By John Hummer
The Brooklyn Village Council has hired a new village manager to replace the current village manager, Jae Guetschow, pictured left, who will retire at the end of April. Late last week, Scott Czasak, presently living and working in Escanaba, accepted the position. He will start Monday, May 2. His starting salary is $78,000 per year.
The village council interviewed four prospective candidates on Saturday, March 19. There were initially 24 applicants for the position that got whittled down to four candidates. “He was the unanimous choice of all seven council members,” Guetschow stated.
Czasak, pictured left, is currently the executive director for the City of Escanaba Downtown Development Authority. He hails from Clinton Township in Macomb County (northeast Detroit suburb) and is a 2000 graduate of Chippewa Valley High School.
“It was a wonderful opportunity to come back downstate after my sojourn up here in the U.P. – it’s a little bit closer to my family,” Czasak said. “The community looked like a great place to live and to work. The slight salary bump from what I’m making now was attractive as well. It was kind of a combination of professional and personal reasons. I look forward to being part of the community and I look forward to meeting as many people as I can over the course of my time in Brooklyn.”
“We were obviously looking for somebody that had experience being a village manager, but we were all aware of the fact that, due to the pay range that we were able to offer, we probably were not going to get someone with that experience,” said Village Council President Estella Roberts. “So, we looked at what other kinds of experience would be most important to us. We kind of looked at somebody that had experience in financial planning and budgeting, somebody that had the ability and experience of managing staff, and hopefully somebody that had experience in the government sector. Scott was the one that closely fits all of those criteria. We’re looking forward to good things from Scott.” (more below)
Frank Walsh of Walsh Municipal Services was contracted by the Village of Brooklyn to conduct the village manager search. “They had several good candidates,” he said. “Scott got the nod, I believe, because of his passion for the position, his experience in working with downtowns, and an incredible sense of humor.”
“I was really impressed to see the number of applications,” Guetschow said of the hiring process. “It’s a struggle right now. There’s a shortage of experienced managers. We didn’t expect to get anybody with the exact experience, but Scott comes with what looks like are some good credentials.”
Village DPW director resigns, retires
Keith Kotsch informed village officials late last week that he was resigning as the village’s Department of Public Works Director and retiring from the village. According to Village Manager Jae Guetschow, the notice was verbally given without a letter of resignation. Village Council President Estella Roberts said a written letter was expected early this week.
Guetschow said he will be acting DPW director pending the start of the new village manager on May 2.