Looking to the future

Iron Mountain city officials are listening to the public – and logic.

Iron Mountain city leaders are looking at establishing the position of deputy city manager.

City Manager Jordan Stanchina explains that the deputy city manager position exists within the Iron Mountain Code of Ordinances.

The position could act as the department head for the police and fire departments, eliminating the need for a police chief and fire chief.

No one is suggesting that the city toss aside the current police chief, Peter Flaminio; or the current fire chief, Charles Lauersdorf. They have been loyal public servants for years. They have served the city well.

It just so happens, though, that they both have announced their retirements. Flaminio plans to retire on May 31, and Lauersdorf is retiring on Nov. 30, offering the city a golden opportunity to review the deputy city manager position.

Combining the two jobs will be demanding, but such a move could save the city $90,000, Stanchina says.

“The window of upcoming chief retirements provides an excellent opportunity for the council to discuss and explore this option,” he said. “I wanted to start the discussion to get a feel for the council’s thought on utilizing the deputy city manager position.”

“Although the savings could be substantial, finding the correct person for the position may be difficult,” Stanchina adds.

Councilman Dale Alessandrini said the city needed to start looking at it through the committee.

Mayor Bruce Rosen agreed.

“Time is of the essence and we need to move forward on this,” Rosen said.

Stanchina said a meeting of the Consolidated Services Committee will be scheduled to start discussing duties and qualifications of the position.

Besides the deputy city manager position, the city of Iron Mountain is also exploring the possibility of contracting with the Dickinson County Sheriff Department for police services.

Iron Mountain previously held discussions with the city of Kingsford on the possibility of consolidating police and fire services.

Those talks have stalled, however, as Kingsford wants to retain a police and fire public safety authority, while Iron Mountain prefers a separate fire department.

While no new meetings with Kingsford have been announced, Iron Mountain is moving ahead on its own to streamline and improve the city operation.

We’re encouraged that Iron Mountain city leaders are looking to the future in attempt to combine services and save taxpayer money.

This is standard procedure in today’s business world, and should be at the municipal level as well.