Ferndale city manager leaving for University of Detroit Mercy position

By: Mike Koury | Woodward Talk | Published January 15, 2019

 April Lynch

April Lynch

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FERNDALE — The Ferndale City Council soon will be on the hunt for a new city manager.

It was announced Jan. 10 that April Lynch, Ferndale’s city manager for the last seven years, will be moving on to a new job as associate vice president for human resources at the University of Detroit Mercy. Her last day with the city will be Feb. 28.

Lynch said her leaving has nothing to do with Ferndale.

“I’m very happy with Ferndale. It wasn’t anything to do with that. It was an opportunity that presented itself,” she said. “My background is in human resources and organizational development, and it was an opportunity I felt I wanted to pursue and ended up being something I’m more interested in.”

Lynch said she’ll be working closely with the City Council on how it will go about about filling her position.

“I will be with the city until late February, but even beyond that, I’ll be helping them with the search and all of that that goes with that transition,” she said. “What’s nice about UDM is I’m only just down the road. I might be leaving, but I’m not ditching them.”

The City Council will be looking to hire a search firm to find the next city manager, Mayor Dave Coulter said, and it’s already investigating which one to bring in.

“I suspect the search (for a new city manager) will take longer than the end of February,” he said. “So we’ll also be thinking about appointing an interim city manager until the new one is hired, but those discussions haven’t really started yet.”

The job posting for the position has yet to be put online, and Coulter said the reasoning for that is because the city will work with the search firm to figure out the qualifications and qualities that the city wants in the next city manager.

As the city has changed extensively since Lynch was hired more than seven years ago, Coulter said that what Ferndale is looking for in a city manager also has changed.

The great need, he said, when they hired Lynch was someone who understood budgets and organizational development well, and making sure the staff was streamlined and customer-focused to deliver for residents and businesses.

“Now that I think we have that, one of the things I’m looking for is someone with experience in helping communities grow and develop in a way that preserves their character,” he said. “We have a lot of new projects going on, and it’s a fine line between overdoing it and maintaining who you are. And someone with that kind of experience would certainly be helpful.”

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