EDMORE — Today Neil Rankin has one week under his belt as this village’s new manager.
Rankin, 37, officially took on village manager duties last Tuesday after the Edmore Village Council unanimously voted to hire him earlier this month. He will earn an annual salary of $45,000 to work 32 hours per week.
The Midland resident plans to make the 55 mile one-way commute to Edmore for now and continue to reside in Midland with his wife, who is a high school French teacher, and their 4-year-old daughter.
Rankin was most recently a substitute teacher in Midland before being hired as village manager. He has a master’s degree in public administration with a focus on local government and a bachelor’s degree in recreation, both degrees earned from Western Michigan University. He was previously operations manager for The Dow Event Center in Saginaw and program and weekend manager and interim director of the Isabella County Events Arena in Mount Pleasant.
Rankin, who attended a meeting with local business owners and manufacturers in the Sunrise Development Industrial Park (former Hitachi property) this week, is excited about the future of Edmore, a village he says is home to “great people with a lot of good things happening, lots of positive things happening.”
Rankin’s short-term goals include getting up to speed on some of Edmore’s popular features, such as the Farmers Market, the Sunrise development, the Curtis Foundation and the Downtown Development Authority.
Long term, Rankin wants to work on developing plans for bringing businesses to the Sunrise development, seeking grants to provide incentives for village businesses, collaborating with governmental and nonprofit agencies, increasing the involvement of village residents in shaping the village’s direction and “ensuring the village is effectively and efficiently managed to make Edmore an exceptional place to live.”
Rankin has already met with another local leader, James Freed, the city manager of Stanton and village manager of Lakeview, as Rankin gets familiar with his new duties.
“He talked me into attending the Michigan Local Government Managers Association workshop in Grand Haven/Spring Lake this week to meet a few more village and city managers from around the area and state,” shared Rakin of Freed.
Freed said he is looking forward to collaborating with Rankin in future endeavors in Montcalm County.
“He’s very knowledgeable and very approachable,” Freed said. “Edmore picked a good candidate and a great guy.”