... in Wyoming, Michigan.
When John Shay was hired by the City of Ludington back in 2003, following what seemed to be a turf battle between the former City Manager Jim Miller and a progressive new mayor named John Henderson, he had limited experience as a village manager in Almont, Michigan. But Shay would outlast Henderson's three terms as mayor and stay as Ludington's city manager for about 16 years, the majority of which he was called out by the Ludington Torch for his questionable ethics and policies.
On his own initiative, he would seek alternative employment in 2018 and find it as a deputy county administrator for Ottawa County and eventually assume the top spot in the county by the end of 2021. But by then, a conservative movement had formed called Ottawa Impact who saw Shay as a tool of the progressives who had gained control of the conservative county's board and after the former county administrator's retirement said Shay was a "champion and advocate for initiatives, programs and strategies that improve racial equity", an odd political appellation for a county over 94% white, very red politically, and lacking a colorful history of inequity, real or imagined.
Noting that his stint as Almont village manager was just short of five years, it appears that Shay's leadership style seems to go bad after about a four year term, something that was recognized in Ludington, but left to continue for more than a decade thereafter by a city council that wouldn't learn after the Jack Byers' lawsuit and the grassroots movement to oust him lead by this forum starting in 2009.
Shay's abrupt and unexpected firing in January 2023 by a county board with a majority of Ottawa Impact members, has him finding a new job with the conservative-leaning City of Wyoming before the severance pay from Ottawa County runs dry, as reported by the Grand Haven Tribune:
WYOMING — City officials announced Monday night that John Shay will be the next city manager for Wyoming, after being appointed by the City Council.
“The City of Wyoming is such a vibrant community and I’m eager to get started working with the team,” Shay said in a press release issued by the city...
“I am looking forward to getting to know the residents and the community and learning more about how we can work together.”
City leaders said they considered 48 candidates as part of a nationwide search spearheaded by the executive recruitment firm of Baker Tilly.
“I am delighted to offer John the city manager position,” Mayor Kent Vanderwood said in the release.
“His well-rounded experience has prepared him to lead us into the future and work seamlessly with our staff and community partners. We look forward to his leadership as we face challenges and opportunities together as a city.”
The City Council hopes to have an employment agreement approved by the middle of May.
My condolences to the residents of Wyoming Mi.
You might as well begin documenting your future lawsuit against the executive recruitment firm of Baker Tilly for advising you to hire John Shay. 48 potential candidates and Shay is the best?
Was he even in Ottawa county long enough to unpack his carpet bags?
Once upon a time Ludington had a low debt per capita like Wyoming Mi currently enjoys. As of 2021 Wyoming is currently $648. Ludingon's used to be about half that, $348. When ''Big Debt'' Shay left he brought Ludington's up to $4997 and the meter is still running. No wonder Ottawa county came to their senses gave him the boot.
He looks kind of sad in the above photo. We can't forget that Shay was under the direction of the City Council and it has been those people serving on the Council who have run up the debt and ran Ludington like a middle-ages fiefdom. There has been a history of bully politics since the Leftists madness has been at the throats Ludington's citizens as well as across America. Shay was part of the henchmen class that has helped it stay in power. The recent outlandish actions by the Mayor proves that the old politics is still in control along with the usual spineless Councilors who remain silent about or collaborate with the corruption that has been a cancer in Ludington for some time now. Ludington gets what it votes for.
He looks pretty sad in the photo because that pic was taken the very night early this January when he was sacked by the incoming Ottawa County Board. If I was hiring in Wyoming, I would be wondering why the Heck the Ottawa commissioners would fire Shay without even giving him any opportunity to prove himself or correct the various mistakes he made over the couple of years he was in charge. Then I would be wondering what energy was behind the grassroot ground swelling that called itself Ottawa Impact and which gained so much steam that they were able get into power so easily and have as a first priority the canning of Shay and installation of someone without county supervisor credentials in his place.
I would surmise that there was some major issue that would set those actions in motion, and then I would look at his background through Google searches and find all the wealth of material on the Ludington Torch. Once I figured out that the information on the LT was sincere and researched, and read the comments showing basically nothing in Shay's favor, I would come to the logical conclusion.
You would think in todays world of unlimited information one would think someone would read up into the past of each candidate for a job, not just what is wrote on a resume. They deserve what they get for not doing that.
The COW website shows that the four viable candidates were named on April 11th, interviewed on April 13 and 15th (Shay was on the latter day) and the hiring decision was made on the 17th. The interview meeting had public comment after Shay's interview and the minutes reflect nobody said anything, nor does it cover whatever was discussed, so he was probably just asked a bunch of boilerplate questions that I'm sure he hit out of the park, just like he normally does. The COW went through a firm to narrow the choices down, so they are not going to kick the tires for you in regard to competence and character.
This is what happens when you take less than a week to make a decision on something as important as deciding who your next city manager will be and don't have councilors and energized citizens willing to do the vetting themselves. Give them three or four years, they will see the diminishment of Wyoming and the growth of Wyoming Impact and/or the Wyoming Torch.
Wyoming is a good sized town, around 75,000 people. Just what the Grand Rapids area needs, another progressive.
Wyoming Mi, soon to be home to the West End Slab East and other meaningless embellishments that will enhance Shay's resume.