Council conducts city manager evaluation, continues contract
During a closed session following the Monday, Jan. 21 Tecumseh City Council meeting, council members conducted an evaluation of City Manager Kevin Welch. Although details are kept private, Mayor Richard Johnson said the council members gave Welch “a favorable review,” which included extending his contract for another year.“Kevin is the consummate professional, and he’s what other city managers should be judged by,” Johnson added.Welch will be putting together a list of goals and priorities based on comments made during the review. Johnson said bringing jobs to Tecumseh remained at the top of the priority list of things the council members would like to see emphasized.“Bringing in new jobs is important, but it’s more than that,” he said. “We’d like to see a continued effort at working with the business leaders in the city to make sure that we’re doing everything we can for them as well.”The council members also adopted an ordinance to amend the uses within the TRD (Technology, Research and Development) Zoning District as recommended by the Tecumseh Planning Commis-sion. The amendment addresses industrial, transportation and utility uses and addresses the TRD district. During a first reading earlier this month, Tecumseh Economic Development Director Paula Holtz said that the city had been receiving some leads from light industrial businesses along with research and development inquiries for its Tecumseh Business Campus on M-50 next to Lenawee Stamping.Holtz said by amending the ordinance to allow light industrial on the business campus could help the city pursue opportunities in addition to just research and development. She added that there were still a few safeguards in place, such as design guidelines, and that the city also retains some ownership control.“We don’t want to restrict our opportunities,” said Welch, “and this approval was made to accommodate some of the requests we’re getting as companies seek available land.”The council also adopted a resolution on the complete streets initiative, which is a framework for streets that accommodate all forms of travel. Through the resolution, the city declared its support for the concept and principles encompassed in the state adopted complete streets initiative.“This was more of a formality,” said Welch. “We pretty much follow the concept in our master plan, however that term was not specifically used in the past.” He said adopting the complete streets initiative would help ensure that the city wouldn’t lose out on possible grant funding in the future for not using the proper terminology. In other business, the council members:• Approved the 2013 Car Show series for May 16, June 20, July 18, August 15 and September 19. The northeast parking lot and North Ottawa Street from M-50 to the first residential driveway on the east side of the street will be closed from 5-8 p.m. on those dates. The United Bank and Trust parking lot will also be used for the event.• Appointed Derral Prater to the Board of Review.• Authorized the sale of two 2005 Fords and one 2007 Ford that were former police cars through JM Auction Service of Adrian.