By SUE SUCHYTA
Sunday Times Newspapers
LINCOLN PARK – The city is taking a double hit as City Manager Matt Coppler leaves for St. Clair Shores, and Giles Tucker, DDA and EDC director, takes a position in Madison Heights.
Mayor Thomas Karnes said he was disappointed that Coppler was leaving, but he has to do what is best for his career. Karnes said Coppler has been in Lincoln Park almost four years, and arrived when the city was under the Receivership Transition Advisory Board.
“He got us through that whole process, and we are on a fairly firm footage right now,” Karnes said. “He’s done a good job for us, and he will do a marvelous job for St. Clair Shores.”
Coppler said St. Clair Shores is like Lincoln Park in many ways, but with more commercial and fewer industrial properties.
He said St. Clair Shores’ biggest challenge is keeping its city “where it is, financially.”
“Any municipality in the state of Michigan is on the borderline anyway, but I think they are better prepared for any eventualities that happens,” Coppler said. “Their pensions are better funded, they have been putting away money for projects, to do it, so there is a lot of potential for growth.”
Coppler said he thought his ability to help with the financial side of city business, and to help them prepare for the future, was seen as an asset.
“My experience in economic development and community planning is something that will help ensure that the community develops properly over time,” Coppler said.
“I think another one is the ability to bring people together, from the planning aspect of it, to get the council and staff to work together, and put together a plan to move forward.”
(Sue Suchyta can be reached at [email protected])