Ypsilanti Assistant City Manager April McGrath chosen for vacant Ferndale city manager's post
Ypsilanti Assistant City Manager April McGrath is leaving her post to fill the vacant city manager’s position in Ferndale.
McGrath is the second assistant city manager from Ypsilanti to be selected for Ferndale’s city manager’s office. Bob Bruner, who left Ferndale earlier this year to serve as Birmingham’s city manager, was an Ypsilanti assistant city manager until 2007.
The Ferndale City Council voted unanimously to approve hiring McGrath late Friday afternoon. She was chosen over two other finalists, including a deputy city manager from Southfield and Marine City's city manager. She said she expects to begin her new job in five to six weeks.
No information was immediately available on when a replacement for McGrath would be selected.
McGrath said Ferndale, like Ypsilanti, faces financial challenges, though voters there approved a Headlee override that provided some breathing room. Still, it has seen significant staff and budget cuts.
“I think there are a lot of parallels with Ypsilanti and Ferndale, so it’s a good match for me,” McGrath said.
She added that working in Ypsilanti taught her to be “very creative with the limited resources available, which will help me anywhere I go.”
“Working under (City Manager) Ed Koryzno is the best thing that I’ve ever done,” she said. “I can take what he taught me and apply the best I can in Ferndale.”
While excited about her move, McGrath said leaving Ypsilanti is “bittersweet.”
“Ypsilanti is getting a great reputation, and the community is one of the most committed communities I’ve ever worked for,” she said. “The people who volunteer are awesome and we wouldn’t be able to do a lot of what we do without them. I’m gong to miss that huge sense of community and how proud to be from Ypsilanti everyone is.”
Mayor Paul Schreiber said McGrath has held multiple positions within the city and “did them all with a high level of skill.”
He said her selection also speaks to Koryzno's skills. Koryzno mentored McGrath, Bruner and Jason Wicha, a former intern who is now the village administrator in Thornton, IN.
“I certainly wish April the best and I think she will do a great job,” Schreiber said. “I think it also points out to me how lucky we are to have a seasoned veteran in Ed Koryzno, who allows young employees to achieve and amass the skills needed to grow and move into new positions.”