During a break in the proceedings, city manager candidate Daniel Berlowitz, left, fields questions from local residents Harvey Creech and Walter Jakubiec, right, during the Eastpointe City Council’s special meeting March 7 at Eastpointe City Hall.

During a break in the proceedings, city manager candidate Daniel Berlowitz, left, fields questions from local residents Harvey Creech and Walter Jakubiec, right, during the Eastpointe City Council’s special meeting March 7 at Eastpointe City Hall.

Photo by Brandy Baker


Eastpointe city manager position offered to candidate

By: Bria Brown | Roseville - Eastpointe Eastsider | Published March 9, 2018

 Mayor Pro Tem Michael Klinefelt, left, Mayor Suzanne Pixley and Councilwoman Sarah Lucido listen as city manager candidate Daniel  Berlowitz answers questions during a special meeting  at Eastpointe City Hall March 7.

Mayor Pro Tem Michael Klinefelt, left, Mayor Suzanne Pixley and Councilwoman Sarah Lucido listen as city manager candidate Daniel Berlowitz answers questions during a special meeting at Eastpointe City Hall March 7.

Photo by Brandy Baker

 Berlowitz answers questions from the Eastpointe City Council during the meeting.

Berlowitz answers questions from the Eastpointe City Council during the meeting.

Photo by Brandy Baker

EASTPOINTE — After a special meeting to interview city manager candidate Daniel Berlowitz March 7, the Eastpointe City Council offered the city manager position to him. 

Berlowitz spoke to C & G Newspapers prior to the beginning of the special meeting, and he explained his take on the city manager search process. 

“I believe the council and mayor have been doing a good job of recruiting and vetting candidates, and I think the criteria and the ideal qualities that they’re looking for in a city manager is well laid out. Whoever comes into the position knows what’s expected of them,” said Berlowitz. 

Berlowitz said he has managed three other cities, and he mentioned three basic criteria that attracted him to Eastpointe: its past, present and future. 

“I looked to see, do they have a tradition and the history that they take pride in? Is it integrated into a brand and their identity? I think Eastpointe has that. With Eastpointe’s present, have they progressed … to move the city forward?” said Berlowitz. 

 Berlowitz said Eastpointe was able to stabilize its population during the recession. 

“They’ve had the least loss of population of any adjacent cities that they’re joined to,” said Berlowitz. 

Berlowitz also mentioned Eastpointe going from a “financial struggle” to being very “financially stable” as a part of its progression.

Councilman Cardi DeMonaco asked Berlowitz how he would manage employees. 

“As a manager and a leader, I try to frequently connect with all the variables of the organization,” said Berlowitz. “Connecting with employees to create that credibility connection — they need to trust me — to have a true teamwork and a strong work environment. By doing that, it allows me to then address their points of concern and problems.”

Berlowitz also mentioned that he’d do organizational assessments. 

“It’s important that we assess ourselves all the time,” he said. 

Councilwoman Monique Owens asked Berlowitz to address his past, as reported in the media. 

In June 2016, Berlowitz reportedly had an altercation at a dentist’s office in Nebraska. Berlowitz was then put on paid leave, and in August 2016, the Bellevue City Council in Nebraska voted to remove him as city manager. 

Berlowitz said he went to meet with the person and have a discussion, but it didn’t “pan out very well.” 

“That person had an agenda, and they accused me of some things — which, by the way, were all dropped. There was no merit to them. But when you’re in a metropolitan area, there is a lot of media, and those things draw a lot of attention,” he said. 

Berlowitz said what the media put out about the situation was not true. 

“I can tell you that what was reported, what this individual reported, was not true, and that’s why those things went away on that,” he said. 

Berlowitz said he “left the position” for other reasons than what was reported. 

“It was not performance-based but, unfortunately, because of all of the combination, and I understand. I do,” he said. 

“I ended up pleading no contest. I paid a $50 fine — it cost me a lot. It cost me a significant career position, and a lot of stress, and a lot of damage to my reputation potentially, and my family,” he added.  

Berlowitz said he chose to plead no contest because he didn’t want to go through a “circus trial.” Berlowitz said the court dropped the case, and according to a July 27, 2017, article in the Omaha World-Herald, a judge “nullified the misdemeanor conviction” after considering Berlowitz’s behavior and the likelihood that he would not have another incident.

Having neighboring cities that Eastpointe works with, Eastpointe Mayor Suzanne Pixley asked Berlowitz about working with other entities. 

“We do a lot of collaborative programs, everything from our essential dispatching to sewer and drains. I’m wondering if you find that that’s going to be a problem for you, working with other groups,” asked Pixley. 

Berlowitz said that if the city can “work together effectively,” then that’s what Eastpointe would have to do. 

“That’s not a problem at all. In fact, it’s imperative,” said Berlowitz. 

 As of March 8, the city was still in negotiations for a contract with Berlowitz.