Spring Lake Park council will interview assistant administrator candidates

Spring Lake Park City Council members will conduct two meetings to interview and possibly hire a new employee who will eventually become the city’s chief administrator.

City Administrator Barb Nelson said 80 applications were submitted for the assistant to the city administrator position.

The new hire will replace Nelson after a year’s worth of training and mentoring.

Effective Aug. 15, Nelson will work 20 hours a week according to a phased retirement agreement approved in March. Nelson will mark 33 years of city service in September.

In 1995, Nelson was promoted to the newly created position of city administrator, clerk/treasurer when Donald Busch retired after his 30 years of city service.

During a meeting July 2, Nelson said she scored the initial applications according to state law, using a system to assign points for education and experience.

Department heads Police Chief Doug Ebeltoft; Marian Rygwall, parks and recreation department director; Barry Brainard, building official; fire marshal and code enforcement director and Public Works Director Terry Randall joined Nelson during interviews of 10 assistant administrator applicants June 26-27.

According to Nelson, two out-of-state applicants dropped out of consideration when they were told the city would not reimburse them for their travel or moving expenses.

The following Minnesota-based applicants were selected to appear for interviews before the council Monday, July 23, starting at 7 p.m.:

Daniel Buchholtz, city administrator in Hanover; Larry Kruse, former Albertville city administrator; Kelly Steele, city administrator-clerk in Madison Lake; and Erin Stwora, assistant to the city administrator in Dayton. The public can attend the July 23 interviews but won’t be allowed to ask questions, Nelson said.

“I recommend you call a workshop the day after the interviews [to discuss a possible candidate job offer], so everything is still fresh in your mind,” Nelson said.

Council members agreed to meet Tuesday, July 24, at 6:30 p.m. to review the interview responses from the four assistant to the city administrator candidates.

Tim Hennagir is at [email protected]