July 14, 2024 Donate

County, Dexter, Dexter Government, Government, Michigan, Scio Township

Scio Township Begins to Look for a New Township Manager

So what’s next for Scio Township when it comes to the Township Manager?

Another Township Manager/Administrator has stepped down from the role after it was announced Joyce Parker, who has served in the role for over a year, will be leaving the township effective September 15.

In its announcement about the news, Scio Township said “Parker has decided to step down from her position due to increased personal responsibilities.”

The township detailed some of the positive things Parker has brought to Scio.

“During her tenure, Parker’s leadership and dedication have brought about numerous key accomplishments for the community highlighted below:

• Creating and Staffing New and Existing Positions: Under Parker’s management, the township expanded its workforce to enhance service delivery. This included adding three firefighters, a part-time human resource director, a part-time finance assistant, a utility technician, a project manager, and a utility director.

• Strategic Planning: Parker facilitated a strategic planning session in December 2023, which was well attended by township officials and committee leaders. This initiative set proposed priorities for the township aimed at driving future growth and development.

• Adoption of a New Budget: The budgeting process initiated in December 2023 culminated in the adoption of a new budget in March 2024, ensuring financial stability and resource allocation aligned with the township’s goals.

• Improved Finance Department Staffing: Recognizing the demands on the finance department, Parker recommended retaining PM GAP for interim finance director services until a full-time director could be hired later this year.

• Several Capital Improvements: Parker’s tenure saw significant capital improvements, including purchasing a water tanker for the fire department, replacing outdated meters, securing a new generator for efficiency at pump stations and township hall, and overhauling the vehicle fleet. A comprehensive capital improvement plan now projects needs for the next six years.

• Move Toward Formal Standard Operating Procedures: In late 2023, the Board of Trustees approved hiring a consulting firm to develop standard operating procedures for all departments, except the fire department. This initiative aims to support both existing and new staff.

• Improved Audit Efficiency: For the first time in several years, the township’s audit for the 2022/23 fiscal year was completed on time, reflecting improved operational efficiency.

• Instituted Open Door Policy: Parker maintained an open-door policy, regularly meeting with staff, elected officials, and community members. This approach fostered a deeper understanding of organizational and community needs.”

The Sun Times News reached out to township Supervisor Will Hathaway to ask about the situation.

“I had heard from Township Manager Parker that she was considering resigning some time ago,” Hathaway said. “She cited personal reasons for her decision. She and I discussed her situation and she was persuaded to delay her decision.”

Hathaway said when “Township Manager Parker brought up her plan to resign again; she was firm in her resolve to resign prior to the August 6 primary election. I urged her to set a date for her departure that would allow time for a search for an interim Township Manager. She chose September 15 because that will also be after the completion of the Township’s annual audit.”

 

In his report to the board, Hathaway said “We were all sorry to learn of Township Manager Parker’s decision to resign effective September 15, 2024.”

He said, “Scio Township has benefited in many ways from Joyce Parker’s leadership over the past year. Joyce has guided us toward positive changes with our budget process and annual audit preparation. She also helped Scio think ahead through strategic goal setting and capital planning. Joyce brings tremendous wisdom based on her experience with other municipalities. Her calm, professional attitude and sense of humor have helped to foster collegiality among everyone at Township Hall. We are sad to see her go and wish her all the best.”

Prior to Parker, the township saw some turnover in this role over the past couple of years, from Marc Thompson, David Rowley to Jim Merte.

Now Scio will look for a new interim manager.

In his report, Hathaway said they must move quickly to fill the vacancy.

Hathaway told STN he reached out to a search firm, Amy Cell LLC, based in Ypsilanti. Scio Township has used Amy Cell for prior search efforts. He said the search for an interim Township Manager will proceed with a goal of evaluating candidates and making a hire prior to the September 15 deadline of Township Manager Parker’s last day. We have a search committee of the following five individuals: Mark Brazeau, Kathleen Knol, Aurora Northrup, Donna Palmer and Joyce Parker.

The search committee will make a recommendation to the Board of Trustees which will make the final decision on hiring an interim Township Manager.