Historical Albion Michigan
By Frank Passic

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Any photos not otherwise credited are from the personal collection of Frank Passic, Albion Historian.

ALBIONíS FIRST CITY MANAGER

Morning Star, July 20, 2014, pg. 3

With our Albion City Council finding itself (again) in the position of seeking a City Manager, we are reminded that it was nearly 100 that years ago Albion switched to the City Manager form of government. Albionís new city charter went into effect on January 1, 1916. Prior to that time the Aldermen and the Mayor ran the City through 1915.

Albionís first City Manager was appointed by the Albion City Council on January 3, 1916. He was Roland Remley of Chicago. Mr. Remley had been serving as superintendent of the construction of our new Post Office building on the northwest corner of N. Superior St. and Michigan Ave, for the contracting firm Callahan-Mandl Company of Chicago. He was a civil engineer and had experience in numerous construction projects, including buildings, pavements, sewers, and water mains.

Remley was paid a salary of $3,000 per year. The bond for the new City Manager however was set at $10,000. "This amount, it was felt, would act as a restraining force, if necessary, and at the same time would fully safeguard the city," the Recorder reported. He and his family had already been living in Albion for several weeks at the Hotel Albion (present site of the Shell Gas Station), located kitty-corner from the Post Office construction site.

The Albion Recorder reported, "It is understood that Mr. Remley will possibly not take the office for perhaps three or four weeks, as he will have to secure his release from his present employers before starting his duties for this city." That was accomplished by the end of January, 1916.

In selecting Remley, the Albion City Council apparently heeded the advice of the Albion Recorder, which wrote in its December 9, 1915 edition: "The Recorder takes the stand and it is backed by a large number of citizens who, it is thought, reflect the general sentiment of the people of the city, that it would be unwise to choose a local man for the important position of city manager. Not that, perhaps, there are not a number of Albion men who would be qualified to do most of the work required from the manager; but it is to be noticed that almost without exception, cities using this form of government have gone elsewhere for their managers. City managing is coming to be a distinct profession and many young men throughout the country are training themselves especially for such positions. An outside man will have no strings to pull and no friends to favor. A local man, if he was conscientious in his work, would necessarily have to hurt the feelings of some of his friends and hurt some of them hard. The Recorder hopes the new council will pick a man from another city."

As an added bonus to the City, Remley also served as Albionís City Engineer for a time because of his engineering abilities and experience. Alas, Remley only stayed eight months. In September 1916 the City Council appointed our second City Manager, Arthur L. Sloan, who had taken Remleyís place as City Engineer that summer. The Council hired Sloan for only $1,500 a year, quite a bargain. Subsequent early Albion City Managers were: Walter Baumgardner, Erva J. Mallory, Donald Herrick, and Leon Sears. From our Historical Notebook this week we present a photograph of Albionís first City Manager, Roland Remley. We now wonder who will be our next City Manager?


Roland Remley, Albionís first City Manager

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