70 people apply for city mgr. position

Published 9:34 pm Monday, February 22, 2010

Almost 70 people applied for the Albert Lea city manager position through the application deadline on Saturday, Albert Lea Mayor Mike Murtaugh said Monday at the Albert Lea City Council meeting.

“We were told there are some very good candidates who have applied, both from Minnesota and across the United States,” Murtaugh said.

The Brimeyer Group, the consultant firm hired to perform the executive search for the new city manager, is narrowing down the applications to 13 or 14 candidates who will be screened, he said, and then the top candidates will be presented to the council March 4.

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Interviews of finalists are scheduled for March 19 and 20, with the new city manager expected to begin the position in May.

The candidate chosen will replace former City Manager Victoria Simonsen, who accepted a job as town administrator in Colorado.

The profile advertising the position stated 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.

It stated a qualified candidate should have 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.

A qualified candidate should also 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, according to the profile.

The city manager will also 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 salary range for the position was posted from $83,663 to $108,762.

City Attorney Lee Bjorndal is filling in as interim city manager in the meantime.