Ishpeming moves ahead with attorney interviews

ISHPEMING — After 40 years of service to the city of Ishpeming, City Attorney David Savu is retiring at the end of the year. The City Council is looking for the right person to take his place.

At a special meeting Monday morning, the council discussed the interview process they will undergo to choose his successor. A motion to postpone a special meeting scheduled for Wednesday to interview candidates was a major point of discussion.

Councilwoman Elaine Racine voiced her concerns that the council needed more time to discuss the questions they should ask during the interview process. She also alleged that Councilwoman Claudia Demarest violated the city charter by attempting to schedule Wednesday’s meeting as a single council member and by attempting to give such an order directly to a member of the city’s administrative staff.

The council members struck down the motion to postpone by a 3-2 vote.

“It’s a very important position, and I think that council members are very concerned about wanting to make sure they make the best decision possible,” said City Manager Mark Slown. “That was why this meeting was called this morning to discuss the procedures.”

One of the responsibilities of the new city attorney will be to handle the legal aspects of Ishpeming’s extensive water system improvement plan.

“There’s a lot of real estate involved, so one of the jobs the attorney would be doing is reviewing all the easements and ownership rights where we have our water system, because we want to make sure that we’re on solid legal basis wherever we do work – that we’re working where we’re authorized to and not on somebody’s private property,” Slown added. “That work will be part of the project and is an essential part of the project.”

Once Wednesday morning’s interviews are complete, the city council will need to decide the next steps in the hiring process.