Pefley appointed city clerk

City council held a meeting on Tuesday. (Ashlyn Korienek/ News Advocate)

City council held a meeting on Tuesday in the council chambers. (Ashlyn Korienek/ News Advocate)

Wright to retire after 15 years in position

MANISTEE — A new city clerk was appointed on Tuesday by Manistee’s City Council, as Michelle Wright announced her retirement from the position effective on Jan. 5.

Wright has been city clerk for 15 years, and has worked for the city for 28 years. Wright denied to comment at this time.

The current deputy clerk, Heather Pefley, was appointed city clerk at a vote, 7-0, effective on Wright’s last day of work.

Wright submitted a written notice. Since early 2014, city staff enacted a succession plan following the historical process for filling the city clerk’s position — as approved by city council.

Following Pefley’s change in position, a new deputy clerk will be selected.

“The clerk appoints the deputy clerk from someone in our office,” said Ed Bradford, chief finance officer. “We would choose who is best for the position among the existing staff. Heather has the training and experience for the position.”

Thad Taylor, city manager, recommended Pefley as the new city clerk, however council members had questions about the hiring process before the approval.

“I am going to continue to support the process for advertising and interviewing for the clerk,” said mayor Jim Smith. “It’s not a reflection of qualifications; it’s a reflection of the city charter.”

Richard Wilson Jr., attorney with Mika Meyers, sat in city attorney George Saylor’s place on Tuesday. Wilson said the current process for appointing a city clerk has been completed correctly according to the city’s charter.

“As you have done many times in the past, you will appoint somebody by one of the council members nominating that person for the position,” Wilson said. “How the names get into the nomination is not governed on the charter.”

Also on Tuesday, council approved several street dedications, which were not officially documented in the city’s street network.

In 1996, Lighthouse Landings was constructed under a Planned Unit Development (PUD) agreement approved by the city. Additional land was added to the PUD in 1999.

The streets within the development were constructed to city standards and dedicated for public use. However, the Condominium Association did not complete the dedication.

Council approved the dedications and improvements, 7-0, for Landings Boulevard, Lighthouse Way North, Lighthouse Way South and Lighthouse Circle into the Manistee street network.

During the meeting on Tuesday, Smith appointed council member Lynda Beaton to the Alliance for Economic Success (AES) Board, approved at a vote 7-0.

A report was also given on Tuesday by the Harbor Commission’s Alex Zaccanelli, who said the Facebook page has been successful in bringing more people to Manistee’s Municipal Marina.

AES representatives Tamara Buswinka and John Iacoangeli reported on the Strengthening Economies Together (SET) program and Manufacturing Strategies.

A work session is scheduled for 7 p.m. on Sept. 26, with the Manistee County Commissioners. The Manistee Area Chamber of Commerce will speak about its proposed economic development services.

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Posted by Ashlyn Korienek

Ashlyn is the cops & courts and city reporter for the Manistee News Advocate. You can reach her at (231) 398-3109 or akorienek@pioneergroup.com

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