Flushing council fires city manager

FLUSHING — About a dozen Flushing residents showed up at city hall April 24 to show support for outgoing City Manager Brad Barrett.

The City Council, by a 3-1 vote, fired Barrett on Monday. Barrett returned to his office Friday to collect the remainder of his personal belongings.

In a press release posted to his Facebook page Monday, Mayor Joseph R. Karlichek said, “the City Council voted to terminate the city manager contract with Brad Barrett effective immediately.”

The council appointed Clarence Goodlein to serve as interim city manager “during this time of transition and until a new city manager search can begin,” Karlichek said.

Goodlein retired as city manager for the City of Wixom. His resume also includes stints as an emergency management director, public safety director, police chief and sergeant. He also is a limited license practitioner with a master’s degree in psychology, according to the mayor.

“Mr. Goodlein’s leadership successes have been attributable to his understanding of organizational group dynamics that promote morale and organizational loyalty, and methods of collaboration and team-building that facilitate efficient operational and strategic planning,” the press release stated.

“These skills have enabled him to establish and maintain healthy labor relations and negotiate labor contracts to the satisfaction of employees and elected officials.”

The City Council, which by charter is a seven-member board, has functioned as a fourmember body since mid- March.

Councilmembers Richard Bade, Lynne Black and Patrick Scanlon resigned March 16. The resignations, which came roughly two months after Karianne Martus resigned from her District 2 seat, left the City Council without a quorum and thus unable to meet and conduct business.

To restore a quorum, the Genesee County Election Commission appointed Flushing City Planning Commission Chairman John Olson to an interim, at-large position.

Bade, Black, Scanlon and Martus issued a collective statement citing “major discord” among councilmembers as a reason for their departures. They also pointed to “disinformation,” “fear-mongering” and “unethical tactics and unnecessary conflicts” as factors in their decisions.

Bade represented District 4, Scanlon District 3. Black was an at-large representative.

To date, three candidates have filed to fill the vacancies. Dan Fralick is seeking the at-large position, which expires Nov. 8, 2021. Seth Neblock hopes to fill the District 2 seat, and Eric Johnson is eying the District 4 seat. Both terms expire Nov. 8, 2021. No one had filed, as of press time, for the District 3 position, which expires Nov. 13, 2023.

The newcomers will join a City Council that has struggled with disputes that include the police department contract that expired June 30, 2018, and the future land use for city-owned property in the northeast section of the city.