Former Birmingham City Manager Tom Markus has proposed returning to the city for a five-year stint in light of current city manager's Joe Valentine's resignation, which will be considered at the city commission meeting on Monday, October 12.
On the agenda is an item to begin the recruitment process for a new city manager.
Valentine announced his resignation this week, effective at the end of the year. He had spent 24 years in various positions with the city of Birmingham, the last 6.5 years as city manger. Valentine was also assistant city manager during the time Markus was with the city.
Mayor Pierre Boutros received an email from Markus on Thursday, October 8, referring to a call between the two where he expressed his interest in returning to the position of Birmingham City Manager.
“I recognize that Birmingham is struggling through a stressful period but like most communities Birmingham will find the correct compass heading and return to a unified path forward. Obviously, the pandemic and social injustice issues further stresses the situation, however I believe I can provide a calm and purposeful leadership that will assist the commission and community on a path forward,” Markus wrote to Boutros.
Markus was city manager from May 1989 until November 2010, when he left to take the city manager position in Iowa City, Iowa. According to his resume, he left Iowa City in May 2016 to become city manager of Lawrence, Kansas. He was in that position until June 2019.
“I merely resigned to be closer to our grandchildren,” Markus explained.
He stated he has returned to the states of Michigan and Wisconsin to be closer to family. He has a son and other family in Birmingham.
Markus proposed a five-year length of service, at which time he would consult with the commission and his family to determine if he would continue. He said he has no interest in becoming an interim manager while the commission conducts a search for another city manager. He said he would start immediately after Valentine's departure, scheduled for December 31, or if the commission wants an overlap, he said he could work that out.
Markus said while he would prefer a unanimous vote on his employment, he would only accept the position if there is a supermajority vote, not a simple majority vote. A supermajority vote would require five, not four, votes from the seven-member city commission.
“I want you all to know that I have the utmost respect for the role you play in governing a premier city. I would be honored to once again serve as your next city manager,” Markus wrote.
The city commission meeting takes place on Monday night at 7:30 p.m. over Zoom or cable. Those interested can join by clicking https://zoom.us/j/655079760.