EagleHerald Staff Writer
MENOMINEE—Menominee City Manager Tony Graff has resigned.
The City Council met in a special meeting Tuesday to formally accept Graff’s resignation, effective at 5 p.m. that day.
In accordance with his contract, Menominee has agreed to pay Graff a total of $73,460.55, which represents six months of severance, unused paid time off and unused sick leave. Additionally, the city will continue to provide health insurance benefits under the provisions of the Consolidated Omnibus Reconciliation Act (COBRA) for six months, or until Graff becomes eligible for coverage with a new employer.
“All of the items, other than COBRA which we still had questions about, are specified in the contract that we had with Tony, written by Rob (Judge Rob Jamo, former city attorney) no less,” said Councilmember Bill Plemel. “The only thing we’re going to have to do (with COBRA) is wait until he has a bill and then pay it.”
“But it’s in the contract that, if he resigns, he will get a settlement?” asked Councilmember Dennis Klitzke.
“He was given the opportunity to resign,” Plemel said, “and the agreement was that if he resigned, we’d be more than happy to pay him as if he hadn’t resigned, as if he left us a different way. And he agreed to it.”
Councilmember Josh Jones asked what the city’s plan will be moving forward. Mayor Jean Stegeman said the plan now is the same as it has been when past city managers have left. “We’re going to find an interim and then, in some sort of process for the City of Menominee, find someone who will be committed to this community and do what’s right. And we’ll have to put our collective heads together to determine how we go about doing that,” she said.
“Do we have an idea of what we’re going to do for an interim? I know last time we had a city attorney who was able to step up and fill that right after, but now we don’t have that,” Jones said.
“Like I’ve said, that’s why we’re paid the big money to figure out how to move forward,” Stegeman said.
Plemel made a motion to adopt the council’s resolution accepting the separation agreement with Graff, which was seconded by Councilmember Steve Fifarek. The motion passed with seven affirmative votes and only Councilmember Heather Nelson in opposition. Councilmember Doug Robinson was unable to attend the meeting and so did not vote.
Graff began as the city manager for Menominee at the end of November of 2016. “I’ve greatly enjoyed and appreciated the opportunities I’ve had to be part of the Menominee community,” Graff wrote in his letter of resignation. “I’ve learned about Menominee’s history, which I will cherish.”
Graff was not at Tuesday’s meeting.