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Kzoo City Commission votes to start contract negotiations in City Mgr. search
KALAMAZOO, Mich. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) - The Kalamazoo City Commission Monday night has just voted to enter contract negotiations with a candidate for the position of Kalamazoo City Manager.
According to a Newschannel 3 representative at the City Commission meeting, the commission has voted to enter negotiations with Battle Creek City Manager James Ritsema.
Other candidates for the job included Middleville Village Manager Rebecca Fleury, Kalamazoo Assistant City Manager Jerome Kisscorni, and PDA Consulting Group Vice President George Penn.
Over the course of the meeting, the unanimous favorites were Ritsema and Fleury. After debate, the commission decided to enter negotiations with Ritsema.
The move would cut out the process of commissioner visits at the candidates' current place of employment.
Mr. Ritsema sent the following statement to Newschannel 3 after the unanimous vote;
"I am grateful for the Kalamazoo City Commission's confidence in me and am glad to be joining an excellent organization. I plan on winding down my work in Battle Creek over the next month. Kalamazoo is a vibrant community, and my family and I look forward to being a part of it. I will work hard to gain the trust of the Commission and City staff to meet the many challenges head on. Among my top priorities will be dealing with the City's projected budget deficit and long term financial sustainability; supporting the Police Chief in carrying out the recommendations from the racial profiling study; and helping the City organization transition to a downsized workforce resulting from a recently implemented early retirement incentive program."