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Germann resigns at Wells

By Staff | Jul 15, 2012

Just three days after Wells’ city administrator had resigned, the City Council has filled the position – temporarily.

In a special meeting Thursday night, council members unanimously voted to hire Brian Heck on an interim basis.

On Monday night, Jeremy Germann submitted his letter of resignation effective July 27.

The next day he contacted the League of Minnesota Cities and was given a list of “highly qualified” candidates” to choose from.

“He (Heck) has the budgeting and personnel experience the council will be looking for. He’s one of the top candidates and was available, and willing to come down,” Germann told the council Thursday night.

Heck, who lives in Plymouth, is scheduled to work part time; Monday and Tuesday, and possibly half a day on Wednesday. He will be paid $50 an hour and begins his duties on July 23.

Heck was at Thursday’s meeting, answered some questions from the council and left before they made their decision.

“I’ve worked in government for over 20 years, in cities and counties both big and small,” he says.

His last job was as city administrator of Shorewood from August 2008 to March 2012. Before that, he was city administrator of Lauderdale from May 2005 to August 2008.

Heck says his strength is being able to gather information to solve problems.

“I will help council and department heads get through roadblocks. Keep the ship going in the right direction until you get a captain,” he says.

City Attorney David Frundt and Germann will be working on an employment agreement for Heck.

Mayor Ron Gaines told fellow council members Monday night that Germann’s reason for stepping down was because of a personal matter.

“I’ve done my best to try and talk him out of it,” he says.

Germann says deciding to resign wasn’t an easy decision.

“It’s just something I needed to do for my family,” he says. “I can’t express my gratitude for the opportunity to work here. I hate to leave.”

Germann thanked his staff and hard-working city employees, who he says have made his job easier.

In the final year of a three-year contract, Germann was earning an annual salary of $71,000.

Council members are wasting little time in their search for a city administrator.

The position has been posted on the League of Minnesota Cities website and newspaper advertisements are planned soon.

Councilwoman Ashley Seedorf says qualifications, salary and job description should be decided before interviews are held with potential candidates.

The council agreed with Seedorf that the council should immediately resume meeting twice a month during the transition.

A three-member panel consisting of Councilwoman Ann Marie Schuster, Heck and a former city administrator will narrow the list of applicants for the council to interview.

Gaines says he wants Germann to help interview the finalists because he values his opinion.

“If anyone has a question, give me a call. I want to see this city to have success going forward,” says Germann.