charter requirements, and only one is being recommended to interview for the job.
That was the result of a search performed by a private company called GovHR USA. The city council and mayor were presented with the findings at a special meeting held on Monday.
The lack of candidates to interview led to some anguish among councilmembers, and they are now seeking to rewrite the charter requirements.
Even the search firm, GovHR, said the city charter’s requirements “significantly hindered the opportunity to vet additional candidates for the city manager position.”
Seven of the candidates who applied worked in executive positions in cities and counties with populations of over 100,000.
Hamtramck’s charter requires a candidate to have been a city manager or assistant city manager for at least three years in a community with a population of at least 10,000.
Councilmember Anam Miah was the only councilmember to vote against interviewing the lone candidate because he said the city first needs to change the charter.
“We should fix this, even if it puts the process back a little bit,” he said.
Miah added that the city is missing out on a chance to widen the candidate pool.
Changing the charter would require putting it on a ballot and winning the approval of voters.
Councilmember Ian Perrotta said despite the charter’s stringent requirements, the city needs a city manager in place.
“We need somebody in charge of the ship,” he said.
The previous city manager, Katrina Powell, left at the end of last June. A divided council blocked extending her contract.
Since that time, Kathy Angerer, who had served in several roles in the city administration, has been acting city manager.


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