City manager getting to know Esky

Jenny Lancour | Daily Press Escanaba’s new city manager, Patrick Jordan, sits alongside council member Michael Sattem, at left, and Mayor Mark Tall, at right, during council’s regular meeting at city hall Aug. 3. Jordan, who has been on the job for five weeks, says he is growing to love the city as he learns more about the people and the places.

ESCANABA — Escanaba’s new city manager has been learning a lot about the city’s operations as well as the community since he started working here last month.

“I love it here,” said Patrick Jordan when questioned by the Daily Press about how things are going since he took over for Jim O’Toole who retired after serving 29 years for the city including manager for the past decade.

Jordan, who most recently served as the administrator of Wexford County in downstate Cadillac, noted that O’Toole is a “tough act to follow” because of his many years of experience with the city and the fact he is a native of Escanaba.

Jordan said the most difficult challenge for him, because he is not from the area, has been getting to know the community including his staff, the public, and how to get everywhere.

“I think things are going well. I’m learning the faces and names and how the puzzle pieces fit together and finding my way around,” he commented after the council’s Aug. 3 meeting.

Jordan said he is learning a lot of positives about the community which he has already grown to love.

“I’m learning this is an active community. There is always something going on. There is a lot of group involvement,” he said, adding he is looking forward to his family moving to Escanaba after his son graduates from high school next year. He also said it’s been tough being separated from his family.

In the meantime, Jordan continues to get familiar with the city operations and staff as he fulfills his duties as the new city manager. In addition to tending to daily responsibilities and attending various meetings, he is working to keep the city on budget and on task with the union contracts which have yet to be settled.

Council unanimously agreed to hire Jordan as Escanaba’s new city manager on June 27. He had four days to transition into the job, shadowing O’Toole before he retired on June 30.

Jordan signed a one-year contract and is earning a pay rate equal to $95,000 a year during a six-month probationary period after which he will earn a pay rate of $100,000 a year.

In addition to serving as Wexford County administrator, Jordan worked as: an assistant city manager and borough manager in Alaska; vital records manager in Texas; township supervisor, adjunct professor, and deputy county clerk in downstate Muskegon; and a friend of the court investigator and corrections officer in downstate Grand Haven.

Jordan has served on professional organizations related to municipalities, economic development, emergency management, and correctional facilities. He also has experience regarding waterfront community ports and harbors.

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Jenny Lancour, (906) 786-2021, ext. 143,