Staff members will not be part of the interviews

Published 9:18 am Monday, February 28, 2011

The Albert Lea City Council on Thursday agreed it will most likely eliminate the staff and community interviews, which were used in the 2010 search, during the upcoming interviews for a new city manager.

This means the City Council will conduct the sole formal interviews of the finalists, though staff and community members will still have the opportunity to meet and mingle with the candidates.

During discussion about the March 25 and 26 finalist visits at the council’s Thursday workshop, Albert Lea Mayor Vern Rasmussen said city staff members have told him they are not interested in a formal interview of the finalists. However, the staff do still want to visit with the finalists on a more informal basis.

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Fifth Ward Councilor Larry Anderson said members of the community group who interviewed the city manager finalists in 2010 told him they could not agree amongst themselves after their interviews.

Councilors agreed they would still like to hold a community social the first day of the finalists’ visits, and 4th Ward Councilor Reid Olson suggested a drop box where people could write down their opinions anonymously after the social for the council to review.

“You’re getting an idea of what impression does this person make on people,” 3rd Ward Councilor Ellen Kehr said.

Sixty-two people applied for the position, according to Interim City Manager Pat McGarvey.

Brimeyer Fursman, the firm aiding the city in the search, will narrow the field down to about 12 candidates, and then on March 7, the council is expected to pick its top five finalists.

The finalists are slated to come to town March 25, at which time they will tour the city and meet with the council, staff and the community. On March 26, the council will conduct interviews.

A new city manager is being hired after former Albert Lea City Manager Jim Norman resigned amid allegations that he misused the city-issued credit card.

Norman was hired around this same time in 2010.

The new manager is slated to begin full time in the position at the end of April or beginning of May.


Important dates in the Albert Lea city manager search:
• Feb. 14: The deadline for city manager applications passed
• March 7: The Albert Lea City Council is slated to choose the top five finalists
• March 25 and 26: The top five finalists will come to town for interviews