Search for county administrator gets narrowed down to 7 candidates

Published 11:04 pm Friday, July 14, 2017

The search for a new Freeborn County administrator has been whittled down to seven candidates.

The candidates who will participate in a two-day interview process Aug. 7-8 are:

Ken Osmonson, whose most recent work experience is North American operations manager for Valicor. A southern Minnesota native, Osmonson recently moved back to the area.

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Tom Meyer, attorney and coordinator for the city of Manly, Iowa.

Shaun LaDue, former West Des Moines, Iowa, chief of police.

Gail Leverson, graduate assistant in e-learning at Bemidji State University, owner and manager at North Central Development Services and city clerk and treasurer for the city of Sebeka.

Tom Burke, Aitkin County Health and Human Services director. He has also served as interim county administrator.

Scott Kelly, staff attorney at Public Health Law Center in St. Paul and former staff attorney at League of Minnesota Cities.

Laura Elvebak, public sector management consultant and former administrator in Steele and Waseca counties.

The seven candidates come from the 29 applications the county received for the position.

“All candidates have strong educational backgrounds, experience and leadership qualities that Freeborn County is searching for in our next county administrator,” Freeborn County Human Resources Director Sue Tasker said in an email on Thursday. “The itinerary is being planned for the two-day interview process, with an opportunity for the public to meet and greet the candidates.”

Candidates will tour the city of Albert Lea and Freeborn County, Tasker said.

“It’s going to be kind of intense, but we want to make sure we get the right one,” she said on Friday.

Tasker hopes a new administrator is in place by the end of August.

The job opening came after John Kluever, former Freeborn County administrator, resigned in May after he was arrested for allegedly driving while intoxicated in Albert Lea.

A new administrator is expected to be hired with an initial salary that ranges from near $90,000 to approximately $130,000.

In the job posting for the administrator position, Freeborn County requested candidates know the principles and practices of public administration, organizational theory and management; the fundamentals, principles and practices of public budgeting, finance and accounting; operations, trends, best practices, functions and issues faced by county government; relevant state, local or federal laws and guidelines pertaining to county management and administration operations; and the principles and practices of supervision and personnel management.

Under the authority of the Freeborn County Board of Commissioners, the Freeborn County administrator will oversee the implementation of county board policies and goals through county managers. The administrator will oversee all departments, functions and programs of government that fall under the control of the board, as well as manage and direct all administrative functions and programs of the county, including personnel administration, budget, purchasing, facilities and property management, data processing, public information, risk management or intergovernmental affairs. The administrator will oversee, evaluate and recommend the appointment, suspension, discipline or removal of department heads or employees of the county who fall under the authority of the board.

About Sam Wilmes

Sam Wilmes covers crime, courts and government for the Albert Lea Tribune.

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