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Longtime Clawson city manager separates from city

By: Sarah Wojcik | Royal Oak Review | Published November 26, 2018

CLAWSON — On Nov. 20, the Clawson City Council approved a separation agreement between itself and City Manager Mark Pollock in a 4-1 vote.

Mayor Deborah Wooley read a prepared public statement agreed upon by the council and Pollock at the meeting.

“The City Council has accepted Mr. Pollock’s request to enter into a separation agreement, thereby ending his employment contract as city manager,” she read at the meeting. “Having reached agreement on the terms of that agreement, each party wishes each other the best in the future.”

She added that the separation agreement binds all parties from further comment.

Councilwoman Paula Millan cast the single “nay” vote against the separation agreement.

“All I can say is the agreement came about very quickly and Mr. Pollock asked me to prepare it,” City Attorney Jon Kingsepp said. “We had negotiations over a 24-hour period and ended up with the resolution signed today by him.”

According to city documents, a special closed session City Council meeting was held prior to the regularly scheduled public City Council meeting “for the purpose of personnel matters in relation to the City Manager.”

Pollock worked for more than 18 years as the city of Clawson’s finance director, as well as the city’s city manager for the last nine years. He has worked in municipal government for the past 25 years.

According to reports, Pollock was cleaning out his office Nov. 8. 

When reached for comment, city employees stated that they could not elaborate on what took place and that discussion would be held on the topic at the Nov. 20 City Council meeting.

Police Chief Harry Anderson is currently acting as the interim city manager. 

Wooley said the city is searching for a new city manager. She said she reached out to GovHR USA, and the individual who assisted the city of Troy with its city manager search is now assisting Clawson with its search.

“I was told it will take about five business days to get resumes of available individuals to the city. Realizing the importance of getting an interim individual in place, I’ve requested that they provide candidate resumes as soon as possible,” she said. “Once those resumes have been received, an open session meeting of council will be scheduled and posted.”

Kathy Phillips, who formerly served for eight years on the Clawson City Council, expressed concern about the loss of Pollock during public comment at the Nov. 20 meeting.

“We don’t just need a city manager now, we need a financial director, so that’s two salaries now,” Phillips said. “It’s appalling to me that this would have even gone on, that he would have gotten driven out. … This is the perception of everybody around, and I’ve seen it coming for a while.”

During public comment, Mary Liz Curtin and Stephen Scannell, co-owners of Clawson-based Leon & Lulu, were both critical of the city’s separation with Pollock.

“I think we’ve made a horrible mistake for Clawson fiscally, we have done an immoral thing, and I’m shocked at what this council has done,” Curtin said. “I’m hoping that we can have an orderly transition and that we can have anything close to the high level of professionalism, dedication and loyalty at a great price that we’ve had from Mark.”