Michael Griffin selected as Merrillville’s Interim Town Manager
The Merrillville Town Council during a special session on Tuesday, Aug. 29, unanimously selected Griffin, former Highland Clerk-Treasurer and State Senator, to serve as Merrillville’s Interim Town Manager.
In the coming months, Griffin will oversee municipal operations, and he will assist the Town Council in its exhaustive search for a permanent Town Manager. Once a regular Town Manager is hired, Griffin is committed to serving with that person to assist in the transition.
“I see public office — whether elected or appointed — as an opportunity to serve the public,” Griffin said. “I find that the Merrillville Town Council members share this view. So, I am thrilled to be granted this opportunity to serve this Town Council as it serves the people of Merrillville.”
The Town Council in recent weeks sought applicants for the Interim Town Manager post. Town Council President Rick Bella said Griffin was a clear choice to serve in the role.
“By far, Mr. Griffin will bring us a wealth of knowledge in municipal management and finance and is well versed in how an Indiana town operates, given his decades of service and experience with the Town of Highland,” Bella said. “His appointment to this temporary interim position will allow the council and new council members expected in January, to be part of the hiring process for a new permanent Town Manager.”
Griffin has more than 35 years of service in federal, state, and local government. The majority of that time was devoted to local public finance as he was elected to eight terms as Highland’s Clerk-Treasurer. In that position, Griffin was the responsible fiscal officer for an operating budget that exceeded $19 million. He also managed payroll for 113 full-time and 150-200 part-time municipal employees.
“I’m glad he’s on board,” Town Councilman Leonard White said of hiring Griffin.
Griffin also served as a State Senator in 2022, when he was selected in a caucus to fulfill the unexpired term of former State Senator Frank Mrvan.
Griffin has passed on his knowledge of public service as an Adjunct University Instructor at Indiana University Northwest. At IUN, he has regularly taught an undergraduate course on Urban Policy and Local Government, and he teaches the graduate course on Public Finance and Budgeting, a core course in the Master of Public Affairs program.
“He’s on top of these issues,” Town Councilwoman Marge Uzelac said of Griffin’s background in local public finance and municipal operations.
The Merrillville Town Manager position has been vacant since Patrick Reardon resigned from it in July. Steve King, Merrillville’s Engineering Administrator/Street Department Director, has served as Acting Town Manager since then, and the Town Council thanks King for quickly stepping in to handle the administrative duties while the Town Manager seat has been empty.