Thursday, February 4, 2021

Northville community mourns death of Chip Snider

Marvin “Chip” Snider
Flags throughout Northville Township were lowered to half staff last week as an official tribute to former longtime Northville Township Manager Marvin “Chip” Snider, Ph.D., who died Jan. 27.

Mr. Snider, 70, who forever changed the Northville community, is being mourned throughout the area as one of the most influential leaders in the township. He retired in October, 2019 after serving the community for more than 29 years, 19 of those as the chief administrative officer of the township.  

“He was a great colleague, a great leader and a great friend,” said Northville Township Supervisor Mark J. Abbo.

Mr. Snider led the township through a decade of unprecedented growth, officials said. During his tenure, the township population increased from 17,000 in 1990 to 28,500 in 2010, a situation which called for careful management and planning, which Mr. Snider successfully achieved as he prepared the community for continued growth. 

Mr. Snider, a former U.S. Marine, redefined the concept of Servant Leadership by encouraging open dialogue and participation among residents, business leaders, community groups and organizations, providing a strong foundation for township management, according to those who worked with him.

Mr. Snider's career included 41 years of municipal public safety service, 18 of those years as chief of police and public safety director. He began his career as a police officer in Milan and Farmington Hills and joined Northville Township as police chief in 1990. He served in law enforcement in two cities, one village and two townships in Southeastern Michigan. In August 1993, after three years with the township, he restructured the police and fire departments to a nominally-consolidated Public Safety Department. This effort centralized budget development, increased coordination of public safety planning, and optimized knowledge and skills of public safety personnel, according to a prepared statement from the township.

Township officials said that Mr. Snider's legacy includes his innate ability to teach.  He was a mentor to many, and his influence has made an indelible impact on generations of professionals at Northville Township, co-workers noted.

Mr. Snider handpicked his successor, Todd L. Mutchler, who holds the dual role of township manager and director of public safety.

“Chip modeled Servant Leadership; when you brought an issue to him, he listened, he encouraged, and he supported you,” Mutchler said. “He genuinely cared for and respected his team. He embraced his role as my mentor and friend which I will always cherish.”

Mr. Snider earned a doctoral degree in clinical psychology and a master's degree in public administration. He was also a graduate of the FBI National Academy. 

“A valued member of the Northville Township family was lost today,” said Abbo. “Chip's contributions will live on and he will truly be missed.” In an official township proclamation lowering the flags to half mast in honor of Mr. Snider, Abbo said, “He was a terrific public servant, right down to his days serving in Vietnam as a U.S. Marine. His love for this community, this country, make this proclamation a fitting tribute to this man who meant so much to so many.” 

Mr. Snider, a Canton Township resident,  is survived by his wife, Diana , and children Derek (Traci) and Devon, and seven grandchildren. A memorial service will be planned when pandemic restrictions allow. Arrange-ments were entrusted to the Griffin Funeral Home.