BELDING — As Belding begins the search for its next city manager, Finance Director-Treasurer Sam Andres will now take the reins on a temporary basis until that search reaches a conclusion.
After a unanimous 4-0 vote by members of Belding City Council on Tuesday night, Andres accepted the position to help guide the city during a transitional process.
“The city code states that the finance director/treasurer will perform the duties of interim city manager in the absence of the city manager,” City Manager Randy DeBruine said. “Sam Andres … would be assuming the responsibilities of the city manager until the position is filled.”
DeBruine will step down after his last day on Dec. 28 to take a position with the Kent County Sheriff’s Office. Andres will take over as interim city manager effective Dec. 29.
“It’s a good move,” Councilman Mike Scheid said.
A search to fill the position of city manager will be conducted through the Michigan Municipal League.
According to DeBruine, Andres will continue to work as the city’s finance director-treasure as he fills the role of the city’s interim manager, receiving a stipend in the process.
“All of the department heads will be stepping up to help as Sam takes on both roles,” DeBruine said.
According to Clerk Kareen Thomas, interviews of potential candidates for a permanent city manager will be conducted on March 2, with a decision by city council members coming shortly after.
Andres has worked as the city’s finance director-treasure for six years. He was originally hired on Nov. 6 2006. He said he feels confident accepting the role in a temporary capacity, having briefly held the position at times when DeBruine has taken leavers of absence via vacation.
Before coming to Belding, the Eureka Township resident worked in the finance department for Electrolux in Greenville and Belding for more than 39 years.
“I was one originally in Belding, serving on the line for six or seven years,” Andres said. “Then I was transferred to an office position until they closed the plant in 1988.”
Andres said he was transferred to a plant in South Carolina until he was eventually transferred back to the plant in Greenville.
“I was one of the last ones to leave Electrolux in Greenville before they officially closed the plant,” he said.