East Lansing Director of Public Works Scott House will be away from his job with the City for at least a year beginning in mid-June, City Manager George Lahanas announced at Tuesday night’s City Council meeting.
House will be gone for “a year or more” while deploying somewhere stateside as a colonel in the U.S. Army National Guard, Lahanas said, adding that House previously served two tours in Iraq.
Lahanas said that when House was hired, it was known then that he might be called away from the City to serve.
House will be back with the City following his deployment, according to Lahanas; a clear plan of who will be assuming House’s various roles while he is gone was not provided. Lahanas did praise the “very capable group” of assistant directors in that department, intimating they will be filling in for at least some of House’s work.
“Still a loss for us,” Lahanas said.
ELi reached out to House seeking more clarity about who will be running the Department of Public Works in his absence. House indicated that Deputy Director Nicole McPherson will assume his duties, with support from the “leadership team” at DPW: Ron Lacasse, Cathy DeShambo and Paul Stokes.
McPherson, an engineer, was promoted to Deputy Director in 2020.
“Thank you for your service, Mr. House, as always,” Mayor Aaron Stephens said at Tuesday night’s Council meeting. “And certainly unfortunate on our end, but I wish you nothing but the best, certainly, as we go forward.”