ALPENA -When Planning and Development Director Greg Sundin was appointed to be the interim city manager in May the agreement stated Sundin would assume the role for 120 days. The search for a new full-time manager has been delayed and may not be resolved until early 2013, so on Monday Alpena Municipal Council approved an new open-ended deal that will pay him an addition $100 over the $300 he was pledged upon adding the managing responsibilities to his duties.
Mayor Matt Waligora said Sundin has been doing a good job serving as the interim manager while still handling the day-to-day expectations of his planning and development position. He said Sundin requested the extra pay because of the amount of work, but did so only after making sure the city had completed another financial obligation.
"I think Greg is doing a great job and he has fit right into the position and I'm very happy with his performance," Waligora said. "He waited to make his request for more compensation until he knew the city was completely done paying for the former city manager's contract, so it wouldn't put further burden on the city. That is just the type of man Greg is."
Sundin said when he was named to the interim position he wasn't sure how long it would be for. He said the search for a new manager has taken longer than expected, and he intends to help the city as much as he can. He said if the search were to extend well into next year, something different may need to be done.
"At first I thought the sooner I could get out of it the better, but it didn't take that long to see that it was probably going to be a longer process. So that is why I put in extensions," Sundin said. "It really made no sense to do it in 30 day increments anymore, so I decided let's just do it until there is an appointment of a new city manager. The consultant's timeline says we will have a new manager in January. My own head tells me maybe February or March and I have kind of accepted that, but beyond that I will bring it up again and we will need to talk again."
Sundin is in charge of applying for and monitoring many grants and because his workload has increased, it would be understandable if one position or the other would suffer from the dual roles he plays. Sundin said the city's staff and himself are planning and development work is getting done, even if it means working extra to do it.
"The planning and development has probably suffered a little, but some things which had fallen behind are now moving along again," Sundin said. "Overall everything having to do with planning is moving forward. Has it meant more time for me? Yes. Much of my time during the day is geared toward the manager position and responsibilities, so a lot of the other stuff I do on the weekend or I stay later into the evening to get the stuff done."
Sundin said the other members of staff have helped to pick up the slack, but said for some of the work it is just quicker to do himself then to teach someone the ins and outs of some of the more tricky projects ongoing.
Waligora said he has questioned Sundin about handling both positions and Waligora said Sundin has indicated things are fine. He said he expects Sundin would notify him if things become to much to handle.
"We talked about whether he was comfortable with both roles and he didn't give me any indication there was any significant problems," Waligora said. "I believe Greg's the type of guy that he would indicate a change is needed if it was."
Steve Schulwitz can be reached via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 358-5689.