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City Manager receives high marks in evaluation


 

City Manager Mike Womack

By Judy Reed

A two-year review of Cedar Springs City Manager Mike Womack by the City Council shows that they like what they see.

Womack scored an overall 4.4 average out of 5 possible points during his review last month, which covered personnel management; administrative skills; intergovernmental relations; long range planning; interpersonal skills; relationship with council; and personal and professional attributes.

“I love the direction the city is going,” said Councilmember Molly Nixon. “There is new, beautiful development throughout the city. There is art and green space. More development is planned for Main Street and I am excited to see what will come.”

Mayor pro-tem Pam Conley was also pleased with city improvements. “Over the last year there has been a lot of great work on the revitalization of the Downtown Development Authority, potential new fire station, and working to bring in new business,” she noted.

Councilmember Perry Hopkins did have one word of advice: “He can have his own expectations for a city, but remember what the community wants and needs,” he said.

Womack, a lawyer from the east side of the state, is enjoying his job here as City Manager. “The last two years have been really quite nice. I’ve learned a lot and I have really been able to use my legal and management skills to chart a good economic development direction here in the City. I have developed a lot of good working relationships and friendships with members of the community including the City Council and Planning Commission members.”

So what has Womack accomplished in his two years here?

“I’ve accomplished a ton of stuff but it never feels like I’ve accomplished enough,” he remarked. “The largest single accomplishment that I’ve completed over the last two years was the complete revamping of the Downtown Development District which will pump about $15,000 into improving the downtown this year. The DDA had been unfunded for 10 years previous to this work. I’ve also spent a lot of time and effort making the zoning laws work for citizens and for businesses and not against them. The boards and I have worked to extensively rewrite our zoning ordinances to not only be more business friendly but also to make them easier to understand for non-professional entrepreneurs who want to open a business here in the City.”

What does he think about our community? “I’m continually impressed by the amount of volunteerism that the community puts forward, from cleaning up the parks and roads in the spring to the countless hours invested by board members, citizens and business owners in planning out the community or donating money to community events like the library parties. I’m also thankful that businesses have started to take notice of the good work that the government and local business community is undertaking to bring them in for the citizens of the Cedar Springs area. I also feel very fortunate that my staff, elected officials, board members, business owners and local government officials have, almost entirely, been very easy to work with and all are focused on making the City and surrounding area better for the citizens.”

Womack’s contract is up on August 1, 2019. He said he has had informal discussion with council members about possibly extending it but nothing has been formalized yet. 

 

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