09-08-2016 Search for North Berrien Fire Chief begins; City of Watervliet advertising for full-time

Marc & Mitzi Moore

Marc & Mitzi Moore

Marc & Mitzi Moore celebrate 25 years

 Marc and Mitzi Moore, originally of Coloma, now of Custer, South Dakota are celebrating 25 years together in the saddle of love. The two were married September 10, 1991, in Alpena, Michigan. The couple plans to ride off into the sunset for a second honeymoon in Yellowstone this fall, no lassos needed.  The couple has one daughter, Carrie. Cards of well wishes may be sent to 125 Trails End Ct., Custer, SD 57730.

Search for North Berrien Fire Chief begins

By Annette Christie

Following the findings of a North Berrien Fire Department organizational structure and function study and the recommendation for a full time Fire Chief in June, the search for that individual has begun.   This follows another recommendation of the consultants brought in to perform the study, to add municipal leaders on the Fire Board, if not permanently, at least temporary until there is more consistency within the department.   With Coloma Township Supervisor Ken Parrigin, Hagar Township Supervisor Izzy DiMaggio, and Coloma City Mayor Jim Polashak now on the Fire Board, they have met and determined to move forward with the search for the full time chief.  They are doing so with the help of Jeffrey Swanson.  Swanson was one of two that helped with the survey earlier in the year and came in to evaluate the department and the community. Swanson has more than 20 years of organized fire service experience.   When the results of that presentation were given in June, Swanson recommended using an Assessment Center to expand the search for the full time chief position. He said he would expect that it would be open for a time period of 4-6 weeks.  He described the creation of a job description and the job posting, the vetting process, the number of applicants to receive phone interviews, followed by a smaller scaled down number of applicants for in-person interviews.   He said an Assessment Center tests dimensions, problem solving, group speaking, interaction with other candidates, and collaborative team effort. Swanson estimated this service would cost approximately $10,000.   North Berrien Fire Board Chairman Rob Harper said that the board has not expanded but rather the municipal leaders were able to be added via members stepping down or out of the area that they represent.  The search could take anywhere from December – February to ultimately find the new Fire Chief.

Search for Watervliet City Manager begins

By Annette Christie

The City of Watervliet is advertising for a full time city manager. (See the public notice on Page 8).   The Watervliet City Commission at their last meeting authorized a contract with Bill Hodge as interim City Manager until November 19.  Hodge accepted the position following the departure of LaGrow Consulting, contracted to perform City Manager duties.  Now the search for a full time City Manager begins.   The departure of LaGrow Consulting seemed to begin following a July 26 review by the City Commission.  Having started in August 2015, the company was receiving their first annual review.  The City Commission began with the review in open session, followed by a closed session, and a return to an open session.  At the conclusion of the meeting, LaGrow Consulting asked for time to consider all that had been discussed and that they are given time to respond to the review that had been given.  The City Commission agreed to revisit it on August 9 at a pre-regular meeting specifically for the purposes of continuing the discussion.    That continuation never occurred as LaGrow Consulting submitted and the City Commission accepted a letter of resignation at their regular August 9 meeting.  Following the acceptance of the resignation, the City Commission agreed to pay out the contract (30-day payout), and terminate the contractual relationship.      Hodge, brought in as interim, is now overseeing the search for a replacement City Manager. An employment advertisement states that the City is searching for a full time City Manager, “responsible for the day to day operations of the City.”  Applications will be accepted through September 22.   Upon Hodge’s hiring, he was provided with a list of specific tasks that the Mayor and the City Commission thought most important.  Of those, was identifying a City Manager.    With an advertisement asking for a degree in accounting, finance business management, or public administration and three to five years’ experience, city officials are reaching out for someone with an education and experience.  The City of Watervliet is offering a competitive benefit package and a negotiable salary based on qualifications and experience.

New Executirce Director hired at North Berrien Historical Museum

Jack Greve

Jack Greve

The North Berrien Historical Museum is excited to announce the hiring of Jack Greve as the new Executive Director of the museum.  Previous Executive Director, Katie Richcreek, submitted her formal letter of resignation after two years with the museum.  Katie made many changes and improvements during that time and she will be greatly missed.  Jack worked with Katie and staff this summer through an internship for which Katie was his mentor.  A great many projects were initiated and completed; a direct result of having Jack on board. “It was a pleasure to work with Katie during my internship at the North Berrien Historical Museum.  She was a great mentor,” Jack announced.   It was no surprise then that Jack showed interest upon hearing of Katie’s departure. “His experience and knowledge of the museum is very beneficial with the transition in to his new role”, Scott Young, President of North Berrien Historical Society announced.  Jack grew up in Ionia and Muskegon, MI. During the school year he attended SS. Peter & Paul School K-8 and eventually Ionia High School, graduating in 2011. During the summer months he lived on his parent’s boat in Muskegon. There they would take their sailboat along the Michigan and Wisconsin coastlines as their family vacations. One of his fondest memories was visiting a ghost limestone mining town in the U.P., the Fayette Historic State Park.  After graduating Ionia High School, Jack moved to Kalamazoo to attend Western Michigan University. With continuing his love for the water, he joined the Western Michigan University Sailing Team and contributed his time by being on the board of the team for three years. Throughout his time at Western, Jack held a number of jobs at Harding’s Friendly Market, YMCA of Greater Kalamazoo, Gull Lake Country Club, and Western Dining Services.  Over this summer Jack has been busy finishing up his degree with internships. His first internship was with North Berrien Historical Museum and, his second with the Michigan Maritime Museum in South Haven. In early August, Jack graduated from Western Michigan University with a bachelor’s degree in Public History.  Jack began August 29th and is looking forward to his involvement at the North Berrien Historical Museum and community. If you have not met Jack yet, stop into the museum and meet the newest member of the team.

Paw Paw Lake Association meets Saturday

The Paw Paw Lake Association will meet Saturday, September 10, 2016 at 9:00 a.m. at Watervliet Charter Township Hall.

Senior Services

Hartford United Methodist Church, 425 E. Main St., Hartford

 On Monday, September 12 lunch will be served at 12:30 p.m.; Bingo with Timbers Rehab, 12:30 p.m.; and Cards/Euchre/Hand & Foot, 1:00 p.m. On Tuesday, September 13 lunch will be served at 12:30 p.m.; Computers/Euchre/Knitting/Crocheting, and Senior Exercise, 1:30 p.m. On Friday, September 16 lunch will be served at 12:30 p.m. Bible Study, Cards/Euchre, and Knitting, Crocheting & Needlework, 1:00 p.m. Important notice, a Flu Shot Clinic will be held at the Hartford UMC on October 31, from 12:30 p.m. – 1:30 p.m. Please bring photo ID and insurance card. All seniors, age 60 and older, residing in Van Buren County are eligible to participate in these programs and activities. Rides are available through Van Buren Public Transit with no less than 24-hour advance notice at 269-427-7921.