Otsego city manager Thad Beard to move on to Rockford
Otsego city commissioners reluctantly accepted city manager Thad Beard’s resignation Monday, Aug. 7.
“I’ll reluctantly make that motion,” Commissioner Tom Gilmer said.
Beard officially told the commission he has accepted a job as the new city manager in Rockford. Beard will serve as city manager in Otsego until Sept. 6 and will officially begin in Rockford Sept. 8. He became Otsego city manager in January 2000.
“It’s new opportunities and new challenges,” Beard said. “It’s a larger community and being in the Grand Rapids area was attractive for us.”
He said the greater Grand Rapids area was where his children had settled or gone to school, so he and his wife would be close to them.
Gilmer said, “I’m sure more of us will have more to say later, but I told Thad that if he had ideas of going to a larger city I’d be sorry to see him go, but he should go for it.”
He said the city of Otsego was in a better place due to Beard’s work.
“It’s had a lot to do with his management style and the people he’s hired,” Gilmer said.
City commissioner Ryan Wieber noted he’d started as Otsego Library Director about the same time Beard had started as City Manager.
“My hair used to look that dark,” Wieber said. “Are you using some Grecian formula?
He continued, “Congratulations and good luck.”
Commissioner Stacey Withee said, “It was a hard resignation to accept.”
Mayor Cyndi Trobeck said the commission was looking at contracting with the Michigan Municipal League to provide assistance.
The basic package would offer help with getting the word out to potential candidates, prescreening applicants and their references, help with interview questions and background checks, along with other services.
Gilmer said he strongly supported the idea.
“I think it’s the professional way to go about this,” he said. “...I don’t think we’ll be able to handle this on our own.”
Nick Breedveld, the only commissioner who’d been involved in hiring Beard, said he agreed.
“Sometimes you get lucky when you do a short cut, but sometimes you don’t,” Breedveld said.
Trobeck said, “I’ve seen some city manager hiring issues recently in other cities. I don’t want to see anything like that.”
The basic package from the municipal league would cost $17,000, but the commission didn’t take any official action at the Aug. 3 meeting.