Tom Crawford to step in to fill Ann Arbor city administrator position temporarily
Tom Crawford will step in as Ann Arbor's interim city administrator after Roger Fraser retires at the end of this month, the Ann Arbor City Council decided Tuesday night.
The vote was unanimous to have Crawford, the city's chief financial officer since July 2004, fill the position until the city can find a permanent replacement for Fraser, who has taken a job in Lansing as deputy treasurer for the state of Michigan.
A resident of Ann Arbor and native of North Carolina, Crawford previously was employed by the Ford Motor Co. He also worked for the FDIC and federal Office of Thrift Supervision.
Ryan J. Stanton | AnnArbor.com
Crawford won't fill the administrator's position permanently. The interim job was open only to internal candidates, with the stipulation that the person chosen would not be considered for the permanent job.
The city's search committee has decided to tap the expertise of an executive search firm to find a permanent administrator. The city will pay Pennsylvania-based Affion Public somewhere short of $25,000 for its services, inclusive of travel costs.
Members of the city's search committee include Mayor John Hieftje and Council Members Sabra Briere, Christopher Taylor, Tony Derezinski and Marcia Higgins.
Higgins, D-4th Ward, said the committee is recommending a salary range of $145,000 to $150,000. Fraser currently makes a base salary of $145,354, but his total income from the city has pushed nearly $160,000 in recent years due to bonuses awarded by council.
The salary range is somewhat similar to what administrators in other Michigan cities make. In Grand Rapids, the administrator makes $142,000. In Sterling Heights, it's $140,207.
Higgins said the job description will be posted online today. She said the city will be taking applications from both internal and external candidates.
Many have speculated Ann Arbor's current public services area administrator Sue McCormick seems the most logical appointment if the city is going to promote from within.
Higgins said the goal is to conduct interviews in June, with a new administrator selected by July 1, the start of the city's next fiscal year. That person would start their new job Aug. 1.
"It's very aggressive, but we think it's doable," Higgins said.
Briere, D-1st Ward, said she has received feedback from residents in an online survey and they appear to be concerned about the capacity of the next administrator to handle the city's budget issues and communicate effectively with council and the community.
The city's charter states the city administrator shall be the administrative agent of the City Council and is in charge of directing and supervising the work of the police department, fire department, public works, utilities, parks and recreation, building and safety engineering, clerk, controller and other departments designated by council.
The city administrator also is responsible for presenting a balanced budget to the City Council every year, usually around April.
Fraser could receive a pension worth more than $41,000 annually when he retires after nine-plus years as Ann Arbor's top administrator, according to an AnnArbor.com analysis of city records. He also will be eligible for lifetime health insurance benefits.
Ryan J. Stanton covers government and politics for AnnArbor.com. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or 734-623-2529. You also can follow him on Twitter or subscribe to AnnArbor.com's e-mail newsletters.