New leader hails from Lakeview in Montcalm County
By Jim Bloch
Warren Rothe is on the job.
“Before we get into our regular agenda, I’m going to introduce everyone to our new superintendent,” said Mayor Bill Cedar at a regular meeting of the St. Clair City Council, held Oct. 21. “This is Warren Rothe. Welcome him aboard. I’ve had numerous chats with him already. Very sharp. Intelligent. I think it’s going to be a good deal.”
The council wasted no time in appointing Rothe as the city’s rep on the Southeast Michigan Council of Governments and the I-69 International Trade Corridor.
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“Congratulations,” said Cedar. “You’ll thank us later.”
The council designated him as the Michigan Department of Transportation street administrator, which allows him to conduct all transactions with the department, said City Clerk Annette Sturdy.
“Congratulations on another outstanding title,” said Cedar.
The council interviewed Rothe and another candidate on Aug. 21 to fill the vacancy created when City Superintendent Mike Booth left in early July to accept the job as Marysville’s finance director.
At the interview, Rothe touted his flexibility, a trait he developed as village manager of Lakeview, a small community in Montcalm County where he wore many hats. His strong suit, he said, was finance and running a tight budgetary ship. He emphasized the importance of involving the community in a city’s decision-making process.
The council officially appointed Rothe on Sept. 16. His base salary is $68,000 per year, 10 percent of which will go to a 457 deferred compensation plan. Rothe receives $250 per month car allowance, a phone, the city’s standard administrative medical, dental and vision package, typical vacation and sick-days, plus liability insurance, professional memberships and training. The council will review his performance annually.
Rothe is an at-will employee who may be let go at the pleasure of the council.
Sturdy was appointed interim city superintendent on July 15 and received $700 extra per week and a higher pension contribution of $175 per week. “I’d just like to say that I’ve been having a very good first week,” said Rothe on Oct. 21. “City staff have been very welcoming and informative, getting me up to speed on all the projects that are going on. I’m looking forward to working alongside Mayor Cedar and the rest of council and serving this community.”
Jim Bloch is an award-winning freelance writer based in St. Clair, Michigan. He writes about the environment, local politics, art, music, history and culture. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.