Banda named new Rochester city manager for 1 year

Tecumseh City Manager Dan Swallow turns down job offer in Rochester

By: Mary Beth Almond | Rochester Post | Published September 21, 2022

 Nik Banda will serve as the new Rochester city manager for the next year.

Nik Banda will serve as the new Rochester city manager for the next year.

Photo provided by the city of Rochester


ROCHESTER — Interim City Manager Nik Banda has been named the new official city manager of the city of Rochester, after Tecumseh City Manager Dan Swallow reportedly turned down the job.

Earlier this year, the Rochester City Council unanimously agreed to hire GovHR USA to assist in finding a new city manager at a cost of approximately $8,000, plus around $2,500 in advertising expenses.

Swallow was one of three finalist candidates — including current city of Rochester Finance Director Anthony Moggio and Mike Greene, who most recently served as the assistant city manager in St. Clair Shores — to be interviewed by the City Council on Aug. 17.

Swallow was ultimately offered the job — after a 5-2 vote of the Rochester City Council Aug. 18, with Council members Mark Albrecht and Ann Peterson dissenting — but Rochester Mayor Stuart Bikson announced Aug. 22 that “the city was not able to come to an agreement” with Swallow.

“We made an offer to Mr. Dan Swallow to be our city manager,” he said. “The city was not able to come to an agreement with Mr. Swallow, so Mr. Swallow will not be coming to work for our city. We wish him well and thank him for his interest in our city.”

Nik Banda agreed to postpone his retirement and has been serving as the interim city manager since former Rochester City Manager Blaine Wing resigned in May.

Bikson said the city is lucky to be “blessed with some riches” like Banda.

“We have a current (interim) city manager, Nik Banda who is doing an excellent job,” he said. “I took the liberty to ask Mr. Banda if he would be willing to serve as, not our interim city manager, as our full city manager, and he has agreed.”

With a 6-1 vote Aug. 22, the Rochester City Council agreed to hire Banda as its new city manager for a period of one year.

Peterson was the council member to vote against the motion.

“I’m kind of torn with this, only because of the fact that — and this has nothing to do with Nik; I know he has done a fabulous job. I know what he has done in the past 12 years … and I more than 100% support him. What I am having an issue with, though, is the process,” she said. “I had selected someone else for that position based on the candidates we had interviewed.”

Peterson questioned why Banda “could not just stay on as the interim city manager if it’s only going to be for a year?”

“I do appreciate and would like to make sure that we have full succession planning for whoever is going to go into a deputy city manager role, based on how we had originally planned all this from prior discussions, but I don’t know if I am comfortable voting tonight for him in that position due to how the process has been,” she said.

Mayor Pro Tem Nancy Salvia said she “strongly” supported the motion.

“When we recently had some hires in the city, we kind of reconfigured some positions. Currently, we do not have an acting assistant city manager, so I would move that we would look at some of those internal candidates as well as Finance Director Moggio for that position,” Salvia said.

Albrecht also voiced his support for the move.

“Succession planning is important and the message sent last Thursday was anything but that, so I welcome the fact that Nik will be stepping into the city manager role and will be mentoring staff, including Anthony Moggio. I think that undoes a lot of the stress that was put on staff after Thursday’s decision,” he added.

Banda, Bikson shared, officially accepted the city manager position.

“He has agreed to serve and he has also agreed to mentor and work with some of our younger employees to help them grow and help them to achieve their career goals, including Anthony and other people, so that is going to be part of his mission,” he explained. “That’s where that situation is.”

Banda said he will postpone his retirement as long as needed until a replacement is selected.

Swallow did not return a call for comment.