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BSD sets schedule for reviewing director hopefuls

By David Hohendorf

The Birmingham Shopping District (BSD) governing board has issued its planned interview schedule for candidates seeking to fill the now-vacant position of executive director, with the application period closing on Friday, March 29.

BSD Board Chairperson Amy Pohlod told the board at its meeting on Thursday, March 7, that the first round of interviews by members of the various BSD committees would take place the week of April 8, and the second round of interviews the week of April 15. The city’s human resource department would use the week of April 21 for the vetting of candidates. The full governing board of the BSD would be presented with candidate information and interview feedback the week of May 2.

The BSD Executive Committee in past weeks reviewed an updated job description for the position which has been posted on the city’s website and on LinkedIn, along with a posting of the position on the classified site for the Michigan Municipal League.

The executive director position has been vacant since early February after what is being termed a “separation of employment” for Cristina Sheppard-Decius, who had held the position since she was approved by the BSD board on September 1 of 2022. City officials and BSD governing board members have not offered reasons for the separation, although unconfirmed reports suggest that there were conflicts with Sheppard-Decius and both city and BSD officials.

Assistant city manager Melissa Fairbairn was named as interim executive director while the search is underway for an executive director replacement.

The BSD is funded through a special assessment on all commercial, non-residential property in areas of downtown and other business districts of Birmingham. The executive director works with merchants, business owners, retailers, landlords, and commercial real estate brokers.


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