(Independent Screen Capture)
by Karen Mead-Elford, co-editor
Andrew Bisaha (shown center), current Durand Director of Public Works, has been named the interim city manager after current manager Colleen O’Toole recently announced she was taking another position in Saline. A special virtual meeting was held Tuesday evening, Dec. 1.
Durand City Council voted 6 to 1 in favor of Bisaha. The only dissenting vote was by council member Matthew Schaefer – the new mayor pro tem – who expressed concern since Bisaha is relatively new as a city of Durand employee.
Council members discussed several city employees they believed were qualified to fill the temporary position, narrowing it down to two possibilities, Bisaha and Durand Clerk/Treasurer Lisa David. The interim director’s duties and contract information will be further considered during the Monday, Dec. 7 council meeting at 6:30 p.m.
Bisaha previously served as interim city manager in Montrose. He has worked in Durand for a short time, approximately 2-months. He will take on the interim manager position beginning Tuesday, Dec. 8.
Durand City Attorney Matt McKone suggested council should be cautious in considering Lisa David for the position, emphasizing he believes her to be a fantastic employee. He wanted council to be aware of placing her in a position that could lead to a conflict of duties. “It’s a matter of checks and balances and having these buffers makes it safer,” McKone advised.
Dr. Brian Boggs moved to appoint Bisaha as manager and was supported by Rich Folaron. “Andrew already has a history as interim manager. I think it would be a good fit,” Folaron said.
David expressed that she was “fully comfortable” with the decision. “I fully support Andrew,” she stated.
Current manager Colleen O’Toole shared she had already provided Bisaha with information on expectations, highlighting ongoing capital projects as the highest priority for the city right now. “He’s going to have a really strong team behind him,” she told council. “He won’t be taking on all these responsibilities alone.”
O’Toole submitted her resignation in early November. She has been working in Durand since January 2017, taking the new job in Saline to be nearer to family.
The city of Durand has hired Walsh Municipal Services to assist with the search for a permanent city manager. Stakeholder interviews, the first part of a lengthy process, will now be undertaken by Frank Walsh of Walsh Municipal Services.
The goal is to have an assortment of candidates available to the council by late February so council members can narrow down the process and officially start interviewing in early March.