Chelsea Loses Its Community Development Director


By Doug Marrin, STN Reporter

Note: Since the article's writing, the STN received the following correction from the City of Chelsea on July 17, 2022:

"The May 8, 2022 online edition of the Sun Times included an article titled “Chelsea Loses Its Community Development Director” which contained the sentence “The Sun Times News has confirmed that Chelsea Community Development Director Julia Upfal has been dismissed.” Please be advised that Ms. Upfal in fact resigned from employment with the City effective May 2, 2022."

The City of Chelsea has lost another city administrator. The Sun Times News has confirmed that Chelsea Community Development Director Julia Upfal has been dismissed. The specific reason for Ms. Upfal’s removal has not yet been made public.

Ms. Upfal’s departure adds another administrative position for Chelsea to fill on a roster already plagued by empty positions.

The City Manager position is open with Administrative Finance Director Amanda Garber acting as Interim City Manager. On April 25, Ms. Garber put in her notice effective May 13. According to the May 2, 2022, City Council packet, Ms. Garber is leaving Chelsea for a position with Meridian Township and will report directly to Township Manager Frank Walsh. Walsh’s consulting firm, Walsh Municipal Services, has been contracted by Chelsea to lead its search for a new City Manager.

According to the council agenda item, “Both Ms. Garber and Mr. Walsh were transparent about the hire and have offered to work with the City of Chelsea to help facilitate a smooth transition as we finish out our City Manager search.”

In discussion, the Council expressed its strong support of Ms. Garber’s decision, noting her new position's benefits. The Council and Ms. Garber then entered into a contract where Ms. Garber will continue City Manager responsibilities at half-time with half the compensation effective May 14 until the new City Manager is in place. The City reported that Walsh Services is on schedule to have a new City Manager by mid-June.

In addition to City Manager, Administrative Finance Director, and Community Development Director, Chelsea is looking to fill its open City Clerk spot and hire a new Police Chief. In March, current Police Chief Ed Toth submitted his resignation effective August 15.

The (Interim) City Manager is the direct supervisor for the city’s administrative staff. The Sun Times News has requested comment from Ms. Garber and Mayor Pacheco regarding Ms. Upfal’s dismissal but has not received a response as of this writing.

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