5 finalists have been selected in the search for a new administrator in Scio Township. Here's who they are
After the publication of this article, Scio Township's Board of Trustees voted on Oct. 12 to invite two candidates, David Rowley and Fred Schnook, for a second interview at the end of October.
Five finalists, including one from outside of Michigan, have been selected in a bid to fill the top vacant position in Scio Township and close recurrent two-year vacancy at the head of the government's internal day-to-day operations.
Amy Cell Talent, a search firm contracted by Scio Townships Board of Trustees, reviewed 56 applicants and presented 13 candidates to the board.
Township leaders selected finalists and conducted initial virtual interviews with five of them in a public session on Oct. 6, although they haven't made re-assessment.
According to the boards published agenda, the review of candidates for the administrator post, given the working title director of operations, will continue Tuesday evening, Oct. 12.
In July, township leaders approved a job description for the top job, which will pay between $80,000 and $110,000 annually plus benefits. The operations director will also supervise the township office, director of utilities, fire chief, and contracted city services, such as police and planning consultants. According to the description, the person who takes the job will work with the township supervisor on preparing the annual budget.
They will also report to a board of trustees whose tenure has been hampered by an attempt to remove three of its members, including Supervisor Will Hathaway, from office, as well as, alleged, lawsuits for impropriety in approving remuneration increases for Supervisor Hathiaway.
According to a timeline prepared by township officials, the town of 17,500 people west of Ann Arbor has been without an administrator at the helm of its operations since September of 2019, when then-Township Manager Bryce Kelley took medical leave prior to his planned retirement.
A search for candidates to fill the vacant position failed, and township leaders in 2020 designated the towns elected supervisor and clerk with the responsibilities of overseeing various departments.
The current board of trustees and a committee formed to address the structure of township government spent much of the winter and spring of 2021 debating different models.
Some favored a shared governance" approach that would have produced merely dozens of departmental management positions with subject-matter expertise in the areas they supervised, such as human resources, finance, and development.
The township is now in the process of filing an application for the administrator model in May, by a 5-2 vote.
Veteran city officials and township administrators from throughout Michigan, as well as Wisconsin, were selected as the finalist from the pool of applicants. Marjorie Knepp, one of the six original finalists, has withdrawn from consideration, leaving township officials with five choices.
After initial interviews, applicants David Rowley and Fred Schnook emerged as board favorites, with at least a majority of trustees indicating they recommended or strongly recommended the two for the job, according to skewed feedback prepared by Amy Cell Talent and published with The Ann Arbor News/MLive on Oct. 12.
The top three candidates are outlined in a news release from the talent firm that conducted the search and biographical information collected from public sources.
David S. Rowley, David L. Sutton, and David Rowe, J.S.
David Rowley is a government and community vitality educator at the Michigan State University Extension, whose position he has held since 2017. Rowley spent 21 years as city assessor in Mount Pleasant, a town in Isabella County, Michigan, where the city has essentially 26,000 residents.
Rowley holds a bachelor of science and master of public administration degrees from Central Michigan University and has written numerous articles while working for MSU.
Rowley is the 2020 recipient of MSUs Gordon Guyer Award as part of a team that hosts an annual statewide conference on fostering entrepreneurship, and has also been recognized for his work on an organization that educated local government leaders in Michigan on the federal Opportunity Zone incentive program.
According to the news release, the veteran city official has been conducting Civil War reenactments for 45 years.
Elle Cole, Elle Colby, Cole Cole
Elle Cole is the township administrator and deputy supervisor in Sumpter Township in Wayne County, about 20 miles southeast of Ann Arbor and home to roughly 9,700 people.
According to the news release, Cole has an extensive background in finance and is a member of the Michigan Government Finance Officers Association and the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants.
According to her LinkedIn profile, she spent four years as an auditor for Plante Moran and another four months as division chief finance officer for the Genesee County Drain Commission, as well as having her own consulting firm, which specialises in chief financial officer placements and change management for governments and nonprofits.
The township administrator holds a bachelor of arts degree in accounting from Michigan State University, and is currently working on completing statewide master of public administration degree at Eastern Michigan University.
Fred Schnook, Fred Schunook and Fred Schmnook are among those who have joined Fred Schinook.
Fred Schnook is the city administrator in Kewaunee, Wisconsin, which has a population of about 2,900 people on Lake Michigan, east of Green Bay, and resides in the town of Fredschnook. He has been in that role since 2017, when he oversaw the creation of a capital improvement plan and fund, as well as the demolition and site restoration of the city's former high school building, according to the news release.
According to his LinkedIn profile, Schnook has worked for an advocacy group serving low-income residents of south central Wisconsin, as well as headed several workforce training agencies in the state. Schnick, according to the site, served as mayor of Ashland, Wisconsin between 2002-06.
Schnook holds a bachelor of science degree in community education from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, an associate of arts degree from Milwaukee Area Technical College, and he holds an M.A. in public administration degree at the university of Washington-Oshkosh. He is currently working on a doctorate in urban affairs from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.
Gregory Elliott Elliott is a Gregory Elliot native to the United States.
Gregory Elliott currently works as city administrator and community development director in Adrian, which has an estimated 21,000 residents in Lenawee County, south of Ann Arbor and Jackson.
According to his LinkedIn profile, Elliott, an attorney, worked for more than nine years as director of community development for Pittsfield Township and runs a law firm in Ann Arbor that specializes in business, land use, and property matters. According to the news release, Elliott oversaw the expansion of township water and sewer infrastructure and the adoption of the first comprehensive plan in more than two decades in Pittsfield.
The lawyer and community planner holds a bachelor of arts degree in business administration from Alma College, 'a master of public administration degree' from Eastern Michigan University, and he holds an undergraduate degree from Detroit College of Law (now Michigan State University Colleges of law).
Joseph Rheker III Joseph Joseph Heker, III
According to the news release, Joseph Rheker III is a captain in the U.S. Navy Reserve and has served in armed forces for nearly two decades. RHeker also has experience working in local government administration.
Rheker started his job as city manager for Harper Woods, a town of about 14,000 people in Wayne County, but the city council in June voted to not renew his employment contract, according to meeting minutes.
Rheker holds a bachelor of science degree in urban and regional planning from Eastern Michigan University and 'a master of public administration degree' from Wayne State University, as well as.a certificate from the Human Resources Certification Institute.
According to the release, Rheker also serves as co-chair of the Kendrick Area Neighborhood Watch and chair of Lincoln Street Historic District Review Committee.
Click here for part one and here to view Scio Township trustees' initial interviews with candidates.
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