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 Since April, the position of Macomb Township planning director has been vacant. The Board of Trustees at its Sept. 25 meeting agreed to use a recruiter to help fill the need.

Since April, the position of Macomb Township planning director has been vacant. The Board of Trustees at its Sept. 25 meeting agreed to use a recruiter to help fill the need.

Photo by Alex Szwarc

Macomb Township Board of Trustees wants recruiter to fill planning director position

Decides against attorney-client privilege

By: Alex Szwarc | Macomb Township Chronicle | Published October 1, 2019

MACOMB TOWNSHIP — Another step has been taken toward filling a top local position.

Since April, the position of Macomb Township planning director has been vacant. Because of that, the Board of Trustees, at its Sept. 25 meeting, agreed to use a recruiter to hopefully fill the need.

Prior to the meeting, authorization was requested to extend an offer of employment to a candidate to be the township’s planning director. The item was not proposed at the meeting.

Instead, Trustee Kathy Smith requested the position be discussed, with the possibility of hiring a recruiter.

Recruiters, also called headhunters, find quality candidates to fill job openings for companies.

“I’m very disappointed that hasn’t been filled,” Smith said.

Township Supervisor Janet Dunn said there have been internal communications about the position and the township probably will write a request for proposals to hire a consulting firm.

On April 24, the position of planning director was posted online.

The posting indicated a $101,660 salary and required 10 years of progressively responsible planning experience.

Macomb Township General Counsel and Human Resources Director Tom Esordi said the human resources department received four applications for the position. Three individuals interviewed for the position Sept. 19.

“Part of the current plan is possibly having somebody, maybe not at the same level of experience that we had with Mr. Meagher,” he said.

Patrick Meagher resigned as planning director April 18. May 3 was his last day on the job.

In August, Dunn said since the position opened in April, there was a less-than-desirable response.

At that time, the township negotiated an interim agreement with Meagher.

Also discussed Sept. 25 was an issue tabled from the Sept. 11 meeting. The topic was whether or not the board should pay a $3,561.25 legal bill.

At the Sept. 11 meeting, Trustee Tim Bussineau said he was told that an itemized invoice for the legal bill didn’t exist, and learned the law firm stated the itemized bill was attorney-client privilege.

The vendor is the law office of Kirk, Huth, Lange & Badalamenti. The invoice is listed as July professional services.

Bussineau questioned if attorney-client privilege needed to be invoked to pay the bill.

Esordi on Sept. 11 cautioned the board that it can’t invoke attorney-client privilege.

“Privilege either exists, or it doesn’t,” he said. “A vote of this board to invoke it would make no sense.”

The client in this case is the board.

On Sept. 25, Bussineau reaffirmed he saw nothing in the invoice that was attorney-client privilege.

Esordi responded that the board hired Craig Lange, not himself.

“I spoke to Mr. Lange because the original invoice was marked attorney-client privilege, which is a very common practice for attorney’s that practice in the employment field,” Esordi said.

The board unanimously approved to pay the bill, but also later in the meeting, in a 4-3 vote, decided the bill shouldn’t be considered attorney-client privileged.      

Trustee Roger Krzeminski motioned for the bill to remain attorney-client privileged.   

Treasurer Karen Goodhue, Krzeminski and Dunn voted for it to remain. Smith, Clerk Kristi Pozzi, Bussineau and Trustee Nancy Nevers chose for it to be made public.

Additional items addressed at the meeting were water and sewer rates for the next fiscal year, an ethics ordinance update and the appointment of a deputy supervisor.