Search firm to hire new city manager

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, October 28, 2003

The city council voted Monday to hire the Brimeyer Group, a search firm, to recruit and employ a new city manager.

The president of the organization, James Brimeyer, provided an introduction for the firm to the council at the pre-agenda meeting. The starting expense for the search is $14,000 and could increase if the search expands beyond the Midwest. The cost also rises when traveling expenses for applicants is considered. It could cost up to $20,000.

Councilor Jeff Fjelstad, the only councilor who voted against the proposal, said that he does not think the city can afford the search firm and should conduct the search &uot;in-house.&uot;

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Mayor Jean Eaton said, &uot;My belief is that we need to use the outside help. We do not have the time or knowledge&uot; to do it.

Councilor Randy Erdman agreed with Eaton and said, &uot;This is a position that has not been vacant for 25 years. We need to use the right tool for the job.&uot;

Having passed, the search will begin immediately.

Also discussed at the meeting:

– This week the council will submit an application to the Minnesota Department of Trade & Economic Development for a $600,000 grant, which, along with possible grant money given to Metro Plains Development from the Minnesota Housing and Finance Agency, would assist the redevelopment of the Lea Center Building.

– The Freeborn County Trail Association presented plans of expansion for recreational trails within the city. An association representative said that grant money could help widen trails that are too narrow for recreational purposes.

– Erdman introduced a proposal that would require the council to examine the possibility of videotaping the city council meetings for public cable access. He said that he thinks the taping will allow for better understanding of city council more trust from the public. The council agreed and unanimously voted to find out what equipment is necessary and the cost of taping.

(Contact Benjamin Dipman at or at 379-3439.)