South Haven Eliminates “Interim” Title, Making Kate Hosier City Manager

A bizarre turn of events left the South Haven City Council with only one of their two finalists for the position of City Manager still standing on interview day, but the city is rejoicing in the final selection of Kate Hosier to drop the “interim” title from her role as the city’s newly hired City Manager.

After a three-month, nationwide search, on Monday, September 28th the City Council unanimously approved a motion to allow Mayor Scott Smith and Human Resources Director Kim Wise to negotiate an employment contract with Hosier, who had been serving as Interim City Manager since the departure of Brian Dissette. They have selected her to fill the role of City Manager full time.  The City Manager position has been open since July 1, 2020 when Dissette accepted the position of County Administrator for Berrien County.

At the special City Council meeting yesterday, Hosier delivered a presentation outlining the goals and objectives she would strive to meet if selected as the City Manager. The top three priorities she listed were housing, economic development and inclusivity. Following her presentation, the council proceeded with the formal interview which was followed by a motion to allow Smith and Wise to negotiate a contract with Hosier.

Due to an unforeseen personal matter, Lake Isabella Village Manager Tim Wolff withdrew from consideration for the position earlier in the day ahead of the scheduled finalists’ interviews.  According to HR Director Wise, “Mr. Wolff was an exceptional candidate and we were fortunate to have him in the running for this position. While it was disappointing that he was unable to participate in the final round of interviews, I completely understood his reason for withdrawing and I wish him the best of luck with his career at Lake Isabella.”

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While waiting for public comment, Wise shared feedback from the City’s leadership team which included favorable comments on Hosier’s skills in communication, leadership, and multitasking. The City Council concluded the meeting by sharing final comments on their faith in Hosier’s ability to lead the City and they voted unanimously to start negotiations with her.  Wise says, “We hope to proceed with negotiations this week and present an employment contract to Council on October 5th for approval.”

Twenty-one candidates from throughout the U.S. applied for the City Manager position, and the City Council and a search committee taskforce reviewed all the applications, resumes, and cover letters, which narrowed the field to seven candidates. Those seven candidates were invited to interview with a panel comprised of five local business professionals, including the Mayor.  Following the first round of interviews, the top two highest scorers advance as finalists to interview with the City Council. The two finalists were Hosier and Tim Wolff, Village Manager of Lake Isabella, and Hosier proved to be the last one standing, and the unanimous choice of the council.