Council to talk compensation for acting city manager

April 6, 2019

The Ludington City Council on Monday will vote on approving additional compensation for Jackie Steckel for her time as acting city manager.

In January, Steckel was appointed to serve as the acting city manager until the new city manager, Mitch Foster, was hired and began work. Although Steckel was offered to be paid 100 percent of the normal city manager wages in addition to her salary as assistant to the city manager, she chose instead to be paid her salary and only 75 percent of the city manager pay, Steckel stated in a memo to the council’s Finance Committee.

Steckel stated she picked that wage percentage because that’s what other city staff members have been paid when holding the place of their superintendent.

“However, what I failed to take into consideration at that time is that I would still have my own job to do,” she stated.

Steckel served as acting city manager and performed her regular duties, resulting in work days of typically 14 to 16 hours for seven weeks, she stated.

Steckel is now requesting she be paid the remaining 25 percent of the city manager wages — $202 per week, or an estimated $1,414 total — for her time as acting manager from Jan. 29 to March 17. She is also asking to be paid the city manager’s car allowance for that time as well, since she used her personal vehicle to attend meetings on the city’s behalf.


The council will also vote on awarding the bid for the city’s stump grinding work to one of three contractors.

Ludington Department of Public Works Superintendent Joe Stickney is recommending that the city choose the lowest bidder, the Ludington-based company R. Bogner Tree Farms and Service.

R. Bogner would do the work for $33 per stump, whereas the Wellston-based contractor Roman Empire Tree would do it for $120 per stump, and Top Priority Tree Service of Auburn would charge $150 per stump.

R. Bogner has contracted with Ludington for the past three years at the rate of $31 per stump, and now the city can offer a similar contract with R. Bogner with an option to renew again for up to three years, according to a memo from Stickney.

“Overall, I feel that R. Bogner does satisfactory work with competitive pricing,” Stickney stated in the memo.


The council will hear a presentation from Matt Biolette, Republic Services municipal services manager, about the rising expenses of recycling. Biolette’s presentation is in connection with a proposed amendment to the city’s recycling contract with Republic Services.

Republic is recommending changing the recycling container from an 18-gallon bin to a 96-gallon cart, which would cost subscribers an annual rental fee of $15 per cart. Collection times would also be reduced from once per week to once per month, according to a memo from Biolette. The effective date of the proposed amendment would be May 30.


The council will consider approving the dates of two community events — Footsteps for Families and Blessing of the Boats.

The proposed Footsteps for Families event, formerly called Walk for Life, would be hosted as a fundraiser by West Shore Pregnancy and Family Support on May 25 at Rotary Park.

The event would include a craft fair and vendors from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on the east side of Lewis Street, a 1-mile walk and a worship concert at 5 p.m.

The proposed Blessing of the Boats event would be hosted by Safe Harbor Credit Union and Ludington Bay Brewing Co. from 2 to 7 p.m. on June 1 at the Ludington Municipal Marina.

The event would be free for the public to attend and include music, food vendors and canned beer. Boaters could also preregister to have their boats blessed during the event. Proceeds from the event would be donated to the Ludington Youth Sailing School.


Also on the council’s agenda, the Building and Licenses Committee will report on the continuation of expenses for an ongoing legal case regarding resident’s denied request for tax exemption.

The council will also hear 2018 annual reports from the Ludington Municipal Marina and the Assessing Department.

The mayor is also expected to adopt an Arbor Day proclamation and to request rescheduling the council’s Committee of the Whole meeting to be at 6 p.m. April 15, instead of 5 p.m.