Ishpeming offers manager job

ISHPEMING – After conducting interviews Friday morning, the Ishpeming City Council voted unanimously to offer its open city manager position to Mark Slown, the current city manager of downstate Rogers City since 2006.

“This man gave a brilliant interview. Anything you could ever say good about a person in an interview, you could say about him,” said Ishpeming Mayor Mike Tall. “Mr. Slown had credentials like I have never seen or heard before.”

Before taking the city manager’s job in Rogers City, Slown was the city manager for downstate Oxford. He is a retired lieutenant colonel from the U.S. Air Force. He served in the military for 27 years. He has also worked on Michigan Municipal League committees.

Tall said Slown was “charismatic” and “very knowledgeable.” Tall said candidate Charles Cleaver of downstate Hale was also very knowledgeable. Cleaver – who has 22 years of local government experience, most recently as administrator and comptroller for Cass County – was interviewed Friday morning in Ishpeming, as was Slown.

Alan Bakalarski of the Michigan Municipal League served as an intermediary for the city council, posing questions to the candidates.

Ishpeming city council member Claudia Demarest said she made the motion to offer the position to Slown. Councilman Mike Tonkin did not attend the meeting.

“I think he is going to be good for us,” Demarest said of Slown. “I think he is going to be able to help us.”

Demarest said Slown was recently involved in Rogers City with water rate issues similarly being faced by the city of Ishpeming.

Slown was still in Ishpeming filling out paperwork for background checks Friday when he was informed of the city council’s vote. Friday afternoon he met with Bakalarski to discuss the offer made by the city. He has no deadline to respond.

The Ishpeming city manager vacancy was created when former city manager Jered Ottenwess was hired as the city manager of downstate Traverse City in July. Ottenwess had worked for the city of Ishpeming for three years and as a city manager in Trenton, Fla., for five years.

John Pepin can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 206. His email address is