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East Lansing City Council vets four candidates for city manager role

East Lansing City Hall
City of East Lansing

The East Lansing City Council convened a special meeting Monday to interview four candidates hoping to serve as the next city manager.

The council, partnering with the Michigan Municipal League to fill the position, selected five candidates and two alternates from a pool of 14 applicants. Councilmembers said one alternate and one of the candidates withdrew their applications, leaving four individuals to consider. The candidates include:

  • Tim Dempsey, current East Lansing Interim Director of Planning, former Deputy City Manager and Director of Planning
  • Robert Belleman, former Controller and Chief Administrative Officer for Saginaw County
  • Collin Mays, Director of Economic Inclusion for City of Cincinnati
  • Adam Kline, Oakland Township Manager

The candidates' full resumes can be viewed here.

Councilmembers took turns asking the candidates interview questions, including why they wanted to be East Lansing’s next city manager. Each individual received an hour to respond to those questions.

The city manager position holds an important role in East Lansing’s government. They are responsible for implementing the council’s agenda and overseeing the city’s various departments.

Whoever the council hires will also face additional challenges. They’ll be expected to lead efforts to retain and recruit employees following a wave of recent departures. The next city manager will also need to collaborate with at least two new councilmembers after an election this November.

The city also gave residents a chance to meet the candidates at a reception Monday night at the Hannah Community Center.

The council is set to reconvene Sunday, Aug. 13, to consider next steps. The group could bring candidates back for additional questions, push to consider other individuals or select someone to serve as city manager.

Arjun Thakkar is WKAR's politics and civics reporter.
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