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W’bago names Frundt as the new city attorney

By Staff | Mar 13, 2016

Winnebago’s city attorney received a promotion last Tuesday night.

David Frundt, of Frundt & Johnson Law Office in Blue Earth, went from being the interim city attorney to the permanent one.

Frundt’s law firm was one of two that submitted proposals to be the city attorney for Winnebago. The other one was Kyle Hartnett of Kennedy & Graven Law Firm of Minneapolis.

City administrator Chris Ziegler recommended accepting the proposal from Frundt, who has been filling in as interim city attorney for several months since the resignation of Douglas Johanson.

“David (Frundt) has experience with other local governments and his knowledge of the issues we are facing is top notch,” Ziegler said. “Plus, his retainer fee is far less at $500 per month than Kennedy and Graven’s of $1,500 per month.” After some discussion of whether to hire Frundt on a file by file basis or on a retainer, the council voted unanimously to hire him on a retainer basis.

City councilman Rick Johnson said he thought the retainer fee, of about $6,000 per year, was fair, and pointed out the city has paid between $8,000 and $15,000 per year in the past. And, city councilwoman Jean Anderson added a note of thanks to Frundt for stepping up and helping out the city on an interim basis.

With the appointment in Winnebago, Frundt is now representing the cities of Blue Earth, Wells, Delavan, Easton, Frost, Elmore, Minnesota Lake and Kiester, all in Faribault County.

There were several other personnel issues that were addressed by the council at last Tuesday’s meeting, including:

Granting a two-step increase in salary to deputy city clerk Jessi Sturtz, plus another one-step increase after she completes her second year of training at a city clerk’s institute.

The vote had been tabled at last month’s meeting, with several council members requesting additional information on her review.

City administrator Ziegler said he had met individually with members of the council to share information of her review with them, and the vote was unanimous for the increases in her salary at Tuesday’s meeting.

Several council members also had praise for her work and job performance.

Accepting the resignation of police officer Briar Bonin who was recently hired by the Faribault County Sheriff’s Office.

The council also authorized advertising for another full-time officer.

Voting to increase the salary schedule for workers at the Winnebago Municipal Swimming Pool for the coming summer season.

Wages for lifeguards was increased from the current range of $7.25-$7.80 per hour to a range of $8-$8.60. The head lifeguard was increased from $8.52 to $9.25.The pool manager’s wage was left the same at $10.25.

Ziegler explained the raise was recommended after they compared wages with the surrounding cities.

“We have had trouble in the past recruiting guards and we feel this will retain the guards we have and attract new ones,” the city administrator said.

He added that the city had budgeted $38,000 for pool wages this year, up from $36,000 last year, to cover a possible increase.

In another financial action for the pool, the council also accepted a bid for coating the floor of the pool bath house, which is currently in bad shape and could become a slipping hazard.

There were two quotes received and the lower one was from TMI Coatings for $16,900 and was the one accepted by the council.

The other quote was from Swede Bro for $18,608.