Following the recommendation of Hastings City Manager Jeff Mansfield, the City Council Monday unanimously approved Jerry Czarnecki as the new Community Development Director, to replace Alan Klein who resigned to pursue a career in law enforcement.
Czarnecki served as Supervisor of the Mathematics Department with Kelloggsville Public Schools in Grand Rapids, and had an extended term as a high school mathematics and science teacher.
“Jerry admittedly has limited prior experience in community development, but I think you will find that his passion, energy and enthusiasm will serve the City of Hastings well as we work as a team to make our community a better place to live, work and play,” Mansfield said in a memo to the council.
Asked by Councilwoman Brenda McNabb-Stange why they hired someone with no experience in community development, Mansfield said Czarnecki has held leadership positions, has been a department head and, “he will fit into the pattern quite well. He’s very well qualified…I look forward to working with him.”
Czarnecki has a Bachelor of Science degree in mathematics from Alma College and a Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership from Grand Valley State University. He will begin work Feb. 27.
Also Monday, the council approved licensed contract operator services for the water and wastewater treatment plants until the end of the fiscal year the last of June to Wade Trim at a cost of $46,150. Wade Trim replaces Mead & Hunt, who recently terminated its agreement with the city.
Mansfield said they met with several firms, and believe Wade Trim “is best able to meet our needs.” The company intends to use George Holzworth, a former Mead & Hunt employee, who was previously the city’s operator for two years. The long term goal is to be able train one of the city’s own employees to become the operator and Wade Trim will help them with that, Mansfield said.
In other business, the council:
*approved the American Cancer Society holding its Barry County Relay for Life at Tyden Park this year, along with the staying of ordinances to accommodate the event, approval of fundraising and waiving the fee for reserving the pavilion
* heard Tom Thompson, of PCI, give a report on construction permits in the city. In the first quarter, 11 permits were issued with a construction valued at $209, 319; in the second quarter, 27 permits for work worth $4,482,423; the third quarter, 16 permits with construction valued at $2,666,880, and the fourth quarter 15 permits for a value of $137,947 for a total for the year of $7,496,389. PCI also inspected 316 rental units out of the 882 units registered in the city.