Thursday, April 1, 2021

Police chief may become Belleville city manager

One candidate to become the new city manager in Belleville stood out above the other 20 hopefuls who applied for the job.

Police Chief Dave Robinson who assumed the city manager role as an interim position when Tracey Schultz-Kobylarz left the job about a month ago, is expected to be offered the job while continuing to lead the police department. 

Schultz-Kobylarz was hired when former long-time City Manager Diana Kollmeyer retired in February of 2020. During a Zoom meeting earlier this month, members of the city council agreed to establish a committee to explore the possibility of having Robinson, also hired in February of 2020, continue in the city manager position while continuing his current responsibilities as police chief.

Mayor Kerreen Conley said during the meeting that she thought this was “a great idea.” The committee is expected to return to the council with a report in early April.

Members of the council agreed that Robinson was admirably and efficiently fulfilling the role and that they were “comfortable” with his performance. 

Mayor Pro Tem Jesse Marcotte said that he felt the communication Robinson and Clerk/Treasurer Vern Chapman were providing was outstanding. He said that he saw no reduction in services with Robinson in the dual role.

One of the 20 candidates who applied for the city manager job dropped out of the running, leaving 19 candidates to be considered by the city, all of whom, according to Conley, wanted a minimum salary of $130,000. 

Councilman Ken Voight commented that of the 19 applicants, he felt only three or four might be interviewed for the job.  He said he was not impressed with most of the applicants and felt it could be a waste of time to interview them.

“I'm impressed with the administrative abilities of the chief,” Voight, who previously served as police chief, said.

 “He came in and immediately identified the two biggest problems in the department and he took care of it. I'm in favor of having him as city manager indefinitely.”

Robinson said he would entertain the idea and have a conversation about assuming the dual role full-time.