City manager candidates announced

Matt Peters

Two of the three candidates for Kent’s city manager position are used to working in college towns.

Bruce Walden has held the chief administrative officer position in Urbana, Ill., since 1991, working with University of Illinois-Urbana. Jerome Kisscorni has worked closely with Western Michigan University as the assistant city manager in Kalamazoo, Mich.

Patrick Titterington, another candidate, is hoping to make a return to the area. He and his wife grew up west of Cleveland. Titterington has held the position of city manager in Trenton, Ohio, since 2002.

The names of the three city manager candidates were released yesterday. The city manager position has been vacant since September when Lew Steinbrecher resigned to accept a job in Moline, Ill. William Lillich has been acting as the interim city manager since Steinbrecher left. Last month, council narrowed the applicants from eight to three.

Until yesterday, the candidates were only known by letters. But now the city and council are being introduced to the candidates.

Kisscorni has held public office in Michigan for more than 20 years and cited a desire to stay in the Midwest as a reason for applying for the job.

“There is a good solid work ethic you have in the Midwest with nice communities,” he said.

Kisscorni said it is important for both the city and university to maintain a positive relationship.

“It bodes well for the community as a whole from the standpoint of quality of life, from the standpoint of local economy and job generation and from the standpoint of culture and the arts,” Kisscorni said.

While working in Kalamazoo Kisscorni has made steps towards integrating the downtown area with the university.

Kisscorni identified the Liquid Crystal Institute specifically as a way for the university and city to work together.

“(The Liquid Crystal Institute) is one of those items that you have the possibility of turning research into vital commercialization,” he said.

The only conflict of interest may come when Kent State athletics faces any Western Michigan teams.

“It might be a little rough if Kent State plays Western (Michigan) ‘cause I’m a Western graduate,” Kisscorni said.

Titterington, a Miami University graduate, said he wasn’t aware of any problems facing the city. He said the city is in good shape.

“Without really taking a step back and looking at the issues, it’s hard to give specifics,” Titterington said. “But it appears to be a city on the right track.”

The next step is for candidates to tour Kent and meet with members of council. The interviews and tour are planned for April 1, 2 and 3.

“I’m honored that they narrowed it down,” Titterington said. “I’m anxious to tour the city, meet council and have them meet me.”

Calls to Walden were not returned at deadline.

Contact public affairs reporter Matt Peters at [email protected].