You are viewing this article in the archives. For the latest breaking news and updates in Ann Arbor and the surrounding area, see
Posted on Thu, Mar 14, 2013 : 5:57 p.m.

Ann Arbor IT director Dan Rainey resigns to take job working under Sue McCormick in Detroit

By Ryan J. Stanton

Dan Rainey, the city of Ann Arbor's information technology director for the past eight years, has given the city notice he intends to resign effective March 22.

Ann Arbor City Administrator Steve Powers confirmed Rainey's resignation Thursday afternoon in a statement emailed to other city officials.


Ann Arbor IT director Dan Rainey appears before the City Council last month.

Ryan J. Stanton |

Rainey is leaving to take a job as IT director for the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department where Sue McCormick, Ann Arbor's former public services administrator, is now the director.

McCormick already hired former Ann Arbor Police Chief Barnett Jones, another former colleague, to be her security chief, which has been the subject of controversy recently.

Ann Arbor officials said Rainey will be missed.

"Dan has helped Ann Arbor earn a reputation for cutting-edge excellence and being a progressive IT environment," Powers said. "The city's IT team has appeared on Computerworld's 'Premier 100 IT Leaders' list and has achieved five consecutive top 10 'Digital City' awards."

During Rainey's tenure, Powers said, the city has benefited from numerous successful system upgrades and implementations, has received honors for being among the best digital cities in the nation, and has embraced collaborative efforts with Washtenaw County, the Ann Arbor Transportation Authority, city of Chelsea and University of Michigan to deliver services more efficiently.

Details on how the city might go about filling Rainey's position aren't yet known, but Powers said an interim IT director will be named next week. Rainey makes $111,785 a year.

Rainey arrived in Ann Arbor in June 2005 after working as the director of service delivery for Amerisure Insurance for nearly five years.

In Ann Arbor, Rainey oversaw an IT department with a $6.6 million annual budget and nearly two dozen employees. His department's budget and staff grew during his tenure.

"It's been an honor to serve the community and I leave here knowing that there are people in place who can continue to do a great job for the community," Rainey said.

Much of the work Rainey and his staff did probably isn't obvious to the average resident. That includes new technology used by many city departments, including finance and payroll.

But other advancements are more obvious like upgrades to the city's website and launch of an online legislative management system that have made city government more transparent. City residents now can stream city meetings online and instantly access thousands of pages of city records, including detailed budget reports. Public wi-fi also is available in the council chambers inside city hall now.

Rainey watched his staff grow from 19 to 23. While the IT budget has increased, he said, the investments the city has made have created new efficiencies and saved taxpayers money.

"I think that my role has been very rewarding," he said. "It was a unique opportunity to help build something special here. It was a transformation. The technology department before I started was very unorganized and we put a plan together that was the right thing to do."

City Council Member Christopher Taylor, D-3rd Ward, said Rainey's contributions to the city did not go unnoticed.

"IT improvements and efficiencies have been fundamental to Ann Arbor's longstanding effort to provide outstanding service to residents even in the presence of shrinking revenues and increasing costs," Taylor said. "Dan has been an important part of that story of success."

Ryan J. Stanton covers government and politics for Reach him at or 734-623-2529. You also can follow him on Twitter or subscribe to's email newsletters.


Kathy Griswold

Sat, Mar 16, 2013 : 4:57 p.m.

The City Council section of the website is excellent. However, best practices are not followed in many areas. I recommend having a student group from the human-computer interaction (HCI) program at the School of Information evaluate the website as a class project. Based on my limited use, these areas come to mind. - The building permit area could be more intuitive and the response time was extremely slow the two times I used it this year. - The new Customer Response System could be improved, but I cannot provide examples because the system is down as of noon, Sat. March 16,2013 with this error:v"Server Application Unavailable." - The city inconsistently uses blue text, sometimes to indicate a link and sometime just to highlight words. - Some links go to .doc files that download but do not open. Best practices dictate that links go to a web page or a .pdf file (uploaded media) in a new window. Again, let's take advantage of the students at the UM School of Information to provide a thorough review and recommendations for improvement.


Fri, Mar 15, 2013 : 1:17 p.m.

I'm curious about the city website. It's widely known as not being user-friendly. Is this the work primarily of Rainey?

