Poll introduced as new city planner

ALPENA – The City of Alpena’s administrative staff is full again. After more than a year the city has filled the planning and development director position that was held by City Manager Greg Sundin before he was hired to his new job.

Sundin continued to act as the planner while managing the city, but it has been the intent of the council to hire a planner once Sundin settled in. Monday Sundin introduced Adam Poll, who is a Cedar Springs native and has been working in Waterloo, Iowa, as an associate planner, to the council and those in attendance.

Poll is scheduled to begin work this morning and he said he is looking forward to getting more familiar with Northeast Michigan, the staff and getting to work. He said Alpena has a lot of things going for it that should help further economic development.

“I’m very excited about coming to Alpena and I can’t wait to get a better feel for the town,” Poll said. “The biggest asset Alpena has is the bay and and its other principal natural resource is the forests. Alpena is also the commercial center of the area and has a successful airport and all of these elements make Alpena very attractive.”

Poll said he was happy in Waterloo, but he wanted to get back to Michigan and wanted to further his career closer to home. He said in Waterloo there wasn’t much opportunity to advance his career. Poll said he believes he will be able to do well in his new position and having Sundin as a mentor was another reason he accepted the job.

“Having the former director as the manager is an advantage for this particular opportunity,” Poll said. “Instead of being thrown into the middle of the lake, I’ll be able to wade in because Greg will be able to help me out, show me the ropes and share some of his knowledge, opposed to just having to figure it all out on your own.”

In other business:

the council discussed taking advantage of a new law that would allow the city to only have elections in even number years. If council decides to do so it could save the city as much as $10,000 per election. No action was taken, but the issue will be considered in the future.

the council granted Northern Lights Arena a variance that will allow archery activities for an event planned at the arena. The event, Outdoor Extravaganza, will feature vendors and activities focused on the outdoors. It is scheduled for Sept. 8 and will be held outside of the arena.

Clerk Karen Hebert reminded council the deadline for petitions to be filed for the two seats up for election is Aug. 13. The two seats that will be up for grabs are those of Shawn Sexton, who has not decided if he intends to run again, and Sam Eiler, who has said he will not run for another term.

Steve Schulwitz can be reached via email at sschulwitz@thealpenanews.com or by phone at 358-5689. Follow Steve on Twitter ss_alpenanews. Read his blog, Upon Further Review … at www.thealpenanews.com