BE Council chooses Moore
And now there is one.
After a full day of conducting interviews last Tuesday, Feb. 25, the Blue Earth City Council made their choice for hiring a new city administrator.
After discussion following the last of three interviews, the council came to a consensus and voted unanimously to offer the position to Kimberlai (Kim) Moore, of Amery, Wisconsin.
Immediately after the decision was made to go with Moore, the council went into closed session to discuss the terms of a contract they would be offering Moore. As of press time for this week’s Faribault County Register, no decision on an agreement or on a contract, nor a start date for the new city administrator had been announced.
There were two other candidates interviewed on Tuesday: Devin Swanberg of Pine Island, and Mary Kennedy of Fairmont. Swanberg is the Economic Development Authority (EDA) director in Pine Island and Kennedy is the EDA specialist in Blue Earth.
Moore was the first person to be interviewed.
She received her bachelor’s degree in history and political science from the University of Minnesota Minneapolis. Moore then received her master’s degree in public administration from Sonoma State University in Rohnert Park, California.
She started her career as the assistant city administrator for the city of Ramsey in 1999. Moore then became the assistant city manager of St. Anthony Village for five years, then the city administrator for the city of Centerville for three years, before returning to her assistant city manager position in St. Anthony Village for another eight years stint.
Since 2012, Moore has held several positions, including being the interim city administrator for Pine City, human resource director for Sibley County, city administrator for the city of Gaylord and most recently the city administrator for Amery, Wisconsin.
During her interview, Moore said two of the most important things to her are having open communication and being honest. She explained the open communication would be with staff, the council and citizens of the community.
“I have an open door policy,” she said. “I welcome talking to everyone.”
She also talked about moving to the community and felt it was important she live in Blue Earth. She also stressed she would be a visible city administrator.
As far as working with the council, Moore said, “You make the decisions, so it is my job to give you all the information you need to have to make those decisions.”
She also explained she really loves being a city administrator and is glad she made it her career choice.
Moore also said she likes working on the city budget and understands what goes on with the budget and working with department heads on it each year. She also has experience working on Tax Increment Financing (TIF) districts and with tax abatement.
Moore listed three strengths she has as being approachable and friendly, willing to work really hard and get the work done, and enjoying meeting with people.
As far as her first impressions of Blue Earth, Moore said she found it to be a clean city, and very well put together.
“I like to repurpose old things, so I like the plan of redoing the Three Sisters,” she said. “I even like the roundabouts. The city all looks like a very nice, welcoming community.”
All three interviews were conducted as a regular City Council meeting, as all the council members were present. Immediately after the final interview was complete, the council continued the meeting with discussion of all three candidates.
Each of the council members and the mayor gave their first choice and explained the reasons for that choice. Some of the council members also listed a second finalist as their No. 2 choice, or said they were comfortable with either one of two candidates.
There were three council members naming Moore as their top choice, and two selecting Swanberg and two selecting Kennedy.
After quite a bit of discussion, the council felt that Moore was either the first or second choice of just about all of the members and a unanimous vote was cast to offer the position to her, with councilman Glenn Gaylord making the motion and councilman Marty Cassem seconding it.
The major reason given by the council for selecting Moore over the other two was her years of experience in either the city administrator or city manager positions. The other two had experience more in the economic development field.