CITY OF MUSKEGON
SPECIAL CITY COMMISSION MEETING
September 16, 2022 @ 9:00 am
Muskegon City Hall, 933 Terrace Street, Muskegon, MI 49440
In the Commission Chambers, Room 107
Present: Mayor Johnson, Commissioners German, Gorman, Emory, Ramsey, St. Clair,
City Manager Interviews.
City Commissioners interviewed the six final candidates for City Manager as listed
below. Each candidate was given approximately 45 minutes to answer a prepared list of
questions by the City Commission.
Dennis Durham – Located in West Des Moines, IA. Mr. Durham is currently the City
Administrator for the City of Windsor, IA for the past two years. Previously he was the City
Manager for the City of Carlton, OR for two years, City Manager for the City of Parchment, MI
for ten years, Deputy City Manager for the City of Kalamazoo, MI for two years, Assistant City
Manager for the City of Kalamazoo, MI for one year, and Assistant City Manager for the City of
Portage, MI for six years.
Dennis’ education includes a Bachelor of Arts Degree from Michigan State University, graduate-
level coursework in Business Administration from the University of Colorado at Denver Co for
one year, and graduate-level coursework in Public Administration at Western Michigan
University for one year.
Jerry Gabrielatos – Located in West Linn, OR. Currently City Manager at West Linn, OR for
the past two years. Previously he was the Assistant City Manager at Albert Lea, MN for one-
year. Mr. Gabrielatos also served various roles in the Chicago City Council including Senior
Advisor (1st Ward) for one year, Chief of Staff (45th Ward) for one year, and Director of
Constituent Services (1st Ward) for four years.
Jerry’s education includes a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science and History and a Master’s
Degree in Public Policy and Administration from Northwestern University.
LeighAnn Mikesell – Located in the City of Muskegon. Ms. Mikesell is currently Interim City
Manager for the City of Muskegon since April 2022. Previously she was Deputy City Manager
from July 2021 to present, Director of Development Services for two years, and Director of
Municipal Services from November 2017 to February 2019 all with the City of Muskegon.
Previously, Ms. Mikesell worked for the Michigan Department of Transportation as an
Operations Manager for 15 years.
LeighAnn’s education includes a Bachelor’s Degree in Civil Engineering from the University of
Joe Neeb – Located in the City of Roswell, New Mexico. Mr. Neeb is currently the City
Manager for the City of Roswell for the past five years. Previously he was City Administrator for
the City of Spearfish for seven years, Town Manager for the Town of Dyer for six years, Town
Manager for the Town of Fortville for four years, and Town Manager for the Town of
Morristown for three years.
Joe’s education includes an Associates of Arts Degree in Liberal Arts from Concordia College, a
Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration from Indiana Wesleyan University, and
a Masters Degree in Business Administration from Indiana Wesleyan University.
Jonathan Seyferth – Located in the Muskegon area. Mr. Seyferth is currently the Township
Manager for the Charter Township of Gaines, MI since May 2021. Previously he was with the
City of Coopersville, MI, for six years and three of those years he served as City Manager. Mr.
Seyferth also served on Muskegon Area First and was the Executive Director of Downtown
Muskegon Now for a combined total of four years.
Jonathan’s education includes a Bachelor of Science degree from Central Michigan University, a
Master of Science in International Administration from Central Michigan University, and a
Master of Public Administration Degree from the University of Colorado Denver.
Gerald C. Smith – Located in Creedmoor, NC. Mr. Smith is currently the City Manager for the
City of Creedmoor since March 2021. Previously he was the City Manager for the City of
Maquoketa, IA for four years, the City Manager for the City of Junction City, KS for one year,
and Director of General Services for the City of Kansas City, MO six years.
Gerald’s education includes a Bachelors of Arts and Urban History and Political Science, and a
Master’s of Public Administration Degree from Northern Illinois University.
After the interviews, the City Commission decided to meet on September 20, 2022 at 2 pm to
deliberate on their final selection.
Shaw Walker Environmental Assessment Financial Assistance.
Staff is recommending an appropriation of $25,000 to match the Downtown
Development Authority’s commitment to environmental and other due diligence items
faced by Parkland Properties related to purchase of the Shaw Walker Building.
Motion by Commissioner Hood, seconded by Commissioner St. Clair to approve
the appropriation of $25,000 for environmental investigation and other due
diligence for the Shaw Walker/Watermark Building as presented so long as the
City of Muskegon gets a copy of the results and the City is to be reimbursed from
the City of Muskegon Brownfield Authority Tax Increment Financing prior to any
Roll Call Vote:
Ayes: Johnson, Hood, Ramsey, German, Gorman, Emory, and St. Clair.
Public Comments were received.
Motion by Commissioner Ramsey, seconded by Commissioner Gorman to
adjourn the meeting at 5:47 pm.
Ann Marie Meisch, MMC – City Clerk