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Letter: City study was questionable

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Oh, what a web she weaves. With all the West Central Tribune ink exploding darkness on the Willmar City Council, I searched for some light. My investigation found, “The finalists, which were decided by the Aberdeen City Council on Monday, were released by the Brimeyer Group, the executive search firm in charge of the manager search. The finalists are: Charlene Stevens… served as the assistant county manager in Sedgwich County, since 2006 (Aberdeen News, Jan. 15, 2009).”

In the Jan. 24, 2009, article of the Aberdeen News, Irina Fursman of the Brimeyer Group is quoted. Brimeyer Fursman is one of two consultants that Willmar City Administrator Charlene Stevens recommended to facilitate the Willmar City Council organizational study. Moving Willmar Forward gifted money to its cost and the taxpayers paid the balance.

Coupled with Chamber of Commerce President Ken Warner’s Nov. 7, 2012, email to City Administrator Charlene Stevens, the plot thickens. It alludes to a city council member being in Warner’s pocket. Is “the team” that Warner refers to his Moving Willmar Forward group and/or the Willmar Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce?

In my opinion Charlene Stevens’ management skills are questionable. Stevens is listed as the first of two assistant county managers in Sedgwich County, Kansas. According to the 2006 U.S. Census, this metropolitan’s population is 470,895. Due to Sedgwich County’s budget deficit of $17 million, about 400 jobs from 3,000 were cut, including Charlene Steven’s management position. The ramifications from their financial troubles are ongoing. Apparently their similar external/internal organization plan malfunctioned.

I do not believe our city doesn’t need a top-management flow chart with an expensive price tag. All sides agree that Willmar citizens are pleased with their public services. If the recommendations from the organizational study passed, it would have cost the taxpayers a lot of money and risked city staff’s job security. Change for the sake of change is ludicrous.

Sue Quist

Willmar

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