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      Houghton City Council chooses Waara for city manager

      After almost 40 years of working in the City of Houghton, City Manager Scott MacInnes is stepping down.

      Of the 20 applicants for the position, the Houghton City Council decided on Keweenaw County native, Eric Waara.

      â??I'm very excited and looking forward to the future,â?? said Waara. â??There's a lot of potential here, a lot of possibilities here.â??

      â??He's very sharp, and this city is in very, very good hands,â?? said MacInnes of Waara.

      Waara has worked with U.P. Engineers and Architects as a projects manager for over 20 years and said he's up for the challenge of city manager.

      â??There's certain things that, being in the private sector, that you're just not able to get involved with, and I wanted to be involved with the community more and do more,â?? he said.

      Waara said his first priority for the city is to make sure the budget allows for the projects laid out in the master plan.

      â??My biggest vision for the city is really to make it the place where people want to be, where people want to live, where they want to come to, they want to visit, and that when they come they want to stay,â?? he explained.

      MacInnes said his final day will be February 3, and until then, he plans to work closely with Waara to get him acclimated to the new position. He said he hopes to continue to work on special projects in the city throughout 2014.

      â??Once I leave the city, I do want to work part-time somewhere,â?? he said. â??I think my wife's going to work a few more years, and then we will probably do some travelling and skiing and enjoying ourselves.â??

      Waara said he feels he has very big shoes to fill following MacInnes and his predecessor, Ray Kestner, but he's ready for that responsibility.

      â??I'm proud, I'm happy, and it's a little bit of a daunting task right now to think of being able to carry on that legacy, but I felt I was up for the challenge, so I went for it,â?? Waara said.