New administrator coming to Fairmont

FAIRMONT–The employment of a new city administrator was approved by the Fairmont City Council on Monday. Mathew Skaret, former administrator of Jackson, will be taking on the role as leader of the city of Fairmont later this month.

Fairmont has been without a full-time city administrator since May 2023. Since September 2023 it has been led by interim city administrator Jeff O’Neill. The city has been working with GovHR USA, a recruitment and management consulting firm and in March interviewed two potential candidates, one of which was Skaret.

Along with serving as city administrator for Jackson, he has also been city administrator for Springfield, Minn., Milford Iowa and Madison, Minn. He has a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science and a master’s degree in public administration from the University of South Dakota.

The terms agreed upon on Monday include a start date of April 29 and a starting salary of $153,961, as well as $3,000 for moving expenses.

O’Neill noted that there was a chance that some small changes could be made to the agreement, but anything bigger would come back to the council for approval. The council unanimously approved of the employment agreement.

At the start of the meeting on Monday, several motions were made before the evening’s agenda was approved.

Council Member Randy Lubenow asked to add discussion about a petition that is circulating to get rid of the building inspection department.

Mayor Lee Baarts said that a council member may request to have an item placed on the agenda and that all requests may follow some guidelines, such as that requests to add items must be indicated on council member agenda request forms and be submitted to the city administrator by an approved time prior to the meeting.

Council Member Michele Miller then asked to remove agenda item 9.3– consideration of adopting a resolution addressing the loss of a nominee for service on the Charter Commission, pending a meeting with the Charter Commission and City Council and to hold off on submitting a final resolution to the state and the court.

That motion received a second from Council Member Wayne Hasek. After discussion, Miller amended her motion to request that 9.3 be removed pending a future meeting between city council and the charter commission and to withhold a resolution passed at the last meeting until the joint meeting occurs.

The motion to remove 9.3 passed 3-2 with Council Members Hasek, Miller and Jay Maynard in favor.

In other business, the council:

— Approved an event permit for Fairmont Lakes Foundation Inc.’s spring fishing tournament on May 18.

— Approved an event permit for DAV, American Legion and VFW to hold Veterans Serving Veterans picnic on June 29.

— Approved the purchase of a new pickup truck to replace current code enforcement officer vehicle squad 9 for the Fairmont Police Department as listed on the 2024 CIP.

— Approved the low bid of $138,284 from Pearson Bros, Inc. for the 2024 sealcoat project


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