Travis Silvas
Contributing Writer

Pending a successful background check and negotiated contract, Charlotte City Council voted 5-to-1 Tuesday, April 30 to select Rob Hillard as Charlotte’s next city manager. Councilman Anthony Rodriguez cast the lone dissenting vote.

Hillard, currently the City Manager of Oberlin, Ohio, was chosen over Michael Landis, City Administrator for the City of Gibraltar. Council interviewed both candidates during Tuesday’s special meeting, before voting to offer Hillard the position.

Hillard brings 35 years of municipal administration to the position. His vast experience as city manager was the deciding factor for much of the council.

Mayor Pro Tem Michael Duweck said Hillard brings a depth of experience the city is going to need.

“We are going to have three or four new department heads who are going to need to orient themselves,” Duweck said during a lengthy council discussion on each candidate. “I think it’s going to take a stronger, more experienced person at the point to guide that process.”
Councilman Kevin Fullerton agreed, and said he knew Hillard was the right candidate fairly quickly given the disparity in experience between the two candidates. Fullerton added, however, that Landis would be a great fit for the city’s DPW Director/Assistant Manager position and could be the next in line for city manager.

Rodriguez said he felt Landis possessed the necessary experience for the job and felt he was the better choice for a long-term solution. In his closing remarks he did stress that Hillard has his 100 percent full support going forward.

Interim City Manager Doug Terry gave the council his support in their decision.

“He’s going to know how to walk through the mind fields and deliver with balance,” Terry said of Hillard. “I think council is spot on with their decision.”

Hillard is originally from southwest Michigan and has served in multiple municipalities in the state, including three stints in Allegan. He said he ultimately wanted to return to Michigan, and the position in Charlotte provided the perfect opportunity.