LOWELL -- The City Council voted unanimously Monday night to appoint City Clerk Michael Geary acting city manager effective at noon on March 10, the day City Manager Bernie Lynch departs.
Geary, a former city license commissioner who has served as clerk for just more than two years, will serve until a new city manager is in place.
"I appreciate the support that the council has shown in me," Geary told The Sun. "I'm an individual I believe who will be able to do a good job. I will work for the will of the council."
The council has set Feb. 28 as the deadline for applicants for the city manager's position, but has not determined a date by which a new city manager is selected.
The motion to appoint Geary, 52, was made by City Councilor Ed Kennedy and seconded by City Councilor Dan Rourke. It was approved 9-0.
According to the city charter, the council must choose a department head to serve as acting city manager. The council also could have selected someone to become city manager for a period of time.
Geary's current budgeted salary is $85,288. He told The Sun he would expect to be paid at the rate Lynch is paid by the city because he will be assuming the responsibilities of the job.
The council did not take action on Geary's salary, though Mayor Rodney Elliott told The Sun afterward he anticipates Geary will make what is budgeted for the manager's position.
Lynch's current annual salary is $179,856.
The city clerk is one of three positions, along with the city manager and city auditor, that is hired by and reports to the council.
The council also approved Kennedy's motion to make Assistant City Clerk Angela Gitschier the acting city clerk beginning March 10, and continuing as long as Geary is acting city manager.
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