You’ll all be relieved to hear that Grand Traverse County Undersheriff Nathan Alger is a finalist for the position of Grand Traverse County Administrator. He’s currently serving as co-interim acting county administrator despite not being qualified to hold the position because of the Incompatible Offices Act but don’t worry we asked ourselves and decided it was fine.
If you believe the party line, you think that Alger is the hero of it all and the county is fixed. But most of the accomplishments that the article talks about are things that Tom Menzel actually accomplished while fighting a flurry of opposition and it’s okay for everyone else but not me’s that ultimately led to his departure and the departures of others who supported his policies. And instead of responsibly paying down the pension deficit which is the no brainer, the people in power today are already talking about paying employees more because, well, morale. (In the private sector, nobody cares about your feelings.)
If Alger gets the County Administrator position, it will be another example of locals promoting who’s next in the pipeline. In addition to TCAPS Superintendent Paul Soma’s internal hire, one of the arguments for the whole Carol Stocking special arrangement was so that they could hire a deputy administrator from a downstate district court who couldn’t just up and leave in the middle of a school year. (They talk about it at this link beginning at 43:00 minutes.) But alas, in the end, they chose the next person in line.
Outside candidates may be more experienced, and they can bring fresh ideas with them. Promoting from within isn’t always bad. It’s just that we seem to do it a lot around here.