City Commission picks interim manager

Rental inspector contract, budget amendment also approved June 20

By: Dean Vaglia | Mount Clemens-Clinton-Harrison Journal | Published June 29, 2022


MOUNT CLEMENS — The Mount Clemens City Commission selected Gregg Shipman as the city’s interim manager near the end of its June 20 meeting.

Decided after returning from closed session and followed immediately by the motion to adjourn, Shipman was unanimously voted to temporarily handle the city’s day-to-day operations alongside his role as fire chief for the Mount Clemens Fire Department.

The commission voted Shipman into the fire chief position in December 2020, becoming the first person to hold the position after Michael Coyle retired in May 2000.

Outgoing City Manager Donald Johnson took part in the June 20 meeting, delivering his last report on several projects around the city, providing updated COVID-figures and notifying residents that they can post free garage sale ads on the town’s public access cable channel.


Rental inspection agreement
At the June 20 meeting, the commission voted 6-1 to approve a new rental inspector contract with Michael Ferron.

Set to last for six months, the city will begin working on the description and job listing for a full-time rental inspector position to replace the current arrangement.

Commissioner Laura Fournier, who provided the lone “no” vote, was curious as to if there would be any changes to the position beyond the move from a contracted inspector to a city employee. Fournier expressed dissatisfaction with the blight situation at the June 6 meeting.

“It is a manpower issue,” Brian Tingley, community development director, said in response to Fournier. “I basically have one contractor position, which I don’t consider full-time, managing the entire program. Scheduling, doing inspections, returning phone calls, all of that. I think that will help, bringing it back in as a full-time position.”

Tingley also raised the possibility of using the Michigan Office of Administrative Hearings and Rules, or issuing civil infractions, as a way to disincentivize rental and homeowners from neglecting properties to the point of blight.


Budget amendment
The commission also voted unanimously to amend the 2021-22 general fund budget to add $130,000.

The city received $501,710 in revenue for the general fund over the previous 11 months of the budget — significantly more than the nearly $26,370 surplus originally expected. The $130,000 of surplus will be added to the recreation function for the last month of the budget, while the remaining amount, approximately $371,700, will be carried over into the 2022-23 budget.

“I am very grateful for the higher-than-expected building permits and state revenue,” Commissioner Denise Mentzer said. “And [the] lower employee insurance. It’s a good thing.”