City manager listing to be posted soon

Published 8:15 am Thursday, January 21, 2010

The job profile outlining the duties and expectations of the new Albert Lea city manager will soon be posted online for potential applicants.

During a special meeting Tuesday, the Albert Lea City Council reviewed the profile with a representative from The Brimeyer Group, the consultant firm hired to perform an executive search for the new city manager.

Albert Lea Mayor Mike Murtaugh said The Brimeyer Group formed the profile after meeting with council members individually to find out what was important to each.

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The search comes after the December resignation by current City Manager Victoria Simonsen, who has accepted a job as town administrator in Lyons, Colo. Her last day will be Feb. 12.

Murtaugh said councilors indicated Tuesday there were still minor changes to the profile that needed to be made, and then it will be posted on the Brimeyer Web site and the city’s Web site.

Richard Fursman, president with the firm, said Wednesday the profile should be listed in one or two days, and then applications will be accepted through Feb. 20.

Murtaugh said Fursman told the council he’s expecting to get some good candidates based on the excellent press the community has received during the last year, in light of the AARP/Blue Zones Vitality Project.

The following is a summary of each section of the profile. The profile begins with descriptions of the community.

 The city:

The profile begins with a description of Albert Lea as a “beautiful, progressive, dynamic community experiencing an upsurge of ideas and innovation.”

It is in the heart of south central Minnesota, positioned at the interchange of interstates 90 and 35 and has several lakes throughout the community that are focal points for community events, the profile stated.

It also includes the major employers in the city.

The new “blue”

The profile emphasizes Albert Lea’s involvement with the Vitality Project and how the city is finishing the National Vitality Center in the downtown area.

“This is one example of how the city leaders are moving the community into the future,” it states.


For this section, the profile talks about amenities such as the Albert Lea Aquatic Center, City Arena and other activities that are good for recreation, including hockey, figure skating, going to parks, going boating and going fishing, to name a few.


This part of the profile talks about educational opportunities available through Albert Lea School District, the different public and private schools in the area, Riverland Community College and Community Education.

Health care:

The profile states “Albert Lea has an impressive history of quality medical care,” referring to the Albert Lea Medical Center, which is associated with the Mayo Health System.

The medical center employs more than 50 doctors and recently underwent a major remodeling project.

It also mentions the nursing homes in the area.

 The organization:

The profile explains Albert Lea is a city with a home rule charter under a council and city manager form of government.

The city employs more than 130 full-time employees and has a general fund budget of $13.5 million. The city’s bond rating is AA minus.

City services:

The city operates water and wastewater services, has 28 licensed officers and a full-time fire department. Electrical and natural gas are provided by two private companies, it states.

The position:

The profile states the city manager is the chief administrative officer of the city.

“The city manager is appointed by the City Council and oversees the operation, programs and personnel of all city departments,” it states.

The profile then switches to qualifications of the applicant and what the duties will be.

Visionary leader sought:

The document states: “The successful city manager will embrace the community and strive to be part of the future.”

The council will look to the manager for ideas to handle challenges and to advance in the future.

 Specific duties:

Among several duties listed, the profile states the city manager “plans, directs and oversees city operations, programs and services and ensures systems are in place to evaluate and promote quality, cost-effectiveness and responsiveness to the needs of the city.”

The city manager will develop and issue administrative policies to ensure proper functioning of all departments, will advise department heads, will act as final authority to all personnel actions and will oversee preparation of city ordinances and resolutions.

The city manager will also provide sound recommendation to the council, promote effective community relations, prepare an annual budget, represent the city in several capacities, and ensure that the charter, laws, ordinances and resolutions of the council are enforced, to name a few.

Background and experience:

Candidates must have a master’s degree in public administration, community or economic development, business, finance or a related field and 10 years of public sector administrative and managerial experience.

A bachelor’s degree and 12 years of experience can substitute for the master’s degree, the profile states.

It continues by listing attributes of the qualified candidate, including a thorough knowledge of budgeting, experience working through tough economic times, the ability to mentor staff, knowledge of personnel management, experience in labor union negotiations, an understanding of planning and zoning and a knowledge of state government and its impact on local issues, to name a few.

It also states a qualified candidate should be highly skilled at communicating effectively both orally and in writing, should have a proven record of getting the council to work together as a team and have experience working with an established downtown, to name a few more.

Management capabilities:

“The City Council, staff and community look to the city manager to be a strong yet calm approachable leader,” the profile states.

The city manager should be an integrated member of the community, be a team builder and a consensus builder, it continues.

Other qualities the person should have include being a person of the highest integrity who can build a trusting relationship with the council and the community, engaging with the public, being able to work effectively with a variety of personalities, having a history of being able to prioritize work, meet deadlines and manage multiple tasks.

Community and position priorities:

The city manager will be expected to assess the current budget issues and begin a strategy for long-term fiscal health, continue the momentum of the Vitality Project, help promote the city as a destination city, become part of the community, continue with infrastructure redevelopment, build a cohesive team with the mayor and council, continue to work on downtown redevelopment and do an organizational assessment, to name a few priorities, according to the profile.

The profile states the salary range for the position is $83,663 to $108,762.

Look to and for the full profile after it is posted.

The Brimeyer Group is expected to present the top candidates to the council March 4, with interviews of finalists scheduled for March 19 and 20.

The new city manager would begin in May.