BY SCOTT SULLIVAN EDITOR
Deputy Clerk Kate White has a new job in Saugatuck City Hall: Project Manager.
White, who started there as a graduate student and summer intern June 14, 2021, never left, advancing to deputy clerk responsible for, among other things, conducting surveys, studies and reporting results to city council and the public.
She plans to complete her master’s degree in public communications from Grand Valley State University this spring and the new project manager’s role seemed to fit her knowledge of the community — White has family ties here — and skills.
Council Nov. 22 approved creating the position at a salary range between $45,000 and $52,000 depending on qualifications after two years of talks about adding city hall support staff.
“The city,” manager Ryan Heise said, “has a long list of projects they would like to pursue. Adding a new position will provide the needed administrative assistance to carry out these projects efficiently and effectively.”
Funding for the new job, he said, will come through the general fund, which is sustainable given parks revenue, which set records last year, can be utilized.
A study of 10 other Michigan municipalities — all with larger populations than Saugatuck’s 966 but none with the seasonal tourist influx nor extensive parks — shows full-time assistant managers earning an average $54,667 in salary.
As project manager, White will help the manager coordinate and monitor city projects to ensure successful completion. Doing so, Heise noted, requires administrative duties and communicating project progress with appropriate stakeholders.
Requirements listed for the position were having:
• A bachelor’s degree in business or a related field;
• Three or more years’ experience as an administrative assistant, office manager, deputy clerk or related position, preferably in a municipal setting;
• Knowledge of appropriate project planning tools, reporting budgeting, modern office procedures and practices;
• Knowledge of parliamentary and public meeting procedure;
• Knowledge of city charter, ordinances, policies, procedures, services and operations to effectively direct and assist the public;
• Skill using standard office equipment, including computers and related software, and specialized voting equipment and voter registration systems;
• Skill in maintaining complex record keeping and document retention systems;
• Skill in addressing public inquiries and internal issues with professionalism, tact and diplomacy;
• Ability to manage multiple priorities and work within deadlines;
• Ability to type, enter data and record meeting proceedings efficiently and accurately; and
• Ability to work constructively and interact professionally with employees, elected officials, the general public and complete other administrative duties.
“We are happy to have Kate on board,” Heise said.