By Rosemary K. Otzman
Terry Carroll, Van Buren Township Director of Planning and Economic Development, left township employment on Friday, Feb. 8, and on Monday, Feb. 11, an interim director took over.
Arthur F. Mullen has stepped into the temporary capacity in that department.
On Feb. 11, VBT Supervisor Linda Combs issued the following statement:
“With the departure of Terry Carroll as Director of Planning and Economic Development, this township department requires leadership requiring a notable demand for public service.
“While it may take several months to find the right person to fill this important position, it is my recommendation the Board of Trustees considers entering into an agreement for these services in a temporary or interim capacity with Mr. Arthur F. Mullen.
“Mr. Mullen has a significant background in matters pertaining to township government and planning and economic development.
“Both a former city planner for Detroit and Executive Director for the Mount Clemens Downtown Development Authority, he has prior experience in managing staff, communicating with developers and conducting development finance work, including Community Development Block Grant projects.
“Further, Mr. Mullen also possesses a graduate degree, and his past involvement includes serving as a Board member on the Michigan Downtown Association (MDA). He is also certified with the American Institute of Certified Planners.”
In January 2011, the VBT Board of Trustees approved a proposal to have planning consultants McKenna & Associates provide planning and economic development services until someone was hired to take the place of Dan Swallow, who resigned his director’s position to take a similar job with the City of Monroe.
Carroll, 60 at the time, was a contract employee through McKenna, which made him available for the interim position, with support from McKenna, after former Director Swallow left.
After a few months, Supervisor at the time Paul White recommended the hiring of Carroll for the director’s position and at the April 5, 2011 township meeting the board voted unanimously to follow White’s recommendation.
White said he advertised for the position for 30 days through the Michigan Municipal League, Michigan Township Association, Michigan Association of Planning, and the township web site. He said he received more than 25 responses and after reviewing them, chose Carroll.
Currently, VBT is advertising for proposals for individuals or firms to provide services related to electrical, mechanical and plumbing inspection and plan review. Deadline is March 15.
UPDATE: On Tuesday, Feb. 19, the VBT Board of Trustees pulled approval of Mullen’s appointment from its agenda, for more information.
By Rosemary K. Otzman