BY SCOTT SULLIVAN EDITOR
Saugatuck residents now have two Ryans in city hall. New planning, zoning and project management director Ryan Cummins has joined city manager Ryan Heise there. The job was listed paying $87,500 yearly.
The city has also hired Sara Williams of South Haven as deputy clerk and public works administrative assistant, advertised as a $48,000 post.
Cummins, Grand Haven mayor pro tem, zoning board of appeals chair and a planning commission member, is also a Muskegon City Police community coordinator. He also served seven years with the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, with the Northwest Ottawa Recreation Authority and as a sheriff’s marine deputy.
He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in criminal justice from Michigan State University in 2009.
The new hire in a sense fills two jobs: replacing 6-year planning and zoning director Cindy Osman and less-senior project manager Kate White, both recently resigned.
Cumnmins was picked via via a Walsh Municipal Services-hired search and interviewing with Heise, mayor Garnet Lewis and mayor pro-tem Scott Dean.
“He has has an amazingly well-balanced set of credentials tailor-made for Saugatuck,” Heise said. “The ‘new Ryan’ has also demonstrated a passion for public service, as evidenced by his current service as the Muskegon police community coordinator.
“After much consideration and enthusiasm,” Heise’s offer letter to Cummins read, “I’m pleased to officially offer you the position of Director of Planning, Zoning and Project Management. Your experience with the cities of Muskegon and Grand Haven, coupled with your education, make you the ideal candidate to serve the award-winning City of Saugatuck.
“Mayor Lewis and Mayor Pro-Tem Dean were especially impressed with your positive demeanor and proven ability to handle difficult planning issues.
“I look forward to serving this world-class community,” Cummins said.
Williams, who was a licensed insurance producer for 10 years with State Farm Insurance agent Andrea Olson in South Haven, has Associate degrees in applied business from Lake Michigan College. Her résumé describes her as a detailed service representative known for having great organizational skills.
“There is a common theme,” Heise said, “with the new positions: supporting the increasing demands on parks and public works operations, projects and managing future growth.
“The new hires in addition with newly engaged planning and zoning consultant and legal team position the city very well,” Heise said.