OWOSSO CITY COUNCIL listens as City Manager Don Crawford (3rd from left) presented his project status report at the meeting on Tuesday, Jan. 2.
Crawford officially became city manager in August 2010, and announced his plan to retire last September. The city council has been actively interviewing candidates for the position, and has currently narrowed it down to two: Nathan Henne and Aaron Desentz, though the process may not stop there.
Henne and Desentz will return for second interviews on Saturday, Jan. 20.
(Independent Photo/Karen Mead-Elford)
by Karen Mead-Elford, co-editor
The Owosso City Council held a public hearing during the first regular meeting of 2018 on Tuesday, Jan. 2, regarding a Community Development Block Grant (CBDG) application in the amount of $442,907, and the application was approved. Council member Burton Fox expressed a question he had regarding the requirement of the property owners to match all available grant dollars up-front. City Manager Don Crawford assured Fox and the council that once the property owners had committed, they would not be able to back out.
The historic properties connected with the CBDG application include 114 N. Washington St., 115 N. Washington St., 116 N. Washington St., 216 and 218 W. Main St. (front/rear facades), and 114 W. Main Street.
Mayor Chris Eveleth expressed his appreciation for the downtown Owosso New Year’s Eve festivities and his gratitude for the “strength in our community in people willing to do these things.”
Mayor Pro Tem Sue Osika agreed with the mayor, sharing that it was “nice seeing stores open and everyone smiling and having a great time.”
City Manager Don Crawford continued with a discussion on his project status report that included proposals related to data transmission equipment on “city rights-of-way and poles.” Finalization of any related negotiations have been held off because an agreement over annual fees could not be reached. The status report also mentioned that the planning commission is continuing with work related to the marihuana ordinance. The next Owosso Planning Commission meeting is slated for Monday, Jan. 22.
The only item of business was the council’s approval to conduct second interviews for the city manager position at a special meeting to be held at 10 a.m., Saturday, Jan. 20. The two returning candidates are Nathan Henne and Aaron Desentz. Henne is currently working as the city manager in Springfield, located in the Battle Creek area. Desentz is the city manager of Leslie.
In the first interview process on Wednesday, Dec. 6, the council approached each of the original four applicants with the same 12 questions, which had not allowed for follow-up questioning. The second interview process will permit both open and follow-up questioning.
The next regular meeting is set for Monday, Jan. 15, five days prior to the interviews.