Until around one month ago Howell Police Chief Ronald Carter was preparing to close out his tenure serving the town he grew up in.
Following the resignation of Township Manager Helene Schlegel and the pending retirement of Chief Financial Officer and Interim Manager Jeffrey Filiatreault Chief Carter said he decided to rescind his retirement papers.
With so much change coming in the administration Chief Carter said he decided it was in the township’s best interest to stay on the job. “It would be no good for me to leave right now,” he said. Leaving the department without a chief and the township without a manager at the same time was not a decision Carter said he was comfortable with.
“I was looking forward to getting out but right now the best thing for the department and for the officers involved is if I stay here,” he added. “We will have a new manager with no knowledge of the department and a new chief with no experience so it could be chaos.” Another factor in his decision was the ongoing contract negotiations the department is currently involved in.
Filiatreault said his decision to take the interim manager position fell in line with Chief Carter’s decision not to retire. “I have come to the same conclusion that the change of Manager is going to put strain on the operation of the Township.”
He added, “There will be a lack of continuity and a period of orientation that the new Manager and all of the management team will experience and be involved in. To go through that period without one or two of the most senior managers that are critical to the Township’s operations would add to the strain of the adjustment process and take away the long-term experience the Chief and I bring to the Township.”
During his time working for the township Filiatreault has served as interim manager in the past and said he felt it was important for him to keep the continuity in both of his roles at this time. “My personal consideration is that we are well into the budget process for 2014. I felt it would not serve the residents of Howell for me to retire and leave a new manager and a new CFO to have to pick up in the middle of the process.”
The chief said his plan now is to retire by January of 2016 at the latest. While his plans remain up in the air the testing process is currently underway in the department to help determine who his successor could be. Chief Carter said that process should be done by the end of next month at the latest.