City mgr. finalist accepts position in Mass.

Published 9:02 pm Thursday, March 11, 2010

The former city manager of Iowa City, Iowa — one of five finalists for the Albert Lea city manager position — has accepted an offer as the first town manager of Hamilton, Mass., that town’s newspaper reported Thursday night.

According to The Hamilton Wenham Chronicle, Michael Lombardo was unanimously offered the position by the Hamilton Board of Selectmen. He was one of three finalists.

“Michael Lombardo, of the three candidates, he’s got the broadest skill set,” Hamilton Selectman Bill Bowler said in the story. “He’s got all the bases covered.”

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The article stated the selectman described Lombardo as the strongest candidate when considering the range of qualities and skill sets they were looking for.

He received a bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of Albany in Albany, N.Y., and a master’s degree of business administration also from the University of Albany, N.Y.

He has worked in local government counseling, as a county administrator, as an assistant city manager for finance and administration, among other positions.

Most recently, he worked as Iowa City manager from May 2008 to April 2009, where he was terminated from the position.

Lombardo said during his interview in Hamilton that councilors did not tell him why he was fired, and it was difficult to know what may have displeased them.

He noted that his predecessor had been in office for more than two decades.

“Maybe I was too much of a firebrand moving too fast,” Lombardo said in The Salem News out of Salem, Mass., last week.

After being contacted by telephone after the Thursday decision, Lombardo said he was very excited about the opportunity, The Hamilton Wenham Chronicle reported.

“There’s so many interesting things happening there, I don’t know which to talk about first,” he said. “I know the board has some broad goals for the community, and I want to get well versed in their thinking, and hit the ground running.”

The article stated Lombardo accepted the offer, pending contract negotiations.

Other finalists in the Albert Lea search are Dean Torreson, city administrator of Macomb, Ill.; Jim Norman, interim city administrator of Afton; Alan Lanning, city manager for Castle Pines North, Colo.; and David Torgler, former city administrator of Leavenworth, Wash.

Candidates will come to Albert Lea March 19 and 20 to tour the city and meet with department heads, the Albert Lea City Council and the public. On March 20, the finalists will be interviewed.

Albert Lea Mayor Mike Murtaugh said The Brimeyer Group — the consultant firm in charge of the local city manager search — was notified by Lombardo that he had accepted a different position.

The firm contacted candidate Greg Sund, of Spearfish, S.D., to be the new finalist for the city manager position.

Murtaugh said Sund most recently worked as the first city administrator for the city of Spearfish, S.D., but was asked to resign at the end of last year.

The mayor and council decided they were not ready for an administrator, Murtaugh said.

He noted Sund has a lot of other experience in towns in South Dakota and received a master’s degree in public administration from the University of South Dakota.

Look for a more detailed description of Sund’s background in Sunday’s Tribune.