By Starrla Cray
WINSTED, MN The search for Winsted’s new city administrator is on.
At Tuesday’s city council meeting, the council approved hiring DDA Human Resources, Inc. (David Drown Associates) to conduct the search and administer the hiring process. The lead consultant is Gary Weiers, who has worked with the City of Winsted for the past few city administrator searches.
At the work session prior to the regular council meeting, Weiers reviewed the administrator job description, salary range, and hiring timeline.
The plan is to have a new city administrator start employment Oct. 9. In the meantime, Council Member Patty Fitzgerald has been authorized to serve as temporary acting city administrator, at a wage of $25 per hour.
City administrator candidates will be recruited through July, and will then be ranked. Semi-finalists will complete a video interview and work-related personality index by mid-August.
The city council plans to select finalists for interviews the following week. Those candidates will undergo a complete background check in early September. They’ll also take an intellectual profile measuring verbal reasoning, mathematical and logical reasoning, and overall mental aptitude.
By mid-September, the council aims to select a candidate, and DDA Human Resources will negotiate a salary agreement.
Winsted’s salary range for this position is $62,483 to $84,448. The city’s current administrator, Dan Tienter, whose last day is today (Friday, July 6), makes about $5,000 more per year than the maximum, according to Weiers.
According to the League of Minnesota Cities Salary Survey, the average range for cities with population sizes similar to Winsted is between $72,873 to $92,683. The range listed for the City of Howard Lake was comparable to Winsted, at $64,248 to $86,345.
The role of the city administrator in Winsted is to plan and direct all city operations, including financial/administrative functions and personnel management/supervision. As part of that, the administrator communicates and implements the city’s short-term and long-term goals, and manages large infrastructure projects.
Minimum qualifications include a bachelor’s degree in public administration, political science, business management, or a related field; plus three years of public administration experience. Preferred qualifications include a master’s degree and 10 years of local government management experience.
Tienter’s last council meeting
At the end of Tuesday’s council meeting, Tienter said he has “thoroughly enjoyed working for the City of Winsted and the Winsted City Council.” He commented that the staff has been “outstanding, kind, generous, and thoughtful.”
Council Member Tom Ollig said Tienter has been a “tremendous asset,” especially in regards to finances and the budgeting process. Ollig said Tienter’s methods are “much clearer and more direct” than he has seen in the past.
Mayor Steve Stotko commented that Tienter was “the right guy at the right time.” He explained that the city had several major projects during the nearly three years Tienter was administrator, and Tienter was able to fit the city’s needs.
Odds and ends
In other business, the council:
• approved conditional offers of employment for two part-time police officers Braden Broekema and Paige Vick contingent upon passing a criminal background check, psychological examination, and drug/alcohol test.
• adopted an amended City of Winsted employee personnel policy and procedures manual, effective Monday, Aug. 6.
• authorized the city administrator to terminate an agreement with St. Cloud Refrigeration, Inc., which provides maintenance and repair services for the heating and air conditioning systems at city hall.
• approved a few items for the weekend of the Winsted Summer Festival, Friday, Aug. 10 through Sunday, Aug. 12, on city streets and property as approved by the police chief, including: a temporary on-sale liquor license for the Winsted American Legion Post #407, operation of ATVs, amplified music events, and the use and operation of outdoor food stands and outdoor vendor stands.
• approved a temporary on-sale liquor license for the Adult Training and Habilitaion Center (ATHC) for a craft beer festival Saturday, Sept. 8 at the Winstock Country Music Festival grounds.
• approved an application for the Winsted Lake Watershed Association to conduct excluded bingo at the Blue Note Ballroom Thursday, Oct. 18, contingent upon submission of all necessary documentation being sent to the state’s gambling control board.
• approved the purchase of Microsoft Office 2016 software for city-owned computers from Computer Integration Technologies, for an amount not to exceed $2,376.
• authorized revoking Tienter’s access to the city’s accounts effective his last day as city administrator.
• appointed Bolton & Menk engineering firm as the consultant for the Winsted Municipal Airport. Bolton & Menk had been the consultant previously, but the city is required to solicit proposals for consulting services every five years, in order to obtain federal and state-controlled airport funding.
• heard that nominations for Winsted Pride Awards are due to city hall by Tuesday, July 10.
• heard that there is still an open seat on the planning commission. Residents interested in serving can fill out an application on the city’s website or at city hall.