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CS City manager takes job in Manistee

Thad Taylor

Thad Taylor

By Judy Reed

Cedar Springs City Manager Thad Taylor has accepted an offer for the City Manager position in Manistee.

Taylor came to Cedar Springs just a little over three years ago, after serving in Alpena for several years.

“I just thought it was a great opportunity,” Taylor said, about the Manistee job. “My wife and I spent 20 years in Alpena, and when I would go down to Manistee, I was always struck about the two communities were really mirror images of each other—they both are on great lakes, they have rivers bisecting the communities, they have commercial ports and marinas. Manistee is an older community, with a traditional downtown that is doing well. The opportunity came up and I wanted to take advantage of it.”

The three years here has not been easy for Taylor. He started his tenure as City Manager when the City Council and the Red Flannel Festival were in turmoil, and he has seen a complete turnover over the City Council. His contract was renewed a year ago, by a 4-2 vote.

Taylor said what he is most proud of during his time here are the efforts he and his staff put forth to work with businesses who wanted to come to town. He named several businesses, including Display Pack, Family Farm and Home, the new Retirement Living Center moving in where the Horowitz house was, and the new Cedar Springs Brewing Company. He said they were also working with AmericInn, the hotel chain, but nothing has been finalized with that.

“Some people think the city is hard to deal with, and that’s the farthest thing from the truth,” remarked Taylor.

Taylor remarked on the seamless transition of going from our own police department to contracting with the Kent County Sheriff Department.

He also noted that they had dissolved the local finance authority, which returned money to several organizations, including the city, where $175,000 went towards unfunded pension liabilities. “That gave us more financial stability,” he said. Taylor also talked about the capital improvement plan going out to 25 years, and mentioned the $2.6 million sanitary sewer project they are finally completing. “With that project, groundwater infiltration may go down as much as 30 percent at the Waste Water treatment plan,” he said.

Taylor said he drove through downtown the other night and saw the brewery lights, with people all around. “It was amazing. There are a lot of good things going on here.”

One of the things he’ll miss the most is the people. “I’ve made some good friends and relationships. Those will be hard to leave,” he said.

“It’s been my honor and privilege to serve in this community,” remarked Taylor. “I’m a lifelong public servant—almost 38 years. I don’t tire of it. I like helping people the best I can. In local government, you better like helping people because that’s what it’s all about.”

Taylor said his last day will be November 20, and then he will use some vacation he has coming.

The City Council is expected to act on his suggestion Thursday evening to appoint City Clerk Linda Christiansen as interim City Manager, and to contract with the Michigan Municipal League to hire a new City Manager.

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One Response to “CS City manager takes job in Manistee”

  1. Craig Owens says:

    Sorry to see Mr. Taylor leave us.

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