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Replacing Martig tops council agenda

By Staff | May 27, 2008

Ben Martig

It’s official.

Blue Earth City Administrator Ben Martig tendered his letter of resignation on Tuesday, May 20.

In the letter Martig said that his last day of working for the city would be on June 27. However, he is taking the last week as vacation time, so his final day at work will actually be on June 20.

Martig will start his duties as the city administrator in Marshall on July 12. The Marshall City Council officially voted to hire Martig and sign his employment contract at a meeting on Monday night, May 19.

The Blue Earth City Council was meeting that same night, with Martig present. Because his contract at Marshall had not yet been okayed, Martig did not tender his resignation at the Monday night meeting, but did so the next morning.

That didn’t stop the council from already starting in on the process of running the city after Martig leaves, and planning how to go about hiring his replacement.

It was one of the main topics of discussion at the meeting, and the council also went into closed session to discuss the city administrator position contract.

The council also met last Thursday night at 9 p.m. for a special meeting.

At that time they voted to hire William “Bill” Bassett as the interim city administrator for Blue Earth. He is the retired Mankato city administrator.

Bassett’s contract calls for him to work up to three days a week and attend council meetings. He will be paid $50 per hour, including travel time to and from Mankato.

Bassett has filled in as interim one other time in Blue Earth. Mayor Rob Hammond said he was good to work with then. “He has a lot of experience, having served Mankato for 30 years,” Hammond said.

He added that most of the 15 other candidates were from the metro area.

The council also authorized advertising for a new administrator, and they set parameters for the salary range. Upon recommendation by Councilman Rick Scholtes, the council set the range from $52,705 to $77,693, with steps in between.

The council looked at a proposal to hire a “head-hunting” company to help hire a new administrator, at a cost of around $17,000, but took no action on it.

Other business

In other business at last Monday’s meeting, the council:

– Heard a library report that included information that circulation (material checked out) was up 20 percent 2007 to 46,338 units.

– Discussed ways of developing a strategic plan for Putnam Park, and adding items to the park.

– Awarded a bid for seal-coating streets to Pearson Brothers for $25,002.

– Discussed a proposal to raise council salaries by three percent and add a gas stipend. No action taken.