Traverse City Record-Eagle


February 24, 2013

Scuffle over how utility will select next leader


"Our recommendations are very reasonable and they are made very respectfully," Voss said. "The standard protocol is to post the job."

Voss said the MLUI is not pushing any particular candidate.

"We are not lobbying for any individual," Voss said. "We have not recruited candidates, but people have been in contact with me asking about the job."

The utility board will meet Tuesday at 5:15 p.m. in the Governmental Center to choose from three recommendations: extend Tim Arends' tenure as interim executive director for either six months or one year; interview Arends or other internal candidates for the job; or conduct a regional or national search beginning in April.

The board already agreed it would wait until after it receives a consultant's report on the utility's management structure, due in early April, to make any permanent hiring decision.

Voss wants Light & Power to start the search now, or at the least to take a vote to begin the search process in April.

"I really honestly do not understand why you would wait a year, how does that benefit Traverse City Light & Power to be in a transitional state for a full year," Voss said. "It drags out uncertainty at a time when TCLP needs a clear vision."

Pat McGuire, the utility board chairman, said all of the utility's board members are under pressure from MLUI and other environmental groups over the type of executive director the board should hire.

"Clearly, they feel they can have influence because we are small compared to the larger utilities in the area or the state," McGuire said. "We don't need an executive director with any bias, environmental or otherwise."

"We need an executive director who will follow the direction the board sets," McGuire said.

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