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Editorial: Willmar makes a very good choice

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Willmar's City Council is now a step closer to a new city administrator as members selected their top candidate Thursday night and agreed unanimously to discuss an employment agreement.

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This is a positive step for the City Council and the city of Willmar.

The City Council remained true to its established position requirements and picked the best candidate among the qualified candidates. More importantly, the City Council members united behind their top candidate choice following this week's finalist interviews.

The top choice of the council members was Charlene Stevens, assistant county manager for Sedgewick County, Wichita, Kan.

Stevens is an excellent choice. She said her priorities are delivering quality services to the public and providing the council members with appropriate information and recommendations.

Her interview performance this week was outstanding. She has a strong professional presence and an outstanding public background. She is also proficient in Spanish.

Stevens has worked since August 2006 as the assistant county manager for Sedgwick County. She previously worked as an assistant manager for two Pennsylvania townships. She has also worked as a neighborhood assistant in Wichita and as executive director of La Casa Latina Inc., a nonprofit community organization in Sioux City, Iowa.

This city administrator candidate stood out among the finalist candidates, which included some very good candidates. The next step is for a contract to be negotiated and finalized with this City Council's choice.

Stevens is an excellent choice to continue and build upon the strong regional city government performance of Willmar.

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