2024-03-09T14:08:58-05:00March 9th, 2024|

The Ottawa County Board of Commissioners will appoint an interim county administrator to take the helm while we search for a permanent administrator and continue to do the business of the people.

Thank you to everyone who has shared what they want to see in an interim leader.

I want to summarize some of the feedback I have heard:

  • People have expressed exactly who they think should be appointed.
  • The interim leader should be appointed quickly to fill the gap.
  • The interim leader should be someone with experience in county-level government.
  • The interim leader should demonstrate proven leadership qualities and teamwork.
  • The interim leader should have strong budgetary and strategic planning skills.
  • The interim leader should understand the board and the county vision statement.
  • Adjectives often used were friendly, firm, confident, trustworthy, honest, and kind.
  • Several people expressed a desire for someone who will prioritize supporting staff and building relationships.

Long-term, the Board will develop a robust search process for a permanent county administrator. I’d like to thank Commissioner Bergman for explaining the process that was used in the past. I will propose a similar process and search committee to find a permanent county administrator, and I agree that it could take several months to complete a full search.

Short term, we need to fill the interim position. Since last Thursday, multiple names have been recommended, including Grand Haven resident and retired sheriff commander Jon Anderson. The Board will vote on Tuesday for an interim leader.

Jon stands out for his experience in county government and proven leadership ability. He is a highly respected law enforcement leader with a history of administrative leadership and command in a county 8x larger than Ottawa.

I have found Jon to be friendly, confident, calm, and professional.

Jon had a 30-year career in law enforcement, including 10 years in administrative leadership. He has also served in an interim role with Spectrum Health as Manager of Security and Police Operations for their entire organization.

Jon’s experience includes leadership of large departments, managed 175 staff members at a time, responsible for preparing and managing budgets of $25M, writing and managing grants, strategic planning, supervising HR functions, conducting hiring, and working with boards and commissions.

After a successful career in California, Jon moved to Michigan in 2016 and worked for Livingston County, the Detroit Tigers, General Motors, and others.

I believe it is in the best interest of the county to build capacity and maintain staff in existing leadership roles while we undergo a search for a permanent Administrator.

I greatly appreciate our wonderful County staff and want to see them continue to succeed in their roles. They are dedicated to their craft and serving the people. Ottawa County is truly blessed.

If selected by the Board, Jon will bring years of experience in county government and administrative leadership to the interim role to support the staff while the Board completes a search for a permanent administrator.

Now is a time to come together so the County can focus on working for the people, completing the important tasks of strategic planning, the 2025 budget, and choosing a long-term County Administrator.