Contract approved for new St. Clair Shores city manager

By: Kristyne E. Demske | St. Clair Shores Sentinel | Published May 13, 2022

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ST. CLAIR SHORES — The St. Clair Shores City Council has voted unanimously to approve a contract with Dustin Lent, now set to become the new city manager on July 5.

 The contract with Lent, who is Southgate’s city administrator, was approved at the May 2 meeting. 

The former city manager of St. Clair Shores, Matthew Coppler, retired at the beginning of April. 

Upon Lent’s passing of a background check, physical and psychological examinations, council approved a contract that called for him to earn a $150,000 annual salary with $63,988 in fringe benefits and a $6,000 car allowance. Lent will be an at-will employee of the city and there is no end date specified in the contract, said City Attorney Robert Ihrie. The contract does call for him to provide 90 days notice if he were to leave the city and for St. Clair Shores to give him 180 days severance pay if City Council votes to terminate him, except for cause. 

Lent originally hails from Zanesville, Ohio, and received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Kent State University. He has been the city administrator in Southgate for the past 4 1/2 years and is married with an 11-year-old daughter and a 7-year-old son.

“St. Clair Shores is ... a great community that really takes pride in their quality of life,” he said. “I feel it’s a natural fit.”

He said he sees similarities between Southgate and St. Clair Shores that he felt would prepare him for the role. Previously, he was also the director of Southgate’s Downtown Development Authority and Parks and Recreation Department, which is a reason he was interested in coming to St. Clair Shores.

He said he appreciated the improvements St. Clair Shores is making to its parks and recreational offerings, and looked forward to helping with the formation of the DDA in downtown St. Clair Shores.

Lent said he wants to, “continue to move the vision of St. Clair Shores forward ... working with the residents, and forming what they want, and improving their quality of life even more.” 

Although he won’t officially begin in the role until July, Lent said he’s been working with the interim city manager, Assistant City Manager Mike Greene.

“I was up for the budget session ... kind of doing double duty now,” Lent said. “Staying in touch as much as I can with the current staff there so when I do officially start, on July 5, I’m ready to hit the ground running and get to know my staff before I officially take the position.

“Building a good team is extremely important,” Lent continued. “I look forward to being up there for the parade and all the festivities.”

Call Staff Writer Kristyne E. Demske at (586) 498-1041.

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