Howard City Village Council to interview new batch of manager candidates

By Elisabeth Waldon • Last Updated 12:01 pm on Thursday, November 20, 2014

Daily News/Elisabeth Waldon
The Howard City Village Council discusses how to hire a village manager at Monday night’s meeting, from left to right, retiring Village President S. Michael Scott, incoming village president Randy Heckman and council members Tom Harris and Janice Williams. — Daily News/Elisabeth Waldon

HOWARD CITY — Three candidates have been interviewed and found wanting for this village’s manager position.

The Howard City Village Council voted Monday night to forgo three finalists and interview three new candidates.

“I’m sorry, I’m not satisfied with who’ve we reviewed,” Councilman Tom Harris summarized.

The three previous finalists included Cedar Springs City Manager Thad Taylor; Daniel Faulkner, an operations and maintenance specialist for the village of Lawrence; and Andrew Wishka, a project coordinator for TrueNorth Community Services in Fremont.

The council found Faulkner and Wishka to be lacking in experience and Taylor to be surrounded by “red flags.”

“I went down to Cedar Springs,” Councilwoman Eleanor Marek said. “They said he’s a very likable person, he will walk down the street and talk to everybody, but he’s definitely on the lazy side in the office.”

Incoming village president Randy Heckman also visited Cedar Springs to learn more about Taylor.

“A couple good things, but there were more negative things, really,” Heckman said.

The council voted to contact three more candidates and see if they are still interested in the job. Those candidates are former Evart city manager Roger Elkins; Bill Mathews, most recently of Reynoldsburg, Ohio; and former Edmore village manager Neil Rankin.

Rankin worked as Edmore’s manager from July 2013 to July of this year, when the council voted 4-3 to not extend his contract. Three of the four members who voted to oust Rankin were voted out of office in the Nov. 4 general election.

“I know Neil,” retiring Village President S. Michael Scott shared. “I don’t know exactly what happened over there. Councils change, councils want to go in different directions. I think Neil is a very intelligent person. He got a lot of good things done over there.”

The Howard City Village Council will contact Elkins, Mathews and Rankin to see if they are available to be interviewed on or after Dec. 1.

Incoming village president Randy Heckman, who will officially start his new duties Thursday, has agreed to fill in as the village’s interim manager until a new manager is hired.

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