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Former city manager to lead search

By Judy Reed

A former Cedar Springs City Manager is going to lead the search for a new city manager for the community—for free.

The Cedar Springs City Council voted last Friday, June 29, in a special meeting, to hire former Cedar Springs City Manager Frank Walsh to lead the search for a new city manager to replace current outgoing City Manager Christine Burns.

Walsh was Cedar Springs City Manager from 1991 to 1996. It was his first City Manager job. He then went to St. Joseph, where he has been City Manager ever since.

“It’s great to be back in town,” he told the City Council Friday, while making his presentation.

When the City of Cedar Springs found Christine Burns five years ago, Bill Baldridge, a consultant with the Michigan Municipal League, led the search. According to Burns, the MML offered its services again, but last time the cost was $8,000, and she said that the cost has probably gone up, and this time the city does not have the money to pay for such a search.

Walsh has led searches in at least eight other communities, some more than once. And they all have given him high recommendations.

Walsh’s timetable for the search started with getting an ad up this week on various websites for the position; have applications due by July 23; doing a first round of interviews on Saturday August 4 at a special meeting; a second round of interviews on Wednesday, August 8, at a special meeting; and choosing the candidate on August 9. He is shooting for September 10 to be the new city manager’s first day on the job.

Christine Burns will be leaving July 25, but also taking some vacation in July.

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