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Rochester hires new city manager

Sterling Heights native Blaine Wing to start Nov. 2

By: Mary Beth Almond | Rochester Post | Published October 7, 2015

 Chester “Blaine” Wing III

Chester “Blaine” Wing III

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ROCHESTER — It’s official. Rochester has a new city manager: Sterling Heights native Chester “Blaine” Wing III.

Wing was chosen from among four finalists to replace former City Manager Jaymes Vettraino, who resigned from his seven-year city role in June to pursue a career with Rochester College.

Mayor Jeffrey Cuthbertson congratulated city administrators, the city’s former manager, its consultant and the City Council for a “very diligent, prompt and thorough executive search.”

“We accomplished this, if I am correct — from Jaymes’ announcement to hire of a new city manager — in something like five months, not even that, which I think speaks to the seriousness with which we all take finding and placing the next city manager in that position. I think we can be congratulated a bit for that. In any event, it is an important, serious matter, and I’m glad it was done in a thorough and prompt fashion,” he said.

The Rochester City Council unanimously approved a contract that will give Wing a $114,000 salary for an indeterminate number of years.

The 40-year-old former director of human resources for Des Plaines, Illinois, officially takes on his new role Nov. 2.

Wing learned of the position while visiting his parents, who still live in Sterling Heights.

“I happened to be visiting them one weekend and saw on one of the recruiting websites that Rochester was looking for its next city manager. I know the community well, having my parents still in nearby Sterling Heights, so I put in my application and went through the process,” he said. “The community is working on some very interesting projects that I felt I would be able to jump into and add some of my experience and knowledge, so I thought it would be a good fit.”

Wing has 16 years of municipal experience. Prior his position with Des Plaines, he worked as assistant village manager of Oak Brook, Illinois, from 2008 to 2014. He served as assistant administrator to the village of Cary for one year, and assistant to the village manager in the city of Flossmoor, Illinois, for six years. Wing has a master’s degree in public administration and a bachelor’s degree from Western Michigan University.

“Since I graduated in 2000, (being a city manager) has been my long-term goal,” said Wing, who added that he is very happy to be returning to Michigan and moving into Rochester. “I’m looking forward to the opportunities to move the community — and help the council move the community, along with our staff — from good to great. I really see Rochester as a top-tier community in the state, and we can continue to be one of the best communities throughout Michigan.”

During his first several months on the job, Wing plans to listen to and learn from the community and city staff.

“I need to get a lay of the land and see if there are any pressing issues or any fires that need attention before we jump into anything specific,” he said. “Every community is a little bit different, so I will be attending various meetings, getting out into the community for various events, and getting to know everybody — from the chamber members to the various associations that are participating in the community, as well as regionally.”

Wing, who describes his leadership style as collaborative, said he is fiscally conservative, analytical and full of energy.

“I am very much looking forward to working with the council and the staff to accomplish the goals and objectives that the council has already laid out and will be laying out this upcoming January,” he said. “I am really looking forward to getting started.”

In his free time, Wing enjoys running and is also working on a certification from the American Sailing Association.

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