Ramsey economic development candidate says no

The city of Ramsey had been on the path to hire a new economic development manager, but it will have to wait a little longer.

Sean Sullivan.
Sean Sullivan.

The Ramsey City Council April 23 unanimously voted to hire Sean Sullivan as its new economic development manager.

Sullivan, who served as the city’s economic development coordinator from 2000-2012, would have started May 29, but withdrew his application May 7.

After evaluating the two positions, he decided to continue as Isanti’s economic development director, a position he has held since 2010, Sullivan said.

Although Sullivan’s withdrawal letter cites questions asked by Ramsey council members about possible conflicts of interest when it comes to the position with Ramsey and being a sitting Oak Grove councilmember, Councilmember Jason Tossey said there is also a conflict because Sullivan took a campaign donation from Ramsey businessman Jim Deal.

The campaign donation came to the city’s attention May 6, said City Administrator Kurt Ulrich.

During the interview process, the potential council member/city employee issue was discussed and it was decided that Sullivan would step away during any potential conflict, he said.

Ramsey’s economic development manager will be “responsible for the development and implementation of economic development programs and services for both commercial and industrial businesses,” according to Human Resources Director Colleen Lasher.

“Without this position it would be very difficult to attain many of the city council’s strategic goals, many of which focus on economic development,” she said.

Ramsey received 14 application for the job.

Lasher said the recruitment period has been extended for the position to increase the number of qualified candidates.

Tammy Sakry is at [email protected]