Silverman named new Delta County administrator

Michael Silverman

ESCANABA — Michael Silverman of Caro, Mich. has been chosen to serve as Delta County’s next administrator. The decision to hire Silverman was made by the Delta County Board of Commissioners after he was interviewed Tuesday.

Silverman is the city manager for Caro, a position he has held since July 2018. He has also worked as a management analyst for Lee County, N.C., from November 2016 to July 2018, as a legislative intern for North Carolina State Rep. Robert Reives II from February 2016 to August 2016, and as a summer law clerk for the North Carolina State Ethics Commission from May 2015 to July 2015. Silverman expects to receive a master of public administration degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in December, and he earned a bachelor of arts degree in history from the University of North Carolina Wilmington between 2012 and 2014.

Interviews with candidates for the county administrator position began earlier this month. During a Delta County Board of Commissioners meeting on Tuesday, Oct. 15, board members unanimously approved a motion to contact Silverman and Emily DeSalvo of Escanaba to set up a second round of interviews.

Last week, board members interviewed DeSalvo during a committee of the whole meeting. DeSalvo has served as district court administrator/magistrate/probation director for Delta County since April 2013.

Silverman was interviewed by county commissioners at a special board meeting Tuesday. During the interview, Silverman spoke about his professional history, including his experience as Caro’s city manager.

“That’s where I’m currently at, and in this position I do a variety of things. I oversee economic development; I also oversee human resources, labor negotiations, and any type of grant administration and any type of public works projects,” he said.

Silverman said his time working in Lee County and elsewhere has given him financial experience relevant to the county administrator position.

“I’ve spent a lot of time working on budgets,” he said.

When asked about the first project he would take charge of as Delta County’s administrator, Silverman said he would seek feedback from elected officials and department heads before making a decision.

“Of course, I want to listen to the commissioners and see what direction they want to proceed with,” he said.

He said he would focus on collecting information and advice from county officials during his first month on the job, as well.

“For the 30-day strategy, I would of course reach out to each commissioner and see what their plans are — what they want to see take place in the future,” he said.

Additionally, Silverman would attempt to set up meetings with citizens and department heads in his first month in Delta County.

According to Silverman, he would communicate with people in person whenever possible as the county’s administrator.

“I’m a strong believer in face-to-face communication — I think it’s very important that when there are pressing matters involving citizens and the general, overall well-being of the community, that you have that one-on-one engagement,” he said, noting he would keep commissioners up-to-date via email and phone when needed.

He also said his office would have an open-door policy.

“I know you’re not always going to have citizens who have the most upbeat things to say about your community, and I think those are the particular people you really need to listen to,” Silverman said.

Silverman said he would not have any plans to leave the county administrator position any time soon if hired.

“This would be a long-term job for me,” he said.

After Silverman’s interview was finished, board members and interim County Administrator Tom Sabor discussed the second round of interviews for the county administrator position. Commissioner David Moyle said he was impressed by both Silverman and DeSalvo, but Silverman’s financial experience played an important role in his ultimate decision.

“This guy’s experience with budget weighs very heavily with me,” Moyle said.

The board voted unanimously in favor of offering the position of county administrator to Silverman, pending a background check and the approval of a salary package. Silverman’s salary will be determined at a finance committee meeting scheduled to take place at the Delta County Courthouse at 6 p.m. Friday.

After Tuesday’s meeting, Sabor expressed his confidence in Silverman.

“He’ll be able to move the county forward,” he said.

Board Chair Patrick Johnson said he was “relieved” by the meeting’s outcome.

“You always have that anxiety of, ‘oh, no, we don’t want to have to search again,’ so we’re happy that we found the right candidate,” he said.

In other business, the board:

– gave Johnson authority to sign a contract for a $862,272 MDOT and FAA airport grant. The grant will fund improvements at Delta County Airport.

– allowed the airport to fill the position of assistant airport manager.

– granted Delta County Sheriff’s Office permission to fill two part-time corrections officer positions.


Today's breaking news and more in your inbox

I'm interested in (please check all that apply)
Are you a paying subscriber to the newspaper? *

Starting at $2.99/week.

Subscribe Today