Center Line extends city manager contract with Champine

By: Brian Louwers | Warren Weekly | Published December 8, 2021


CENTER LINE — Dennis Champine is six years into his work as Center Line’s city manager, and a new deal would keep him around for another six.

In November, the Center Line City Council voted 5-0 to approve a contract extension for Champine, 59, who also holds the title of city clerk and Downtown Development Authority District director.

“Dennis has done a great job for the city. We’re really glad he’s on board,” Center Line Mayor Bob Binson said. “We make a great team. He’s definitely an asset we want to keep, and so we voted to renew his contract. We look forward to the next six years with him, at least.”

Champine will make $100,000 annually under the new contract, an increase from the just under $95,000 he made under the previous agreement.

While the approval was unanimous, he said the council made two changes to the terms he requested during its negotiations. Champine had requested a $10,000 annual commitment from the city to a retirement plan, which was amended to $5,000 from the city with an additional $5,000 from him. His request for an increased vehicle allowance in the amount of $7,500 was also denied.

“They felt it should stay at $5,000 annually,” Champine said.

Prior to hiring on as Center Line’s city manager in July 2015, Champine was the property manager at the Kramer Homes Co-Operative for eight years. Before that, he worked as the community relations director under former Warren Mayor Mark Steenbergh.

“The focus in these next six years, really, is economic development, and the commercial district, the DDA district. That is our primary focus,” Champine said Nov. 29.

He said he’d also move to negotiate new contracts with the unions representing Center Line’s public safety officers, command personnel and municipal workers.

“The last thing that’s a bit of a priority is getting the municipal buildings, hopefully, refurbished,” Champine said. “All of our municipal buildings have not received the best maintenance over the last 20 years. We are finding ourselves in a position where we are having to do a lot of maintenance on these buildings. We’d like to refurbish the buildings to last for another 20-30 years.”