Manton commission hires new DPW supervisor

Jake Paddock

MANTON — The Manton Board of Commissioners recently hired a new department of public works supervisor to succeed Kris Musselman, whose last day was May 2.

Musselman earlier this year announced he would be stepping down as DPW supervisor to move to Tennessee.

Manton Mayor Sam Cronkhite commented that while he fought hard to keep Musselman employed by the city after he stepped down for the first time in 2019, he wished him luck in his future endeavors.

"Kudos," Cronkhite said. "Find a good life. It will be hard to replace a town boy that knows everything about the place."

Musselman said that if anyone has any questions, he still will have the same phone number, to which someone joked that he should probably change it soon.

In March, the commission discussed who to hire to replace Musselman after the clerk's office issued an advertisement of the open position and received back some applications.

One of the applications was from 43-year-old Jake Paddock, a Manton native who worked three summers as an intern for the city DPW from 1994 to 1996.

During his formative years with the Manton DPW, Paddock said his responsibilities mostly were limited to mowing the grass and picking up trash.

Since that time, however, Paddock has received extensive training on water and sewer system operations, notably with the Wexford County DPW, then Grand Traverse County Public Works, where he was employed for 17 years — seven as lead operator. He's licensed by the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy for Water S-1 and D-1, and Wastewater L1 and L2.

Currently a resident of Buckley, Paddock said he had been working for a private water and wastewater company in the Traverse City area for a year and a half when he learned of the open position in Manton.

Upon consideration of his credentials and work experience, the commission voted to bring Paddock on as DPW supervisor, with his first day this week. 

Paddock said during the time he has with Musselman, he'll be learning as much as he can about the idiosyncrasies and seasonal routines of the job.

"Just getting to know the system," said Paddock, who added that most water and wastewater systems are pretty similar and don't take too long to figure out, especially a relatively simple one like Manton's.

In addition to maintaining the sewer and water infrastructure of the city, Paddock said the DPW's duties also include taking care of streets, Lake Billings and the park areas.

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