Lathrup Village on the hunt for new city administrator

By: Mike Koury, Kayla Dimick | Southfield Sun | Published May 4, 2016

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LATHRUP VILLAGE — Officials are looking for the perfect candidate to fill the shoes of City Administrator Matt Baumgarten, who will be leaving the position at the end of this month.

Baumgarten has accepted a position as the new Berkley city manager, according to city officials. He officially will start the job on Tuesday, May 31. He will be taking the position left by former City Manager Jane Bais-DiSessa, who left to become deputy mayor in Pontiac.

“I went home, talked to my wife about it, and we both agreed it was the right next move,” Baumgarten said.

Lathrup Village Mayor Frank Brock said the city has contracted the help of the Michigan Municipal League to recruit candidates for the position. The MML is a non-profit foundation that supports local government leadership and redevelopment, according to the organization’s website.

“With that search, (the MML) will help us with the screening of applicants and narrowing down the pool to the most qualified individuals,” Brock said. “Then, the City Council will make a decision on those.”

The Lathrup Village city administrator is responsible for overseeing all city departments, and ensuring that laws and ordinances are enforced. The city administrator is also responsible for developing an annual budget and maintaining an accounting system.

“We are looking for somebody with experience in city administration, somebody who we think would be a good fit with our community,” Brock said. “Most cities have a personality of their own, and we’d like somebody to match ours.”

Brock said city officials are hoping to fill the vacant position within the next 30-60 days. In the meantime, the position will be filled temporarily by a current city employee. 

Although Baumgarten said he doesn’t have any reservations about leaving Lathrup Village, he wishes he could leave a second version of himself behind so that he could continue working for both towns.

“I’m in a great situation where I’m leaving a wonderful community that I’m going to miss greatly, but going to one as well that I’m excited to be a part of,” he said.

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