Ypsilanti City Council took a major step toward filling the city manager position Tuesday night by voting unanimously to offer the job to Ralph A. Lange, who since 2008 has been the executive director of the Henry County Community Improvement Corporation, with headquarters in Napoleon, OH.

The council appointed a three-person negotiating committee to offer the position to Lange and determine the conditions of employment: Mayor Paul Schreiber, Mayor pro-tem Lois Richardson and Brian Robb, a council member. There was no mention of a starting salary or a starting date during the meeting.

Lange’s previous positions include managing director of the Monroe, Michigan County Road Commission from 1999-2008; city administrator and director of Public Safety for the city of Oregon, Ohio from 1994-1999; and city manager of Albion, Mich. from 1989 to 1994.

During his second interview, Lange identified many differences between Henry County and Ypsilanti, including size, density and diversity of population. But he said his experience with economic development would be applicable to Ypsilanti and his former positions had been in communities more like Ypsilanti, especially Albion, which is also a college town with a diverse population.

Lange was one of three candidates for the position, but on May 11 the number of finalists dropped from three to two, when City Clerk and Interim City Manager Frances McMullan withdrew from consideration.

The council interviewed the two finalists a second time in a public meeting on Monday night. The second candidate was Brian Vick, former city manager of Grosse Pointe Shores, Mich. The interview with Vick included several questions about the circumstances that led him to resigning from the Grosse Pointe Shores position in February. The situation included, Vick said, a dispute with the Grosse Pointe Yacht Club over ten years’ worth of water bills.