Stories indexed with the term ‘Bob Guenzel’

Guenzel Reappointed to DDA Board

Bob Guenzel has been reappointed to a second four-year term on the Ann Arbor Downtown Development Authority board. The city council took the action at its Aug. 18, 2014 meeting. The council’s confirmation vote, on the mayoral nomination that had been made at the council’s Aug. 7 meeting, was unanimous, with no discussion.

Guenzel was first appointed to the DDA board in 2010 when mayor John Hieftje chose not to reappoint Jennifer Santi Hall. During her tenure on the DDA board, Hall was on occasion sharply critical of the board as a group – for a lack of commitment to open and transparent governance.

During Guenzel’s first four years of service, board decisions on salary increases for DDA executive director Susan Pollay … [Full Story]

Guenzel to Chair DDA; Boren is Thanked

At its Sept. 7, 2011 meeting, the Ann Arbor Downtown Development Authority board voted unanimously to name Bob Guenzel as board chair and Leah Gunn as vice chair.

The board had been without a chair, because board member Gary Boren, who had been elected to that post by his board colleagues at their July 6, 2011 meeting, was not nominated by mayor John Hieftje for reappointment to the board after his term expired on July 31. Boren was replaced on the board by local attorney Nader Nassif.

Guenzel, who retired last year as Washtenaw County administrator, was elected vice chair of the board at the July meeting and, according to the bylaws, would perform all the duties of the chair. Gunn’s other … [Full Story]

County Building To Be Named for Guenzel?

A proposal to name a county building on Main Street in honor of recently retired Washtenaw County administrator Bob Guenzel is receiving pushback from one commissioner. At last week’s administrative briefing, Wes Prater told his fellow county commissioners that the resolution being presented at their May 19 board meeting “is going to cause some conversation.”

Washtenaw County administration building

The Washtenaw County administration building at the northeast corner of Main and Ann streets might be renamed the Robert E. Guenzel Government Center. (Photo by the writer.)

Conan Smith defended the resolution, which would name the building at 200 N. Main St. the Robert E. Guenzel Government Center. He called Guenzel’s 37-year tenure “remarkable,” saying his length of service and number of accomplishments makes him worthy of the honor. But Prater questioned the process and fairness of the decision, asking, “Who’s being overlooked?”

Also at Wednesday’s briefing, incoming county administrator Verna McDaniel announced her decision to hire Bill Reynolds as deputy administrator. He was one of two finalists who’d been in town earlier this month for a full day of interviews. The board will be asked to approve the hire at its June 2 meeting.

To mark her promotion to county administrator, McDaniel will be honored at a reception prior to the May 19 board meeting, from 5:30-6:30 p.m. at 220 N. Main St.

After last Wednesday’s briefing, commissioners also held a caucus to discuss appointments to nine county boards and commissions. They’ll vote on the appointments at their May 19 meeting, and if the consensus reached at caucus holds, it will result in turnover on the county’s historic district commission.

And a dearth of applications for the workforce development board prompted a discussion of the importance of that group, which helps oversee the county’s Employment Training and Community Services (ETCS) department. Among other things, ETCS is handling roughly $4 million in stimulus funds to weatherize local homes, and commissioner Ken Schwartz raised concerns over the effectiveness of that effort. [Full Story]

County Board Says Farewell to Guenzel

Washtenaw County Board of Commissioners meeting (May 5, 2010): At his last board meeting before retiring later this month, Washtenaw County administrator Bob Guenzel received an extended standing ovation from commissioners, staff and others in attendance, including his wife, Pam Guenzel.

Bob Guenzel

On Wednesday, Washtenaw County administrator Bob Guenzel attended the last board of commissioners meeting of his 37-year career with the county. (Photos by the writer.)

The board’s tribute to the outgoing leader came at the end of a meeting that included a first-quarter budget update with news both good and bad. Though the county’s general fund budget is on track to show a surplus, it’s not as much as needed to carry over into 2011 – which means the budget could be tighter next year. And Guenzel cautioned that 2012 and 2013 could be even more challenging.

Also during the meeting, two finalists for the job of deputy county administrator were introduced: Bill Reynolds, who leads the Chippewa County (Wisc.) government and is former chief of staff for Sen. Arlen Specter, and Jose Reyes, CEO of a Southfield management consulting firm. They had been interviewing all day for the position now held by Verna McDaniel, who’ll be the next county administrator.

And what was expected to be a relatively short meeting was lengthened by a discussion about the Washtenaw Urban County‘s annual plan, which commissioners were being asked to approve. Despite some apparent confusion on the part of one commissioner over funding sources in the plan, it ultimately received unanimous support.

After the meeting, commissioners and staff headed over to Argiero’s to give Guenzel a send-off. A larger farewell party is planned later this month at The Ark, where he is a long-time board member. [Full Story]

County Administrator Guenzel to Retire

Bob Guenzel, Washtenaw County administrator, plans to retire in May of 2010.

Bob Guenzel, Washtenaw County administrator, plans to retire in May of 2010. (Photo courtesy of Washtenaw County.)

Bob Guenzel, Washtenaw County’s top administrator and the leader of a wide range of community initiatives, is retiring after 37 years with the county. He informed the board of commissioners on Thursday – the day after the board passed the 2010/2011 county budget – and told the county’s department heads on Friday morning. His last day will likely be May 14.

“It’s been a great run,” Guenzel told The Chronicle.

Guenzel, who turned 68 last month, has indicated an intention to retire for some time, but said he had wanted to see the organization through its difficult two-year budget cycle before setting a definitive date to step down. With tax revenues falling because of a sharp drop in property values, the county faced a projected $30 million deficit over the next two years. While the budget that was passed on Wednesday is balanced, already it’s likely the county will need to make more cuts in early 2010.

The position of county administrator is appointed by the board of commissioners – Guenzel has served in that role since 1994, and for 22 years before that served as the county’s corporation counsel. Board chair Rolland Sizemore Jr. couldn’t be reached for comment about the upcoming transition and search for a new administrator. Vice chair Mark Ouimet said commissioners hadn’t yet had the chance to discuss it. [Full Story]