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BE adopts plan for hiring new administrator

By Staff | Jul 14, 2014

If a plan they adopted last Monday night works out, the Blue Earth City Council will have a new city administrator on the job on Monday, Nov. 3.

Search consultant Wendell Sande presented the process for hiring a new administrator and at the end of his report last Monday night, the council approved it.

The timeline included with the plan calls for advertising for the open position from July 15 to Aug. 15.

Sande will then review all the applications by Aug. 22.

From Sept. 6 to 13, a special search committee will conduct the first round of interviews and select three finalists for the second round of interviews.

Mayor Rick Scholtes presented his proposed search committee members, which included both City Council representatives and members of the public. Approved to be on the committee were: Mayor Scholtes, councilman Russ Erichsrud and community members Evan Gough (BEA superintendent), Chad Phillips (Seneca), Bill Sayre (former city engineer), Kara Drake (One Realty) and Julie Loge (Dikken’s).

“After the committee selects the three finalists, the entire council would conduct the second round of interviews,” Sande said. “And you (the council) make the final pick.”

The second round of interviews is slated for Sept. 20-27. The council would then make its decision on who to offer the position to during their Oct. 6 regular City Council meeting.

That would give the candidate one month to give notice at their current position, make the move to Blue Earth, etc., says Sande. And be able to start on Nov. 3.

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

Tabled discussion on the Senior Citizens Center until a work session before the next council meeting on July 21.

Mayor Scholtes said Interfaith Caregivers wanted a decision from the council as to whether the city was going to have a director or not, before they gave a proposal as to running the center.

“They feel as though they are pushing someone out of a job,” Scholtes said. “So they want us to decide what it is we are going to do.”

Councilman John Gartzke said it would be hard to make that decision.

“We need to know what they (Interfaith Caregivers) proposal is first, before we can decide which way we are going to go,” Gartzke said.

Moved to pay a bill of $67,082 to the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) for removal of contaminated soil discovered during the Highway 169 reconstruction project last year.

“This is actually a good thing,” city engineer Wes Brown says. “We can now submit this bill to the State Petro Fund. We will be reimbursed for up to 90 percent of this cost.”

Discussed the problem with mosquitos in the city limits and wondered if two ground sprayings set for this past week were enough.

“I feel we should investigate whether having aerial spraying would be a better option,” councilman John Huisman said. “We really have a problem here.”

Councilman Gartzke agreed, adding that he thought aerial spraying should be done no matter the extra cost.

(After the meeting it was learned that the contractor said aerial spraying was not going to do any better job than two ground sprayings.)

Appointed Brooke Prestegard to the Economic Development Authority to replace member Dennis Zitnak who had resigned last month. The council also appointed a list of people to be election judges at both the primary election on Aug. 12 and at the general election on Nov. 4.

Welcomed interim city administrator Todd Bodem to his first council meeting. Bodem will serve until a new administrator is hired.