RC city manager close to leaving for Ishpeming

ROGERS CITY – Mark Slown, Rogers City’s city manager, will become Ishpeming’s new city manager if he passes the required background checks and reaches a deal with the Upper Peninsula city.

In an email dated Sunday, Slown informed Rogers City council members he received a conditional offer from Ishpeming, and has started negotiating a contract with its city council. If a deal is reached, he’ll inform Rogers City of his departure date and tender his resignation. Slown’s been city manager of the Presque Isle County seat for seven years, and is especially proud of the city’s progress in that time.

“There’s certainly a lot more to do,” he said. “I think the city will move forward.”

In Slown’s time as city manager, Rogers City has weathered a major financial crisis and come out with strong finances, he said. The city also has made numerous infrastructure improvements, especially on its water and sewer system. A new water well will be added to the system shortly, and recently passed base rate increases will ensure these systems won’t go neglected in the future.

The downtown also has changed for the better, with Rogers City’s Downtown Development Authority taking the lead on decorations, new businesses and facade restorations, Slown said.

“That’s really improved the appearance in a way that anybody who came here five, six years ago would say, ‘Wow, this has really changed,'” he said.

Slown said he hates to leave Rogers City and its good city staff, but he believes Ishpeming will be a “great opportunity.” The city, located just west of Marquette, is around twice the size of Rogers City and will offer its own unique challenges. His wife and daughter will make the move with him.

While Slown would be leaving in the midst of several city projects, this would be the case regardless of when he left, he said. City council has opted to hold off on starting a few new, major projects, and others are progressing well.

Once Slown reaches a deal with Ishpeming’s city council, he said he’ll give Rogers City 30 days notice. Mayor Beach Hall said he was aware of Slown’s job offer, but declined to comment until Slown’s new job is official.

Ishpeming city council unanimously voted to offer Slown the job at its meeting Friday, according to an article in the Marquette Mining Journal. Mayor Mike Tall said he was impressed with Slown’s character, interview and background, including a 27-year military career and time as city manager for Oxford. Slown and a second candidate were interviewed that morning with the help of an intermediary from the Michigan Municipal League.

Ishpeming’s former city manager took over the same position in Traverse City in July, according to the article.

Jordan Travis can be reached via email at jtravis@thealpenanews.com or by phone at 358-5688. Follow Jordan on Twitter @jt_alpenanews. Read his blog, A Snowball’s Chance, at www.thealpenanews.com.