BY BRIAN McGILLIVARY
TRAVERSE CITY — Grand Traverse County road commissioners will begin the interview process of picking its next manager from a group of five candidates.
Forty-four people applied to replace departing manager Mary Gillis, but only 20 or so met job qualifications. Road commissioners then ranked their top 10, and came up with seven candidates. Two finalists withdrew.
"They all appeared in my top 10, so I'm pretty happy with the people we've got," said John Nelson, road commissioner. "I think they are all qualified, so we'll just see how the interviews go."
Interviews begin Monday at 10:30 a.m. in the commission chambers of the Governmental Center, then move to third floor conference room 300 at noon for the next three. The fifth interview will occur Tuesday at 1 p.m. in the conference room.
Two candidates have run road commissions and two are licensed engineers.
Candidates include: Neal Galehouse, an engineer with the North Carolina Department of Transportation; Jim Cook, executive director at Great Lakes Safety Training Center in Midland; Luke Houlton, former Cheboygan County Road Commission engineer/manager; John Foss, a former road commission manager from Oceana County who recently retired as director of the Institute for Construction, Education, and Training at Ferris State University; and Mark Worden, a former division manager for a paving and materials company.
The commission's final choice will replace Gillis, whose contract wasn't renewed by the board. Gillis' last day is Tuesday. Gillis, the road commission and their respective lawyers are discussing possible severance terms for Gillis, who helmed the road commission here since 2006.