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Leslie’s in charge for the city of Wells

By Staff | Aug 4, 2013

Residents of Wells will be seeing a new face in the city offices, but she is no stranger to the area.

Robin Leslie, the new City Administrator in Wells, grew up in the Blue Earth area and has been wanting to return for several years.

That wish to come back to her old stomping grounds was granted when the council selected her for the administrator position. Leslie officially began her duties as the administrator on July 22.

“It’s been almost 20 years since I’ve lived in the area,”?she says. “But, I still have so many friends and relatives who live around here.”

Being familiar with the area is making Leslie’s transition easier but she does admit it has been a bit of a whirlwind so far.

“I moved here on July 20,”?Leslie explains.

She currently is staying with her mother in Elmore but is excited to find a house in Wells.

“I want to be a part of the community,”?she says. “I really value being a member of the community here.”

And, to add to that whirlwind, Leslie has already jumped right into a list of duties prepared by the council.

“I have a list of priorities from the council to do first,”?Leslie says. “Then I can start working on some of my priorities.”

Since beginning last Monday, Leslie has already worked on the 2014 budget, prepared three union contracts which need to be renewed and is working to fill three other open positions within the city.

“Getting these things done are top priority and will be time consuming,” she says.

But once she gets accustomed to the position, she will assess how things are going and see if there are things that need to be changed.

She knows she doesn’t want to come in and change the way everything is done, but she is excited to apply her past experiences to improving the city and its services.

“Many small communities like Wells don’t have a lot of services,”?Leslie says. “Here we have the pool, library, golf course and theater, right in town.”

Her certification in city planning will help her in maximizing those services.

Other past experiences she has includes working as a tri-city administrator in Nicollet County, administration and planning specialist for the city of Champlin. She also worked for the city of Irvine, Tex., Wooster, Mass. and Oshkosh, Wis.

Her college education is also a big help in her transition to becoming the Wells City Administrator.

She majored in government at St. Benedicts College. She went on to attend graduate school at Minnesota State University-Mankato.

“Grad school is where I developed my interest in public administration,”?Leslie says.

She is already becoming pretty well acquainted with the city and its employees and looks forward to getting to know more people throughout the community.

“The people that I’ve met that work for the city are really good and invested in their jobs,” she says. “I’m lucky to be joining such a good team.”

To stay involved with the teamwork associated with the other city employees, Leslie is prepared to provide regular city administrator reports as well as attending meetings of various boards.

“That way I can stay up to date with issues and keep the council up to date on what I’m doing,”?she adds.

So, although she is new to the Wells city office, she is already seeing many familiar faces in the two weeks she’s been on duty.

“So far I can tell I will get to do a lot of different things and it will keep things interesting,”?she says.

As for being settled in and getting caught up on work that has been left from the absence of an administrator, she’s doing what she can.

“I’m getting there,”?Leslie adds.