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Fairmont plans search for new administrator

FAIRMONT — If all goes according to plan, Fairmont should have a new city administrator in May.

Sharon Klumpp, a director with Baker Tilly search firm hired to scout for a new administrator, presented the City Council with a recruiting brochure at a work session Monday. The booklet summarized various assets of Fairmont, such as the lakes, schools and health care, the structure of the city’s government, the responsibilities of the city administrator’s position and the desired education and capabilities of the applicants.

“I use this (brochure) in every aspect of the search. This becomes a real foundation of the search, and I want to make sure we represent the city correctly,” Klumpp told the council.

She had spoken to each council member individually before compiling the data into the brochure, and she went through the information soliciting comments and minor adjustments to the text.

“This seems like a pretty good package of what you’re looking for,” she said.

Klumpp also addressed the council’s division and occasional rancor on past issues, including the termination of former city administrator Mike Humpal in November and the impact that could have on applicants for the position.

“Individual council members may not all agree on the top candidate, but through discussion and collective action, they ultimately cast a unanimous vote for the candidate with whom they want to employ,” she said. “This vote sends a strong message to the successful candidate that the city council will support its city administrator.”

Klumpp plans to place ads this week in publications by the League of Minnesota Cities and other state leagues, as well as city and county management associations. She hopes to have the first review of resumes by March 20, with semi-finalists by the end of March. She suggested a special council meeting March 30 to select the finalists, with interviews conducted the week of April 20.

The successful candidate will be offered a salary of up to $140,000, plus a benefit package that includes insurance, retirement and paid time off.

Klumpp reminded the council that all candidate information is private until the individual is invited to interview.

She said it could take up to four weeks for a candidate to move to Fairmont after he or she was hired. Interim admistrator Mark Sievert reminded the council that his last day will be May 28.

The Baker Tilly search firm merged with the Springsted firm that was the company used to hire Fairmont’s current management staff of Paul Hoye, finance director; Troy Nemmers, city engineer/public works director; and Police Chief Mike Hunter.

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