BENTON HARBOR — Benton Harbor’s new interim city manager says he isn’t fazed by a heated debate over his hiring, because he just wants to focus on getting the job done.

Ellis Mitchell said he looks forward to returning to the city that he first served as manager from 1983 to 1987, when Benton Harbor grappled with major financial turmoil, including a period under federal receivership. Mitchell resigned the post in early 1987 on mostly favorable terms with the commission, saying he needed to spend more time with his family, then in Maryland.