Niles Council hires new community development director

Published 9:58 am Wednesday, June 24, 2015

The Niles City Council approved the hiring of Sanya Phillips to replace Juan Ganum as the city’s director of community development at Monday’s regular meeting.

Phillips served as a grant administrator and assistant to Ganum for the past 2 1/2 years.

In the council report, Phillips was described as having a strong background in project management, grant management and community housing.

As community development director, Phillips will be responsible for managing grants, Dial-A-Ride Transportation operations, Niles History Center operations, zoning administration and planning.

“Congratulations and welcome,” Mayor Mike McCauslin said to Phillips.

Ganum worked as Niles’ Community Development Director for 17 years before leaving in February to become the City Manager of Bridgman.

Also Monday:

• The council recognized the Niles Education Foundation as a non-profit organization so the foundation could obtain a charitable gaming license.

• The Four Flags Area Chamber of Commerce received approval to hold a Fireworks and Family Fun Fest on July 2 at the Apple Festival Fairgrounds.

• Niles Burn Run, Inc., received approval to hold its annual Burn Run festival and motorcycle ride in downtown Niles July 10-12.

• The council approved the renewal of a surcharge not to exceed $1 to customers’ electric bills in accordance with Michigan’s Low Income Energy Assistance Program.

• The council renewed the city’s membership with the Southwestern Michigan Economic Growth Alliance and the payment of $14,000 in membership dues.

• Paul Clements, a professor of political science at Western Michigan University, announced to the council that he would be running for Congress in 2016. Michigan’s Sixth District seat is currently held by Fred Upton.

• Councilman Tim Skalla said he attended and enjoyed the Chapin Mansion Arts, Crafts & Antiques Fair this past weekend.

• Councilwoman Georgia Boggs said she enjoyed meeting the veterans who came through Niles with the Vietnam Veterans motorcycle ride Friday. She also updated the council on her recent bus trip to Lansing to encourage legislators to open a Department of Human Services office in Niles. Boggs also said she would hold a forum on public safety issues in the near future.