Milford City Manager Medlarz resigns

MILFORD – During a special meeting Monday evening, June 29, Milford City Council accepted the resignation of City Manager Hans Medlarz, effective July 1.

Mr. Medlarz had only been in the job for a little more than six months.

When asked if there was one thing that led to his resignation, Mr. Medlarz said, “that would be a really unfair statement.”

He continued, “I enjoyed my time here. I think there are great opportunities for the city of Milford. It really takes a unified approach between council and management. I think the mayor will lead us there.”

Milford Mayor Bryan W. Shupe acknowledged that the sudden change in city leadership may be alarming to some residents and city stakeholders.

“I think it is natural for people to be concerned. When you see a top level (person) resigning. What I can say to them is that I’ve seen this happen throughout Milford history. Milford does a good job of picking itself up by the bootstraps. Not only for council, but I think the people of Milford do a great job of giving positive support that is needed. I think the same thing will happen here,” Mayor Shupe said. “We do have a lot of support from our residents, but we do have a lot of support throughout the state that do want to see Milford succeed; and quite frankly need Milford to succeed for Delaware to continue to grow.”

Mayor Shupe also acknowledged the loss the city may feel when Mr. Medlarz leaves his position later this week. Prior to coming to Milford, Mr. Medlarz spent many years working in Kent County Delaware government.

“He did a lot to get our infrastructure on task and see the challenges coming toward us,” he said.

Mayor Shupe said some of the challenges facing the city are related to growth and infrastructure.

In the meantime, Milford Finance Director Jeff Portman will step up to be the interim city manager.

“Jeff Portman is going to take over as city manager. I think he is a great choice. He has had 25 years in the city with finance but also understands what the projects (the city) has, and understands the challenges,” Mayor Shupe said. “In addition to Jeff, it is going to take a concerted effort of everyone in the city.”

The city has already contracted some recruitment firms to fill the vacant position. The city has given the firms three months to find a replacement.

Mayor Shupe said the search will be conducted locally and nationally.

Until then, the city may receive some support from someone that has extensive knowledge of the workings of the city of Milford.

“During that period, Mr. Portman asked if former City Manager Richard Carmean would volunteer to help during that time,” Mayor Shupe said.

The Mayor indicated that Mr. Carmean has agreed to help if needed.

“I think the biggest thing to get out there is that we will work with the employees and we will work with the residents to let them know what is going on and keep them informed to let them know that we are moving in a positive direction,” Mayor Shupe said.

When asked about his future plans, Mr. Medlarz said that they would not be in local government.

Mayor Shupe read this statement at Monday’s special council meeting:

“City Manager Hans Medlarz provided his resignation to the City of Milford last week. The Council accepted his resignation and thank him for his service to the City of Milford. Although Mr. Medlarz was with us for a short period of time, as City Manager, his engineering experience and prowess as a partner in Davis, Bowen and Friedel and under Kent County, has placed our City on a stable foundation for the future. As City Manager he was able to move forward many infrastructure projects which are critical to our residents and business community and preparing for future growth.It was an honor to work alongside and learn from Mr. Medlarz. I wish him the best in his future endeavors.

Starting immediately the City of Milford will work closely with a municipal recruitment firm, to evaluate potential candidates for the City of Milford City Manager position and a local and nationwide search will determine the best candidate for the City of Milford, its employees and the residents of our town.

The City of Milford will engage professionals that can help the City to grow small business, expand the middle class job market and plan for growth and dependable infrastructure in the years to come. As these commitments continue to be critical to the members of council and myself so do the opportunities for economic development, creating a strong downtown and developing future leaders. The City is looking forward to engaging a new City Manager and is excited about the opportunities that she or he will provide.

During the interim period the City’s Chief Financial Officer Jeff Portman will be acting City Manager. Mr. Portman is a CPA and has over 25 years of experience as the Finance Director for the City of Milford. During this tenure he has worked alongside all of the departments of the City and has an adept understanding of the challenges and opportunities that currently face the city of Milford.

His experience will help the City continue its commitments to its residents and other entities as we continue to work closely with our community partners to facilitate projects and programs on schedule. Supporting Mr. Portman during the interim will be myself, City Council and City employees as we will continue to provide the high quality of service Milford is know for.”

Editor Logan B. Anderson can be reached at 302-422-1200 or Follow @LoganBAnderson on Twitter.

Managing Editor Logan B. Anderson can be reached at Follow @LoganBAnderson on Twitter.

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