By Katie Dahlstrom
Herald Staff Writer
The person who has been in charge of city finances for more than a year will take over city leadership until a permanent city administrator is selected.
The Clinton City Council during a special work session Monday selected city Finance Director Jessica Kinser to serve as the interim city administrator.
Kinser detailed her background in municipal administration for the Council. She started as a management and financial analyst for a county in Michigan. She then became the city administrator in Griswold, a town of about 1,000.
After nearly two years on the job, Kinser accepted the position as finance director with the city of Clinton that she has held since late 2011.
“I feel I do have a pulse on what’s happening within the city and I know there will be time constraints here, that balancing two jobs is a difficult thing, but that’s a challenge I’m willing to take on,” she said. “There isn’t anything that’s really scared me yet.”
Since coming to the city, Kinser has taken on a number of things such as human resources, insurance, and IT that are not typical of a finance director.
Police Chief Brian Guy addressed the council to say he supported the recommendation.
“For what its worth, as a fellow department head, I certainly endorse the consideration of Jessica Kinser as our interim city administrator. We’re all very busy as you know with budget cuts and things like that and I’m sure she’ll juggle as many balls as she can. I speak on behalf of the other department heads when I say that anything that she throws our way that we can assist her in the interim period, that we would be glad to help her out,” Guy said.
At-large council member John Rowland asserted some points that Kinser would like to receive as part of the position including car allowance that was afforded to the former city administrator, and allowing the finance director position to remain on hold while she serves as interim city administrator. This raised concern among fellow council members about the limits of a council member.
“I would rather see this information coming from without to us rather than within to us,” At-large council member Jennifer Graf said.