The Eastpointe City Council deliberates  during its Feb. 20 meeting and eventually decides to invite a finalist to interview for the city manager position. However, James E. Ayers II withdrew his candidacy Feb. 22.

The Eastpointe City Council deliberates during its Feb. 20 meeting and eventually decides to invite a finalist to interview for the city manager position. However, James E. Ayers II withdrew his candidacy Feb. 22.

Photo by Deb Jacques


City manager finalist withdraws name from consideration

By: Bria Brown | Roseville - Eastpointe Eastsider | Published February 26, 2018

EASTPOINTE — The finalist for the vacant Eastpointe City Manager position withdrew his name from consideration Feb. 22 after the City Council discussed and agreed Feb. 20 to interview him for the job.

The council had gone as far as to schedule a special meeting for 5 p.m. Feb. 23 for the interview, but the city canceled the meeting after James E. Ayers II withdrew.

The council planned to discuss how to proceed at its next special meeting at 10 a.m. Feb. 24 at Eastpointe City Hall, 23200 Gratiot Ave. The meeting took place after the Eastsider went to press.

 The next regular council meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. March 6.   

Ayers sent a brief letter to the city notifying it of his withdrawal. 

“Due to a combination of factors, I have decided that I must withdraw my candidacy for the Eastpointe City Manager position. I am honored to have been considered by Eastpointe for the position, and I extend my best wishes to the Mayor and City Council as they work to select the right candidate for the job,” stated Ayers.

Ayers is currently the general services director for the city of Asheville, North Carolina. Ayers has a Bachelor of Science degree in engineering science from Vanderbilt University, and a Master of Science degree in administration from Central Michigan University, according to information from the city of Eastpointe.

Following the planned Feb. 23 interview, the council had planned to hold another special meeting at 9 a.m. Feb. 24 to conduct contract negotiations with Ayers.

Mayor Pro Tem Michael Klinefelt thought it would be cost-effective to rank the finalists and then choose one to bring to Eastpointe and interview. If the council didn’t feel right about the candidate, Klinefelt suggested it move on to the next candidate that would best fit the position.

“If we decide the first one’s it, we don’t need to go any further and we can save the expense of flying someone out,” Klinefelt said at the Feb 20 meeting.

The council unanimously decided to invite Ayers to be interviewed when asked by Eastpointe City Mayor Suzanne Pixley at the Feb. 20 meeting. 

“I feel the same way,” she said at the time.

“I think we can have, over the weekend, a time where the community could come out and meet him in person; maybe before or after, like a formal meeting/interview with him,” Councilman Cardi DeMonaco Jr. said Feb. 20.

Klinefelt also suggested to council that it invite Ayers to Eastpointe for three days.

“I also wanted to throw out there that I think we should ask him to possibly come for three days. If we do an interview one day and maybe deliberations, then maybe we can just start with contract negotiations the next day, because we also need to know if that’s going to work out,” said Klinefelt.

The council later agreed during the Feb. 20 meeting to propose a contract for Ayers.