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 Wed, Jul 25, 2012 : 12:27 p.m.

Ypsilanti director of administrative services resigns, accepts new position in Kalamazoo

By Katrease Stafford

Ypsilanti’s director of administrative services David Kowal has announced his resignation less than a year after accepting the job last September.


David Kowal

Courtesy Grand Rapids Press

Kowal submitted his letter July 20 and City Clerk Frances McMullen notified city staff Monday. His last day is Aug. 3.

Kowal has accepted a job in Kalamazoo as the administration manager for Metro Transit, Kalamazoo’s public transit department. His start date is Aug. 13.

“I received notice last week that I was offered the position,” Kowal told "It's easier for me because that's where I'm from and that's where my family is. I'm not leaving Ypsilanti to leave Ypsilanti. I'm leaving because Kalamazoo is more convenient."

Mayor Paul Schreiber said since Kowal's initial hiring Sept. 6, 2011, his job title and responsibilities have evolved. He was initially hired as assistant city manager and replaced April McGrath after she accepted a job as Ferndal's city manager.

Kowal was responsible for the overall management of human resources, planning and community development, building and code enforcement and assisting in the general management of operations of city government.

Kowal served as the city’s "chief labor negotiator" and played a key role in administering labor contracts and solving contract disputes.

Schreiber said no immediate decision has been made as to whether or not the position will be filled and most likely, City Manager Ralph Lange will decide what to do with the position. Lange said during the June 29 City Council meeting that he would be looking for ways to save money and stave off a possible $4 million deficit for fiscal year 2016 and $4.6 million deficit in 2017.

Kowal has a salary of $82,400.

"Lange starts July 30 and I think we're going to let him make the call," Schreiber said. “He needs to be able to start work and meet the rest of staff and determine what is the best way to address staff restructuring.

Schreiber said Kowal “will be missed” and credited him with helping develop the long term five-year financial plan for the city.

"He helped Ypsilanti a lot,” Schreiber said. “David was an extremely hard worker and very detail orientated and made things understandable."

Kowal said although his tenure in Ypsilanti was "relatively short," he was able to develop a sense of the many financial challenges the city is facing.

"We have faced and continue to face many challenges that are very significant but the best part of any job, and the city of Ypsilanti is no exception, is working with a group of very dedicated employees that, in my opinion, are very undervalued," Kowal said.

Katrease Stafford covers the city of Ypsilanti for Reach her at 734-623-2548 or You can also follow her on Twitter.



Thu, Jul 26, 2012 : 12:07 p.m.

Do these contracts they sign have an committment time or what?????? Instead of handling City business, sounds like he's been spending his time "job shopping" What a waste to the City. I agree with whoever said "promote from within". I'm sure there are qualified, committed people in City Hall that would and could do this job. O let's not forget remain committed to the City. PROMOTE FROM WITHIN!


Fri, Jul 27, 2012 : 2:41 a.m.

There are qualified people within who could assume these responsibilities. Hiring more interns to fill in is not a solution either, because as rhe city continues to experience,they move on quickly also.


Thu, Jul 26, 2012 : 6:04 a.m.

Whatever happened to loyalty and commitment in "public service"? And then he gets accalaides for "bailing". What a crock. Public service has become a good old boy get rich scheme and to hell with the taxpayers. It's the best scam in America and it's legal and not subject to any change because the foxes are in control of the hen house and taxpayers are the hens.

recovering bureacrat

Wed, Jul 25, 2012 : 7:58 p.m.

when will upper management understand that promoting from within their own ranks is the thing to do. most of the current employees have established their lives in the communities they serve and if given moral support by being recognized and promoted within their qualifications they'll have built in incentive to stay on the job all the way to retirement age. how many more contracts can we afford to pay out? look around, you have stellar people right under your noses. Sheeesh. is it politically incorrect to exercise common sense?


Fri, Jul 27, 2012 : 2:30 a.m.

If only council would realize that. They undermine city staff and brand them as incompetent. Hopefully a new day is coming. Staff is there because they want to be and have a genuine interest in the city. Outside is not always best. Invest in the loyal employees you have. Outsiders can't save us and are not willing to go above and beyond to make things work.

dading dont delete me bro

Wed, Jul 25, 2012 : 6:44 p.m.

"Kowal has a salary of $82,400." **had** as i stated before on a story about an ypsilanti official leaving... train wreck ahead?


Wed, Jul 25, 2012 : 5:11 p.m.

Sounds like an Emergency Manager for the city as well as the school district. We are fast becoming the Benton Harbor of SE Michigan.