Council seeks interim city mgr.

Published 6:48 am Tuesday, October 26, 2010

The Albert Lea City Council has directed the city’s human resources director to contact four people from a list of interim city manager candidates provided by the League of Minnesota Cities regarding the vacant city manager position in Albert Lea.

Mayor Pro Tem Al “Minnow” Brooks said at this point the contact is simply to find out when these people would be interested in an interim basis and for how long they would be able to provide services.

The position is empty after former City Manager Jim Norman resigned in the middle of allegations that he misused the city credit card for personal purchases. He faces criminal charges in Freeborn County District Court.

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During preliminary discussion about the matter last week, Brooks said an interim city manager would more than likely work through the first quarter of 2011.

The League of Minnesota Cities staff recommended contacting the following four candidates based on the fact that the city is without a mayor, city manager and finance director: Doug Reeder of Greenwood; Ron Moorse, no address listed; Craig Dawson of St. Paul and Todd Bodem of Lakeville.

The city has also been contacted by several people who have heard about the situation and have offered their services, including former candidates in the previous city manager search.

Human Resources Director Mike Zelenak will follow-up with the City Council after contact is made with each.

Brooks gave a brief update about the situation during the Monday council meeting.

In other action, the City Council:

• Authorized a five-year lease agreement with Riverland Community College and the state regarding the use of the J.M. Snyder Fields.

• Authorized a two-year lease agreement with Riverland Community College and the state for a portion of the campus grounds for an 18-hole disc golf course.

• Approved an agreement with the New Hills Condominium Association regarding a water main that broke and needs to be repaired. The proposed cost is $16,000, and the association agrees to an assessment of $16,000 over three years at 4.75 percent interest.

• Recognized the Albert Lea Fire Department with a certificate from the Freeborn County Relay for Life for their assistance parking cars during the Relay for Life this year.

• Received recognition from two American Legion Leo Carey Post 56 members regarding the 2010 Legacy Run that was in August.

• Approved vacating a utility easement platted between two lots in Leland Point Subdivision on Crescent Circle.

• Voted to cancel the assessments on the former Hong Kong property across from City Hall on Clark Street.

The property was sold at a tax forfeiture in August, after the owner filed bankruptcy. Because of this, the assessments against the property cannot be collected.

Three assessments, totaling more than $36,000 will be written off.