TroyAugust 30, 2012
Troy council selects mid-Michigan city manager
By Terry Oparka
C & G Staff Writer
After two days of interviews and seven minutes of deliberation, the Troy City Council unanimously selected Brian Kischnick as the new Troy city manager, subject to contract approval.
For 10 years Kischnick has served as manager for Tittabawassee Township, near Midland, where Dow Chemical Co. and Corning Inc. are located.
The four other candidates on the short list were Mark Miller, director of economic and community development for Troy; Farmington City Manager Vince Pastue; Oakland Township City Manager James Creech Jr.; and John Gabor, city manager of Marine City.
“I don’t turn the phone off,” Kischnick said during his interview with the council Aug. 30, which was open to the public. “You need to have open access.
“A city manager’s job is to leave the place better off when he leaves,” he said.
Kischnick earned a Bachelor of Arts in public administration from Michigan State University and a Master of Public Administration from Western Michigan University. He served as city manager in Vassar, Mich., 1995-2002 and as assistant city manager in Largo, Fla., for two years before that.
He also served as acting budget director for Ingham County from 1991-93.
“Local government has always been my passion,” he said at the Aug. 28 public forum at Troy City Hall.
“I was mentored by a lot of city managers and coaches. I believe in giving back.”
He has been an instructor with Junior Achievement, past president of the Vassar Rotary Club and president of the Freeland Community Sports Association in the Midland area. In his candidate statement, he said he formed a nonprofit organization and raised $7 million to construct and operate a community recreation center in Midland that operates with an annual budget of $2 million and 100 employees, which Dow Chemical has recognized as a leading contributor to attracting employees from a global pool. He also stated he has fostered an organizational climate of conservative financial management and achieved a balanced budget for the past 10 years as manager of Tittabawassee Township, without raising taxes.
Referring to his management style, he states, “While I am not strictly a change agent, I am considered a manager who is capable of reversing the trends that are silently or openly destructive in order to provide a more quality environment.”
Mayor Janice Daniels commented on the speed of the council’s decision. “It was easier than I thought deliberations would be, certainly,” she said.
City Manager Lori Grigg Bluhm said that subject to contract negotiation, council approval of Kischnick’s contract at the Sept. 10 meeting complies with the guidelines of the city charter.
Resident Toby Gosselin said she was impressed with the council’s “methodical process” of selecting the new city manager, and she welcomed Kischnick to Troy. She thanked acting City Manager Mike Culpepper for his service.
“It’s comforting to be in caring hands. … I wish we could keep you on board.”
Miller thanked the council for the chance to interview for the job. “I’m honored,” he said after his interview Aug. 30.
“No matter what decision you make, the professional city staff will work with whomever you choose,” he said.
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