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Matthew Baumgarten, the city administrator of Lathrup Village, has been selected as the finalist to be the next city manager of nearby Berkley.

The City Council has made a conditional job offer to Baumgarten, who was one of four finalists for the position.

The last time the city hired a city manager was 14 years ago. Jane Bais-DiSessa left that job in September to become deputy mayor in Pontiac.

“This is an important decision for our city. We are making a conditional offer to an individual whom we believe will keep the city on a progressive path,” Mayor Phil O’Dwyer said in a statement from the city.

The council worked with the Michigan Municipal League starting in October to find candidates and 35 people applied from around the country. The search committee was made up of Mayor Pro-Tem Steve Baker and councilmembers Jack Blanchard and Dan Terbrack.

“We felt that the individuals we interviewed had the right combination of experiences to lead our city,” said Terbrack, search committee chairman. “We must, however, exercise due diligence while waiting to finalize the offer to Mr. Baumgarten.”

The Michigan Municipal League will do a background check on Baumgarten and then work with the city’s lawyer to draw up a contract. The Council is expected to vote on the contract at its March meeting, according to city officials.

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