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Council selects city manager finalists

The Albert Lea City Council on Monday selected five finalists to be interviewed in-person in September for the role of city manager.

Gary Weiers, management consultant for David Drown Associates — whose company, DDA Human Resources, is leading the search for the new city manager — said 47 people applied for the position, and he selected 14 for video interviews. Two withdrew, and of the remaining 12, the council selected their top five based on a rating system. 

The councilors each selected their top four candidates based on the video interviews, experience and education, and then based on those rankings, the finalists were selected.

The candidates were each assigned a number, and names were not released until Tuesday morning. 

The finalists are as follows: 

  • Glenn Anderson is the city administrator/economic development director/utility superintendent for the city of Sibley, Iowa, where he has been employed for six years. He is also employed with Lake Life Skills as a program assistant and is self-employed with High Point Consulting LLC. Prior to this, he was the city administrator/economic development director in Ackley, Iowa, where he worked for one year. He also served as the economic development director for Lyon County, Iowa, for three years. He has a bachelor’s degree in education/social sciences. 
  • Bradley Hanson is employed with the city of Mondovi, Wisconsin, as the city administrator/clerk, where he has worked for over three years. He is also self-employed with Bradley J. Hanson Consulting. Prior to this, he served as the city administrator in Onawa, Iowa, for nearly three years, and as the city administrator in Bridgeport, Nebraska, for nearly two years. He has a bachelor’s degree in aviation technology and a master’s degree in public administration. 
  • Martin Moore most recently served as city manager in Batavia, New York, where he was employed for two years. Prior to that, he served as city manager in Eunice, New Mexico, for seven years, as a consultant for three years, and as a county manager for Otero County, New Mexico, for two years. He also has four years of teaching and nonprofit experience. He has a doctorate in political science with a public policy emphasis. 
  • Patrick Rigg is the city administrator/finance director in Evansville, Wisconsin. He has been in this position for six years. Prior to that, he served as city administrator/clerk in Eldora, Iowa, for six years. He has a bachelor’s degree in political science and a master’s degree in public administration. 
  • James Thomas most recently served as city manager in Claremore, Oklahoma, where he was for eight years. Prior to that, he served as the town administrator/chief procurement officer for the town of Kingston, Massachusetts, for one year; as the town manager for the town of West Warwick, Rhode Island, for three years; as the town manager for the town of Old Orchard Beach, Maine, for five years; and as the city manager in Sterling, Colorado, for one year. He has a bachelor’s degree in political science/communications and a master’s degree in public administration. 

The city is looking for a new city manager after the resignation of David Todd at the end of May for personal reasons. Todd had started in the position at the end of September following the resignation of former City Manager Chad Adams a few months prior. Adams left the position to serve as the CEO of the Southwest Minnesota Housing Partnership.

Weiers said he will next begin conducting background checks and reference checks on the finalists. 

The five finalists are slated to come to Albert Lea for interviews Sept. 17. 

The candidates will have small group interviews with city department heads, the council and community members, along with an interview with the full council. There will not be a meet-and-greet with the candidates because of COVID-19. 

The council opted for the city to provide candidates with a one-night hotel stay while in town for the interviews. 

The council voted to approve an agreement for interim city manager services through Oct. 31 with Mark Sievert, a retired city administrator who started his career as city administrator in Mapleton in 1983 and who retired in 2018, spending a significant portion of his career as administrator in Fergus Falls.

Mark Sievert

Sievert previously served as interim executive director of the Albert Lea Housing and Redevelopment Authority from October 2018 through May 2019 after former Executive Director Jon Ford resigned and before current Executive Director Jeanne Leick was hired.

He has a master’s degree in urban and regional studies and a bachelor’s degree in local and urban affairs.

Sievert will be paid $70 an hour and will receive mileage. He is an independent contractor.

In other action, the council:

  • Approved a 3% wage increase for non-union employees for 2020, effective July 1. The city has been in the process of conducting a compensation and classification study, but it has not been completed in the timeframe anticipated, Assistant City Manager Jerry Gabrielatos said. He said the intention is that the study would be implemented in 2021.
  • Approved a two-year contract with the Minnesota Public Employees Association. The agreement includes a 2% general wage adjustment on Jan. 1 and a 3% on July 1, 2020. 

In 2021, the employees would be placed on the city’s revised wage scale. 

  • Approved an amendment to the use agreement between the city and Albert Lea Area Schools for use of Bancroft Bay Park and disc golf course for three cross country meets in the fall. 

The Albert Lea cross country team has not hosted a home meet since 2001.

  • Authorized the transfer of $1.5 million from the Police Capital Fund and $100,000 from the sewer fund to reimburse the Fire Capital Fund for their portion of the fire station project. 
  • Approved a resolution supporting the passage of a bonding bill at the state Legislature. The city has requested funds for flood mitigation for U.S. Highway 65 and for a bridge to complete the Blazing Star Trail over Albert Lea Lake. 

The resolution encouraged lawmakers to work in a bipartisan way to pass the bill during the special session in September. 

  • Received an application from the Hartland Firemen’s Relief Association to conduct gambling at the Aragon Bar. 
  • Thanked Gabrielatos for his time with the city. Gabrielatos earlier this month announced he had accepted a position as city manager in West Linn, Oregon. He had worked for the city since 2015.