PORT HURON — The manager of the city of Stanton and the village of Lakeview is the frontrunner for the same position in his hometown.
According to The Port Huron Times Herald, the Port Huron City Council unanimously selected James Freed, 29, as their top candidate for city manager job at a special meeting Saturday.
“It’s deeply humbling to have been selected as the lead candidate for Port Huron, my hometown,” Freed told The Daily News. “I look forward to taking the next steps in the process. I have mixed emotions — both excited for new challenges and sad to be leaving such great friends and such a wonderful community. Both Lakeview and Stanton hold a special place in my heart.”
Port Hurton is about 150 miles east of Greenville, where Freed currently resides. Port Huron is a city of about 30,000 people and serves as the county seat to St. Clair County. Port Huron is also home to the Blue Water Bridge over the St. Clair River, which joins with Point Edward, Ontario, Canada.
Freed has been Lakeview village manager since 2008 and Stanton city manager since 2011. The two municipalities have a shared services agreement with Freed and he earns a combined annual salary of about $83,000 with each community saving approximately $30,000 per year as a result.
Freed oversees about 20 employees and approximately $10 million in assets between both communities.
Outgoing Port Huron City Manager Bruce Brown is set to retire in July. Freed said he hopes to begin job shadowing Brown in June. Freed said he has briefed the top officials in Lakeview and Stanton of his job offer.
According to The Times Herald, Mayor Pro-Tem Sherry Archibald said the City Council was impressed with Freed’s record in the two small communities of Lakeview and Stanton, as well as with his personality.
“We wanted someone young and energetic and I think Freed is that person,” Archibald said.
“He’ll blow away anyone who is concerned with his personality,” added Councilman Alan Lewandowski.
According to The Times Herald, the council’s second choice for the job is Oakland County Ombudsman Steve Brown. The council also interviewed Mount Clemens Interim City Manager Robert Bruner and Oak Park District Court Administrator Frank Goodroe.