City starts search for treasurer

Deadline for applications is Nov. 4; officials hope to begin interviews in early December

SEARCH: Big Rapids Mayor Mark Warba (left) and Commissioner Lorraine James review the job description for city treasurer. Julie Tetsworth announced last week that she will retire from the position on Dec. 16. The city began the process to find her replacement during a commission meeting on Monday. (Pioneer photo/Jonathan Eppley)

BIG RAPIDS — City Commissioners accepted the resignation of Treasurer Julie Tetsworth on Monday, as well as outlined the process to find her replacement.

Tetsworth announced her retirement last week to spend more time with her family. Her son, William, is battling kidney cancer and Tetsworth wants to be able to devote time to his care and recovery. Her last day as treasurer will be Dec. 16.

The city will advertise for the position for 30 days beginning next week in local and trade publications. The deadline for application is Nov. 4. City officials hope to begin interviewing candidates in early December and have a new treasurer in place after the first of the year.

Per the job description, candidates are required to have a bachelor’s degree in business, public administration, accounting or a related field. Additional education and training, such as CPA certification, is preferred. Candidates also are required to have at least seven years of experience in public administration, business, finance or a related field, as well as have supervisory experience.

Commissioners prefer that a viable candidate have a credit score of at least 675 from one or more major reporting agencies.

“The reason we put that in there originally was how do you expect someone to manage someone else’s money — being multiple millions of dollars — if they can’t handle their own?” said former city treasurer and Commissioner Lorraine James.

The advertised compensation for the position is $70,885 to $77,667 with a full benefits package.

“I’d like to say thank you to Julie and that I wish her well,” said Mayor Mark Warba.

A Big Rapids native, Tetsworth was the finance officer for Mecosta County for eight years before becoming city treasurer. Prior to that, she worked at Ferris State University in various positions, including office manager and teaching staff, from 1972 to 2000. She also owned and operated her own travel agency from 1992 to 1998.

Tetsworth earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting from Ferris in 1993. She is an active community member, serving on the Mecosta County Medical Center Foundation board and as chair of the Susan P. Wheatlake Cancer and Wellness Center committee. She plans to remain active with those committees in retirement.

In other news, commissioners approved a $119,535 contract with Cadillac-based PKB Architects for the Big Rapids Community Library renovation project. PKB has outlined an eight-phase process to research, design and collect bids for the construction project.

Commissioners agreed to hire the Cadillac-based firm in August based on the recommendation of the library board. On Monday, the commission agreed to and signed the contract to hire the firm. Construction on the $600,000 to $800,000 renovation project is expected to begin in spring 2012.

Commissioners also agreed to a one-year contract with Cost Recovery Corporation to bill non-city residents who are at fault in situations that require city police and fire services. The Ohio-based collections firm will bill insurance companies on the city’s behalf, and keep a percentage of the money it collects.

The city commission will meet again at 6:30 p.m. on Oct. 3 at the Big Rapids City Hall.


Posted by Jonathan Eppley

Jonathan Eppley is news editor for the Pioneer. He designs and copy edits the Pioneer daily, and manages staff in the evening. Eppley joined the Pioneer staff in 2010. He can be reached at (231) 592-8357 or at

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