Board balks at appointing new administrator

FLINT TWP. — Who is the township’s planning and zoning administrator?

Township Supervisor Karyn Miller could not answer that question after the township board rejected her request to reassign the job title from Tracey Tucker, economic enhancement director, to Randy Stewart, the newly appointed deputy supervisor.

Miller wanted the change to free up more time for Tucker, who wears several hats. Until recently, besides being the building director and planning and zoning administrator she also served as deputy clerk and economic enhancement director. In recent months, she has been extra busy organizing a proposed Downtown Development Authority and a similar Corridor Improvement Authority for Beecher Road and Bristol Road.

Miller and others praised Tucker for the work she has done preparing those authorities for launch.

Stewart is a part-time contracted worker, hired last fall to work as an inspector in the Building Department. He is a Michigan state-certified as a Building Official, Building Inspector and Planner and previously worked for the City of Burton for 13 years and Davison Township for 18 years.

Stewart has taken on a larger role helping to reorganize the building department and also oversees sewer improvements.

One of the board’s concerns about appointing Stewart was because it would be a short term, temporary role. He is expected to work for the township until an unspecified time this summer, Miller said.

A motion by Clerk Kathy Funk to vote separately on Stewart’s dual appointment was approved 5-2.

The board then voted unanimously in favor of Stewart taking over the reins as building director but voted 4-3 against also assigning him the duties of planning and zoning administrator.

Trustee Frank Kasle said he preferred to see keep Tucker in the role for the sake of continuity. He said he did not think it was too much of a task for her to continue in that capacity.

Clerk Kathy Funk agreed. She said the duties of economic enhancement and planning and zoning go hand in hand and should not be separated.

Miller offered a different interpretation of Tucker’s contract. Reading directly from a list of Tucker’s assigned duties, Miller said that Tucker’s roles as planning and zoning administrator and building director were under her (Miller’s) direction as the township supervisor. As such, she said she wanted to reassign those duties to allow Tucker to focus exclusively on the important job of economic development.

She mentioned that businesses in the township are closing and Tucker will also be busy working to attract new ones to replace them.

Trustee Barb Vert, who voted in favor or Stewart taking over both jobs, said that better economic development efforts were recommended by a feasibility study the board conducted a few years ago. She also cited the growing number of vacant buildings in the township and the need to push harder on economic development.

She also praised Stewart’s work in the building department.

Trustee Carol Pfaff-Dahl said she had nothing against Stewart but was open to seeking other applicants for the zoning administration job.

Miller said that a committee would be formed to look for a permanent replacement in the near future. Trustee Tom Klee mentioned discussions that Stewart’s expertise would be sought to help find someone to permanently fill the position.

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