Troy city manager to step down in 2024

By: Brendan Losinski | Troy Times | Published November 7, 2023




TROY — The city of Troy will be receiving a new city manager in 2024. Current City Manager Mark Miller formally announced his plans to step down from the position in May.

Miller was appointed to the position by the mayor and City Council in 2018 with a five-year contract. He took up the role following significant turmoil in the city’s government after Miller’s predecessor as city manager, Brian Kischnick, was convicted of bribery charges and was accused of improper behavior while in office.

“The previous city manager was fired in March of 2018, following his arrest on domestic abuse charges against his assistant,” said Miller. Kischnick pleaded no contest to those charges and was sentenced to probation, a domestic violence program and substance abuse monitoring. “I was appointed acting city manager when the previous city manager was convicted of mismanagement in his role. My commitment to the city was to help the city move on and go into the future. I wanted to get (the city) to a good point in a professional, ethical manner. The city was hurting. It needed professionalism and stability. I think I provided both.”

Several city officials stated that Miller fit the role of city manager perfectly, righting the ship and providing much-needed reliability and ethics at a time when they were desperately needed.

“I am always extremely thankful of the service Mark Miller has given to this city, and I believe the decision Troy City Council made in 2018 to appoint him as city manager was absolutely the best decision that could have been made. Mark has served with the highest of ethical standards and has stabilized our city after a time of great turmoil,” said Troy Mayor Ethan Baker. “As Mark’s time comes to a close in Troy, all of us on council are committed to a rigorous and thorough search for the next city manager.”

“Mark hired me in 2002,” said Community Development Director Brent Savidant. “I worked for him for 21 years. I was (recently) telling him I don’t know what I will do when he’s gone. From a personal standpoint, he’s a friend, and (his leaving) will leave a hole in my life. He was a mentor to me. He showed me the ropes when I began, since I had never worked full time in a municipal setting before starting here. I will always be thankful to him for that.”

Although his original contract was to conclude on Dec. 31, 2023, Miller will remain on until May 2024 in order to complete work on the next year’s budget before his departure and to allow the City Council ample time to find the best possible replacement.

“I am staying until May to help optimize the City Council to do a search for the next city manager and to get the timing right to help the city complete its budget process,” said Miller. “This will mean the new city manager can take over at a good time and allow for a more seamless transfer.”

Miller’s career in Troy started in 2000 as the principal planner, and he later became the planning director. In 2009, he was promoted to the city manager’s office, where he held the positions of acting assistant city manager – economic development services, and later, the director of economic and community development.

He said there are many small things he wishes he could have seen get completed in the city that he oversaw throughout his tenure, but he was able to accomplish his primary goals.

“What I’m most proud of goes back to what I was saying about acting in a professional and stable manner. We were coming from a bad place. I think I was able to be that professional and stable force,” he remarked. “There are a lot of things in an organization that we work with that I won’t see completed. (For instance), I wanted to clean up administrative memos, but we never could get to all of them.”

Miller looks forward to new opportunities and some time off.

“I will be moving to Marquette, Michigan. I’ve already sold my house of 27 years. Professionally, I am looking at different options. I will not be retiring professionally. I may take a little break,” he said. “I’d like to thank the people of Troy for supporting me while I worked in the city. … You’re in good hands with the City Council that you have.”

Baker said that the process to search for the next city manager has begun and that Miller’s successor should be selected by the time he is scheduled to depart.

“We’ve already awarded a contract in GovHR to aid us in the search process. I suspect the search will begin in earnest after the new year, but preliminary work is being done now,” said Baker. “My expectation is that the next city manager will be chosen and in place in a perfectly suitable time in relation to Mark’s leaving.”