Village administrator resigns.

April 3, 2018

Stratil

Village administrator resigns.

#OceanaCountyNews

By Allison Scarbrough, Editor.

SHELBY — The Shelby Village Council accepted the resignation of Village Administrator Chelsea Stratil with a 6-1 vote during a special meeting Monday night, April 2.

Stratil, who was absent during the meeting due to illness, stated in her resignation letter: “The past two and a half years have been a whirlwind filled with ups and downs and turns that I could never had predicted. While it has been a pleasure working with and serving the residents and business owners, I have found that it is time for me to hang my hat and resign from my position as village administrator.”

Councilman Dan Zaverl cast the lone dissenting vote with Jim Wyns, Steve Crothers, Village president Paul Inglis, John Sutton, Andy Near and Bill Harris voting “yes.”

The council unanimously accepted a severance agreement drafted by Village Attorney John Schrier that includes Stratil receiving her salary and health insurance and retirement benefits through Aug. 18. The agreement also calls for Stratil to assist an interim administrator during the weeks of April 9 and April 16.

The council also took action Monday night accepting former Muskegon City Manager Bryon Mazade as the interim village administrator with a 7-0 vote. In Stratil’s resignation letter, she states that she will work with Mazade during “after village hall office hours.”

“We worked with Bryon before and had a very positive experience,” said Councilman Sutton.

The severance agreement also calls for an “agreement not to file suit” by both parties, a “non-disparagement agreement,” and several other clauses. Stratil also has the right to revoke the agreement within the seven days of signing it pursuant to the “recession period” portion of the contract.

If Stratil is still unemployed by Aug. 18, the council agrees that it will not contest her unemployment claim.

Mazade will be paid $50 per hour and will work up to 24 hours per week as the interim administrator. He is expected to begin duties Thursday, April 5, and continue working through approximately mid-June or later. He will be instrumental in the hiring process of a permanent administrator. Village President Inglis said the tentative timeline for finding a replacement includes: an application deadline of May 3; interviews in mid-May; and a selection by June 11.

Additional funds to continue paying Stratil her $50,000 salary and Mazade’s hourly wage simultaneously come from the village’s reserve funds, Inglis said.

The council also unanimously took action Monday voting to reverse Village Clerk Crystal Budde’s resignation. Budde, who resigned March 22, withdrew her resignation. She will continue being paid $16.50 per hour 32 hours per week.

When asked why she withdrew her resignation, Budde said, “I changed my mind.”

Village Treasurer Randy Mahoney had also recently resigned from his post, and the council voted unanimously to hire him back on a temporary basis as interim treasurer until a permanent replacement can be found. Mahoney will work two days per week at a rate of $15 per hour.

Inglis said the council may consider combining the two positions of clerk and treasurer at some point “down the road.”

“The role of administrator here in Shelby needs to be clearly defined,” said audience member and downtown business owner Mary Lulich. She expressed that a long-term administrator needs to be hired. “We don’t want to go through this again.”

“No one wants to see Shelby go backwards,” said Councilman Crothers.

Councilman Near “implored” the council to raise the administrator salary in order to find more qualified candidates, suggesting a pay rate in the $60,000-$75,000 range. “We are missing out on a lot of candidates,” he said. “Do we want to stay stagnant?” Although Stratil had the “vision,” Near said, she did not have the “track record” for the position.

“If you’re not growing, you’re dying,” he said.

“This has been a long and difficult process,” said Inglis. “Every council member put in a lot of thought and emotion into every decision. Chelsea gave us a lot of energy and vitality. She has a great future in public service. She did us a great service — she loved this village.”

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