The Royal Oak City Commission appointed Mark Wollenweber as interim city manager during a meeting May 13.

The Royal Oak City Commission appointed Mark Wollenweber as interim city manager during a meeting May 13.

Photo provided by Judy Davids

Royal Oak’s new interim city manager settles into role

By: Taylor Christensen | Royal Oak Review | Published June 18, 2024


ROYAL OAK — The city of Royal Oak welcomed Mark Wollenweber into the position of interim city manager on May 13 at the City Commission meeting after a unanimous vote by the commissioners.

Wollenweber has taken the place of previous interim City Manager Todd Fenton, who left Royal Oak for a job in the private sector.

“Our interim city manager, Todd Fenton, who has been with the city for 10 years, did an amazing job helping even in the worst of times in Royal Oak,” Mayor Mike Fournier said.

Wollenweber is a veteran in the city manager role, managing various small communities after his 15 years as the city manager in St Clair Shores.

The city of Royal Oak intrigued Wollenweber, as he said he looks forward to working with the downtown environment.

“The scale of things here is, of course, different,” he said. “The fact that there is a gorgeous downtown and new buildings here, as well as in the community, you know, makes it desirable for people to move here or to stay here and support the downtown businesses and things like that.”

Wollenweber was influenced to take this position by City Commissioner Sharlan Douglas, who contacted him when he was about to board a cruise ship to Barcelona, Spain.

“It is kind of funny, but we were leaving our hotel in Miami to go on an across-the-Atlantic cruise to Barcelona,” he said. “Commissioner Douglas contacted me and asked if I would be interested. Phone calls from the mid-Atlantic on board a ship were definitely interesting.”

Since beginning the position last month, Wollenweber said he has been impressed with the City Commission.

“The commission certainly listens, and the mayor runs a good meeting, and listens to what residents have to say in their time frame for public participation,” he said. “Then they go ahead and make a decision that they believe is in the best interest of the city overall.”

Wollenweber said that as the interim city manager, he has the ability to fill different positions that are vacant in the city government, which he thinks has been going well so far.

“The staff that we have, I have been impressed by them, and we have been trying to fill some holes that there are in the staff,” he said. “We got a couple of those accomplished, and it looks like we will continue to fill the holes that we have.”

Continuing forward, Wollenweber said he is going to focus on the current goals set in place by the City Commission and help to push the community forward during his time as interim city manager.

Commissioner Monica Hunt said she felt that Wollenweber would be a great fit in Royal Oak after meeting with him before the May 13 meeting.

“He is more than capable of stepping into Todd’s big shoes to fill,” Hunt said. “I am very confident that he will be able to hit the ground running and keep Royal Oak moving in the direction that it is currently moving.”

The employment agreement with Wollenweber as the interim city manager states that he will be receiving a salary of $165,000 annually, payable in biweekly installments.

Wollenweber’s term as interim city manager will last until the Board of Commissioners appoints someone as the permanent city manager.