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BE offering job to EDA’s Kennedy

By Staff | Jun 7, 2020

Mary Kennedy has been the Blue Earth EDA specialist for the past couple of years. The City Council is currently offering Kennedy a contract to be the city administrator, but no contract agreement has been made.

The Blue Earth City Council spent some time at their regular meeting last Monday night discussing what steps to take to once again replace their city administrator for the second time this year.

One of the first items on their agenda was to vote to accept the letter of resignation of city administrator Kim Moore. And, the council did just that.

Moore had started as the city administrator on March 9. At a meeting on Tuesday, May 26, the council went into closed session to conduct a performance review of Moore and found her performance to be unsatisfactory. She tendered her letter of resignation the next day.

This past Monday, after some discussion about their options, the council voted to offer the position to Mary Kennedy, who had been the council’s second choice after interviews had been conducted in March.

Kennedy is currently the city’s Economic Development Specialist, and works with the Blue Earth Economic Development Authority (EDA).

The city contracts with Community Economic Development Associates (CEDA) for Kennedy’s services.

One other option which had been discussed last Monday night was to start all over, advertise the position and interview finalists.

Councilman John Huisman said he favored choosing Kennedy. “We have worked with her for two years on the EDA board,” Huisman said. “And her knowledge and work ethic have been outstanding. Plus she has developed a great network of support and has been a great addition to the city.”

Councilman Glenn Gaylord had another question for Huisman.

“John, do you think she is still interested in the job,” Gaylord asked. Huisman answered he did not know, but they could ask her.

Mayor Rick Scholtes volunteered to be the one to approach Kennedy and find out, and start the negotiations if she is interested.

At the end of last Monday’s meeting, the council went into closed session to discuss the details of a contract to be offered to Kennedy. None of those details were released.

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

Decided to have two public hearings during their next meeting on Monday, June 15.

One concerns issues with an empty house at 906 Valley Drive. That house had been recently inspected and was found to still have construction issues.

The other public hearing deals with having the city’s Housing Redevelopment Authority (HRA) sell a house at 419 Second Street to Habitat for Humanity for the price of $1.

Heard an update from city engineer Wes Brown of Bolton and Menk on several construction projects going on in the city.

The North Sailor Street project is nearly complete, with driveways, sod and other items finished, and some mill and overlay being done on June 10.

The South Sailor Street Project is well underway with Phase 1’s underground work complete and gravel to come soon. Phase 2 will soon be under way next week.

Work on Leland Parkway has been slow due to high river levels. Brown said.

Voted to continue to have Candy Jansen do cleaning at the Ag Center on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Jansen has been doing the cleaning to fill in due to not having a maintenance person. A new maintenance person has been hired, but the council felt they should still keep the cleaning service in place as well.

Approved the hire of another full-time employee, Ken Spellman, at the Blue Earth Wine and Liquor Store, on a 6-1 vote with councilman John Huisman voting no.

After some discussion, did not make any decision on whether to open the city’s swimming pool or not at this time. They did learn the city’s library had opened from 1-4 p.m. weekdays with social distancing in place.

Said OK to a request from the Main Street Sewing Society to pass out quilts they have made to local veterans on July 19.

Originally they had planned to do it at a brunch at a church, but decided now to have the veterans drive up in front of Michele’s Quilting and Sewing store on Main Street one at a time to receive their quilt.