At a special meeting of Milford City Council on June 29, council accepted the resignation of Hans Medlarz, who took the position vacated when Richard Carmean retired. Mr. Medlarz began working for the city in January 2015.
“Although Mr. Medlarz was with us for a short period of time as City Manager, his engineering experience and prowess as a partner in Davis, Bowen & Friedel and under Kent County, has placed our city on a stable foundation for the future,” said Mayor Bryan Shupe. “As City Manager, he was able to move forward many infrastructure projects which are critical to our residents and business community., helping prepare us for future growth. It was an honor to work alongside and learn from Mr. Medlarz. I wish him the best in his future endeavors.”
Mr. Medlarz would not elaborate on his reasons for leaving the position after holding it for just under seven months. He said he was happy to serve and move projects along, but did not indicate that there was any particular reason that led him to resign.
“That would not be an appropriate question,” Mr. Medlarz said after the meeting. “I enjoyed my time here and was pleased to be part of moving projects forward. The city needs a unified approach and I see great opportunities ahead.” When asked if he had any immediate plans after leaving the city manager’s job, Mr. Medlarz said that he would not be “entering into local government.”
During the meeting, council named Jeff Portmann, the current Chief Financial Officer with the city, as the Interim City Manager. Mr. Portmann has been with the city for over 25 years and is familiar with all city functions. Mayor Shupe said that Mr. Portmann has worked with every city department and his knowledge of finances was critical in keeping the city moving forward. Novak Group, a recruitment firm, was chosen to begin the search for a new city manager, with Municipal Solutions chosen as a second choice. Novak Group has a three month timeline to find a new city manager.
“A lot of things need to move forward which is why we want to get started right away finding Hans’ replacement,” Mayor Shupe said. “We will move as quickly as we can but we also want to be sure we hire the right person.” Mayor Shupe said that he understood that people may be concerned about the resignation of top level staff but that he also knew that Milford was good at picking up and moving forward.
Mayor Shupe said that the recruitment company would work closely with him, council and Terri Hudson, City Clerk, while searching for a replacement. Council agreed to appoint a committee who would interview and select qualified candidates to present to the public and council. He said that Mr. Portmann would also be on the committee and that they planned to ask Mr. Carmean to sit in on the selection as well on a volunteer basis.
Mr. Medlarz has been in public service for more than 30 years and had experience working with municipalities, which is why he was considered an excellent choice to replace Mr. Carmean, who retired after returning to the job after his first retirement in 2008. Before accepting the position, Mr. Medlarz was the Director of Public Works for Kent County, retiring from that position in 2014. At the time Mr. Medlarz was hired, he stated that he knew “the City Manager serves at the pleasure of council, so my most important role is to do what council wants me to do.”
“Hans was a quality city manager and did a lot to get projects on track,” Mayor Shupe said. “We have many challenges with an aging infrastructure, Bayhealth and the growth in the Southeast region of Milford. Hans did a great job creating a road map for the next manager to follow.”