After two years when the Kalamazoo County administrator’s office was in flux, commissioners hired Tracie Moored for the post last fall. Last week, in a sign that perhaps stability has returned, the board approved a three-year contract. Moored joined WMUK’s West Southwest to talk about her approach to county government and her priorities for the next few years.
Kalamazoo struggled to fill the administrator job after Peter Battani resigned in 2014. First there was a search that the county board scuttled. Another search resulted in Terrence Neuzil’s hiring in November of 2015, but he resigned a few months later. In the fall of 2016, with the county facing the prospect of another search, Moored says she felt compelled to seek the job so county business could move forward.
“I know where the pockets are that we need to focus on. And if you were an external person coming in to take in over the administrative role you may not be looking at those deeper pockets,” Moored spoke with WMUK's Gordon Evans, Local Government and Education Reporter Sehvilla Mann and Kalamazoo Gazette Reporter Malachi Barrett.
Moored has put buildings at the top of her action list. Since her appointment she’s negotiated a land swap with a subsidiary of PlazaCorp that would trade the Michigan Avenue Courthouse for property on Kalamazoo Avenue near the county administrative building, where the county has proposed to build a new facility to house both courts and administration.
That deal is expected to be finalized in July, though Moored says it’s possible she’ll seek an extension while the parties review the deeds.
A plan to replace Kalamazoo’s less-than-adequate animal shelter has also moved forward in recent months. The current proposal would replace the building on Lake Street with a larger, updated facility on adjacent land. That plan is expected to get a commission vote in August. If it’s approved a new animal shelter could open in the summer of 2018.
“We’re really focusing on the items that have been there on the back burner and really have needed attention over the last few years,” Moored says.