By Jon King /

Just a year after officially hiring in as the manager for the City of Howell, Paul DeBuff has tendered his resignation.

According to Howell Mayor Nick Procter, DeBuff gave his notice Thursday morning after a meeting with city officials in which it was determined to be the best course of action. “He was implementing a very rapid succession of changes that some in city staff were very, very uncomfortable with and Paul had lost some confidence with city staff that he believed would probably not be repaired, so he’s moving on to seek other opportunities and certainly city council and I wish him well in his future professional endeavors.”

No further explanation was given as to what changes he sought and just why they were considered to be implemented too quickly.

The resignation leaves Howell with the task of finding a new City Manager for the second time in as many years. Longtime City Manager Shea Charles resigned in May of 2019, saying that a mutual agreement had been reached that a change in leadership would be beneficial for both parties. Charles has since become the Manager for the City of East Grand Rapids.

DeBuff, who was hired in May of 2020, was earning a base salary of $105,500 and was selected following a lengthy ten-hour online session. He came to Howell as the Director of Administrative Services and Assistant to the City Manager in Celina, Texas.

Proctor says the future of that position will be discussed next week. “On Monday night’s council agenda, the city council will review options on finding a replacement for Mr. DeBuff. In the interim, until Monday night, I have asked Erv Suida, our Director of Public Services, to act as interim city manager until council can decide on a way forward. Council will have to decide on either opening up a search again or asking Mr. Suida if he’d be willing to consider being our City Manager.”

Suida served as the city's Interim Manager after Charles resigned and before DeBuff was hired. When asked if he thought Suida would agree to the job on a permanent basis, Proctor said he believed so. “If that’s the council’s decision, I believe he would be willing to consider the decision favorably.”