Manistee city government underwent leadership changes in 2021


EDITOR’S NOTE: This is part of News Advocate’s Best Stories of the Year compilation (in no particular order) revisiting and recapping Manistee County’s biggest news from 2021.

MANISTEE – The town of Manistee went through many council changes in 2021. This included a new mayor, a new city manager and a new member of the third district council.

A new mayor and a new third member of the district council were needed after Mayor Roger Zielinski resigned in July. Zielinski was also a member of the council of the third district.

At the time, Zielinski cited his age and health as the main reasons for leaving.


“I’m 79 years old, I have to have an operation. I can’t give 100% to the city (since) I don’t know how long I’ll be inactive, ”he said. “I am not a 50% person. … I can’t do (the position) justice and not show up for meetings for a month.

Departure of the mayor of Manistee, leaving a vacant seat on the city council

Enter Cindy Lundberg, a kindergarten teacher at Jefferson Elementary School. Running against two other candidates, Bruce Allen, a current member of the Downtown Development Authority, and a former board member, Robert Hornkohl. Lundberg was chosen to fill the vacant Third District council seat by a unanimous council vote at a meeting on August 4.

Second District Council member Lynda Beaton praised Lundberg.

“My personal opinion as a member of city council is that we have to listen to what our constituents want and that we have to listen to them. It doesn’t always allow the city to tell us what they think we need to do as much as we absolutely are. need to drive this car, set goals and work with the city, ”she said. “But I think for me, having almost six years on city council, what I’ve learned the most is that I don’t dodge any phone call. I don’t dodge any email, I answer everyone. . “

Beaton would also be chosen as the new mayor by a majority of the council later in the meeting.

Along with the departure of the mayor, the planned retirement of city manager Thad Taylor has led to the search for a new city manager. Taylor announced his retirement in January and was honored at a retirement meeting in July.

The council searched for a new director and first chose Greg Elliot, who was Adrian’s city administrator. Council and Elliot couldn’t agree on a contract, and eventually they went their separate ways.

The council was then the subject of further research and after several rounds of interviews the position was offered to William Gambill, who was previously Deputy City Manager for the Town of St. Clair Shores. He also worked for the cities of Warren and Detroit. Gambill’s life revolved around public service, his parents both worked in parts of government, his mother was a teacher, and his father worked for the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Gambill began his career in the public service as the Grants Coordinator for the Town of Warren, a position he held for five and a half years. After that, he was Associate Director – Transportation and Public Spaces, Office of Grant Management for Detroit, before becoming Deputy City Manager for St. Clair Shores.

His first day on the job was September 17th and he got started. Among the things he had to deal with was a truck-pedestrian crash near Manistee Middle / High School. He was also updated on all procedures and started on many planned development projects.


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