Eastpointe picks GovHR USA to help find permanent city manager

By: Bria Brown | Roseville - Eastpointe Eastsider | Published June 13, 2018

 The Eastpointe city manager position has been vacant since August 2017. Eastpointe Deputy Clerk Randy Altimus filled in for a while, and then the city placed Joseph Merucci in the position of acting city manager. Eastpointe currently has Ryan Cotton as its interim city manager.

The Eastpointe city manager position has been vacant since August 2017. Eastpointe Deputy Clerk Randy Altimus filled in for a while, and then the city placed Joseph Merucci in the position of acting city manager. Eastpointe currently has Ryan Cotton as its interim city manager.

Photo by Bria Brown

EASTPOINTE — After discussing four proposals provided by four firms, all members of the Eastpointe City Council June 5 voted in favor of GovHR USA to oversee the search for a new Eastpointe city manager.

The four proposals provided to the council were from Amy Cell LLC out of Ypsilanti; Michigan Municipal League out of Ann Arbor; GovHR USA out of Northbrook, Illinois; and Slavin Management Consultants out of Norcross, Georgia. The cost could range from $15,000 to $24,000 with the four proposals. 

The city manager position has been vacant since August 2017. Eastpointe Deputy Clerk Randy Altimus filled in for a while, and then the city placed Joseph Merucci in the position of acting city manager. Eastpointe currently has Ryan Cotton as its interim city manager. 

Councilman Cardi DeMonaco Jr. explained which of the four firms impressed him. 

“I was pretty impressed with Amy Cell. … They must’ve done some research on us, because they included something from our master plan in their proposal, and it seems very professional,” said DeMonaco. “GovHR would be nice because our city manager would be familiar with them.”
Councilwoman Monique Owens said that she was leaning toward Amy Cell because it looked like Amy Cell “did their research.” 

Mayor Pro Tem Michael Klinefelt liked GovHR the best. 

“I’m leaning toward GovHR. … They’re all pretty close to each other, but I think there’s a benefit with GovHR because I’m happy with their proposal and I actually think having (Ryan Cotton) here — even though he’s staying out of this process — really puts them in a place where they’ll be on board about what we’re looking for better than any other candidate can,” he said. 

Councilwoman Sarah Lucido liked GovHR as well because she was “impressed with their services they’ve offered and the information they provided.”  

Eastpointe Mayor Suzanne Pixley agreed with Klinefelt and Lucido in her opinion of which firm to choose. 

“I really do like GovHR as well. … I think they are quality candidates that I’ve seen that come from GovHR. I liked Amy (Cell), but I think their time and duration is not nearly as long as the record that GovHR has,” she said.

After discussion, council made a motion to approve the GovHR USA proposal to provide assistance with the city manager search, which will cost the city $20,500 and comes with a guarantee of up to two years of assistance. Council also voted to approve GovHR USA to conduct a search to fill the vacant public safety director position using an assessment center approach. 

During the council’s May 1 meeting, Cotton explained the assessment center service allows the council  to “fairly compare” candidates. 

“It’s a process and it is described by which professionals that are knowledgeable about what’s needed in a public safety director position assist in the process, and that’s not unusual. They will help as many times as needed,” he said.

The proposal from GovHR USA to conduct the assessment center services will be developed for up to five candidates and will include specific exercises that will be determined by GovHR USA consultants. The service will cost the city $8,400.