Ryan J. Stanton

Sat, Mar 16, 2013 : 4:04 a.m.

What do you think is not user-friendly about it? I have found it to be one of the most resourceful government websites I've ever encountered as a reporter.


Fri, Mar 15, 2013 : 11:01 a.m.

Ryan. What would the City pension be for a $111,785 job after 9 years of service? Is this public information?

Ryan J. Stanton

Fri, Mar 15, 2013 : 12:30 p.m.

I believe his pension would be based on the average of his three highest-paid consecutive years multiplied by his total years of service and a 2.5 percent multiplier. Given that he worked roughly 7.75 years here, and assuming his Final Average Compensation (FAC) is about equal to his current salary of $111,785, that could his pension right around $21,000-$22,000 a year, but that's just a rough estimate. I would have to see everything the city factors into his pension calculation when that's done. All that stuff is public record.

Alan Goldsmith

Fri, Mar 15, 2013 : 10:55 a.m.

"Rainey also said he went through a very public selection process that included a public job posting and interviews of multiple candidates." Oh we feel much better now knowing this.

Alan Goldsmith

Fri, Mar 15, 2013 : 10:54 a.m.

Will Rainey also be getting a dual full time job with the City of Flint? Sue McCormick seems to be such an incompetent manager for the Detroit Water Department she's fine with that. Something to ponder as the Governor moves forward on a regional system--will he keep someone as clueless as McCormick on board? Looks like friends of Rick are jumping on the Financial Manager Money Train.


Fri, Mar 15, 2013 : 4:31 a.m.

The City of Ann Arbor website is Really Good as compared to other govt websites I have attempted to navigate! I attribute the elegance of the website to Dan's leadership skills!

Jay Thomas

Fri, Mar 15, 2013 : 4:56 p.m.

City of Detroit websites frequently don't function. It will be interesting to see what he can do there. I consider Detroit to be like "a whole nother country."

Nicholas Urfe

Fri, Mar 15, 2013 : 3:43 a.m.

Why can't he hold the Ann Arbor job and Detroit jobs simultaneously, like that other McCormick crony did?

Ryan J. Stanton

Sat, Mar 16, 2013 : 4:02 a.m.

Cash is correct. Barnett Jones was working jobs in Flint and Detroit after he left Ann Arbor. There's a link in the story to one of our stories on that.


Fri, Mar 15, 2013 : 9:56 a.m.

Actually that was Jones' Emergency Mgr appointed fake job in Flint. Perhaps Flint needs an IT guy.


Fri, Mar 15, 2013 : 2:44 a.m.

Seems like Detroit politics and Ann Arbor politics aren't so different after all.

Ryan J. Stanton

Sat, Mar 16, 2013 : 4:01 a.m.

I can comfortably say with firm certainty that Detroit politics and Ann Arbor politics are enormously different.

Jay Thomas

Fri, Mar 15, 2013 : 4:53 p.m.

No, just a hostage to the university, Brad.


Fri, Mar 15, 2013 : 12:42 p.m.

Except that our ex-mayor isn't in Federal prison.

Ryan J. Stanton

Thu, Mar 14, 2013 : 10:45 p.m.

In case it matters to anyone, Rainey told me he won't be directly reporting to McCormick. There's apparently a COO who oversees the daily ops over there. Rainey also said he went through a very public selection process that included a public job posting and interviews of multiple candidates.


Fri, Mar 15, 2013 : 12:40 p.m.

Ryan- Saying that Rainey doesn't report directly Sue McCormick (due to another layer of management) is like saying that the commander of our forces in Afghanistan doesn't report directly to the president. As for the "public selection process," you and I both know the weight of water such a process carries. The pre-selected candidate will always make it through - you simply need to tailor the job requirements in such a way as to ensure that only one person can fill the job. Interviewing others is just window dressing to enhance the "legitimacy" of the show.


Thu, Mar 14, 2013 : 10:36 p.m.

Gov. Snyder (the number one MI geek) named UM grad Kevin Orr as Emergency Manager for Detroit. The EM for Pontiac outsourced every conceivable city job there was in that city and Detroit is next up in the batter's box. Hopefully Mr. Rainey is aware of the risk. Or maybe he is on the same cloud as Snyder. In the mean time double dipping seems to be okay for Ex-Ann Arborites working under McCormick so stay tuned with this story...