(New Buffalo, MI) – An official from a popular Lake Michigan tourist community has been temporarily replaced while he battles major complications from COVID-19.
New Buffalo City Manager Dave Richards has been hospitalized since before Thanksgiving.
Police Chief Rich Killips was named acting city manager until at least January when more should be known about the prognosis of Richards, who’s in his late 60’s.
The city council Monday night voted to pay Killips an extra $500 a week for serving as both police chief and city manager on a temporary basis.
Mayor John Humphrey said there’s no telling when Richards could return to work from what he’s been told by family members.
“He is in a forward path to recovery but it will be slow,” he said.
Humphrey said it appeared Richards at one point was going to be released but a setback in his recovery kept him in the hospital.
“He had a little bit of a second round of complications that led to the extended issues,” he said.
Humphrey said Killips is already familiar with the job from working closely with Richards on several matters and having immediate access to certain information needed to keep the city functioning property.
“Rich was the most likely candidate for this interim period,” he said.
Humphrey said several other City Hall employees after Richards was diagnosed tested positive for the virus.
City Hall was then completely closed for 10 days to allow for the facility to undergo a through cleansing.
It recently reopened to the public by appointment only.
Richards has been city manager after coming here from Nevada about five-years ago