Ann Arbor’s New City Admin: Powers

At its July 18, 2011 regular meeting, the Ann Arbor city council chose unanimously to offer Steve Powers the job of city administrator. The decision for Powers over another finalist, Ellie Oppenheim, came after two rounds of interviews on July 12-13, including a televised session on Wednesday morning. [Previous Chronicle coverage: "Search Concluding for Ann Arbor City Admin"] The council moved the item to the start of its agenda on Monday evening and deliberated briefly on the choice.

Powers currently serves as county administrator of Marquette County, Mich. – a position he’s held since 1996. Oppenheim most recently served as CEO of the Reno-Sparks Convention and Visitors Authority.

The resolution approved by the city council on Monday specifies that the appointment of Powers is contingent on signing a contract. The council’s city administrator search committee had recommended targeting recruitment of a city administrator with a base salary in the $145,000-$150,000 range. Negotiations on the council’s side will be handled by members of the search committee: Marcia Higgins (Ward 4), Sabra Briere (Ward 1), Christopher Taylor (Ward 3) and mayor John Hieftje.

The city’s chief financial officer, Tom Crawford, has been serving as interim city administrator since April 28 – he was appointed to that position at the city council’s April 19, 2011 meeting. Previous city administrator Roger Fraser announced his resignation at a Feb. 28 city council working session. Fraser took a job with the state of Michigan as a deputy treasurer.

This brief was filed from Ann Arbor city council chambers at city hall, 301 E. Huron. A more detailed report of the meeting will follow.


  1. July 19, 2011 at 1:53 pm | permalink

    Aha! I happened to watch the Council discussion and vote yesterday (July 18). The adoption of the resolution, and the appointment of the City’s negotiators on the contract, did not happen until close to 8 p.m. And yet the Chronicle alleges that this article was filed at 7 p.m.

    Did the Chronicle have inside knowledge of what was going to happen? Or is its clock mis-set?

  2. July 20, 2011 at 8:41 am | permalink

    Re: [1] “Aha! … Did the Chronicle have inside knowledge of what was going to happen? Or is its clock mis-set?”

    Neither. Times on all articles are generated by displaying the hour value from the system time when the article was published, but not the minutes. The 24-hour system timestamp on that article is 19:51. That gives 7 p.m. as the display time.