MORGANTOWN – Morgantown City Manager Paul Brake is a finalist to become the next city manager of Royal Oak, Michigan.

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Paul Brake

Brake is among five finalist who will go through a two rounds of public interviews, starting this Saturday in Royal Oak. A “Meet the Candidates” event is scheduled for March 12th.

Brake was hired in Morgantown in January, 2017 following the departure of former City Manager Jeff Mikorski in August 2016.

The city of Morgantown employed the services of GovHR USA to coordinate a national search for city manager candidates when Brake was hired. The same search firm was contracted by the city of Royal Oak, MI to find a list of qualified candidates.

According to the job posting on the Gov HR USA website, Royal Oak has a population of 59,006 people. The city employees 330 full-time staffers and has an operating budget of approximately $41 million. The job, which was first posted Dec. 11, 2019, comes with a starting salary of between $140,000 and $150,000.

For comparison, Morgantown has a population of just over 30,000 and the current operating budget for the city is just over $37 million. When Brake was hired in 2017, he had a starting salary $130,000.

The Royal Oak Tribune reports that 114 applications were submitted for the job and that the city commission hopes to make a hire by May.

Brake’s interest in a position in Michigan should not come as a surprise. Prior to his tenure in Morgantown, Brake served the city manager in Grand Blanc View, MI, located about an hour from Royal Oak, from July 2011 to August 2015.

He left that position to work for SAFEbuilt, a company that partners with communities on projects to address budget, customer service or development needs.

Brake also has more than a decade of experience as a former assistant township manager in Michigan.