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Willmar city administrator sets goals, objectives, presents to council

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news Willmar, 56201
Willmar Minnesota 2208 Trott Ave. SW / P.O. Box 839 56201

WILLMAR — City Administrator Charlene Stevens has proposed some goals and objectives for herself based on previous discussions and feedback she received from the Willmar City Council during her April 24 performance review.

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Stevens presented her goals and objectives to the council’s Labor Relations Committee on Sept. 17.

One goal is to develop an electronic agenda process for council members. The process is being tested with city staff and two council members, Tim Johnson and Bruce DeBlieck. Stevens said initial feedback from council members has been good.

Among other goals:

- Long-term facilities plan: Funding is included in the proposed 2014 budget to assist in developing a more comprehensive facilities plan for the city.

She said the city continues to use a five-year capital planning process and is addressing facilities needs as part of that plan.

- Tax abatement policy: A policy was developed, presented and adopted by the council in May 2013.

- Improve communication with the mayor: Stevens said she has followed the council’s guidance on meeting with Mayor Frank Yanish and Mayor Pro Tempore Denis Anderson on a bi-weekly basis. Stevens said Yanish has had some conflicts of late and cancelled the meetings. But Stevens said she makes herself available by phone or email as necessary.

- Stormwater planning: Stevens said stormwater planning needs additional feedback from council members. Stevens said the acting city engineer has been asked to review a previous stormwater report and provide recommendations on opportunities the city may have to best implement the directives. She said city staff members incorporate stormwater management into any street project. Funding will be a barrier to success, she said.

- Implementation of Vision 2040: Stevens said she participates in the steering team. Recommendations will be rolled out Nov. 20. Stevens said it might be more appropriate to identify more specific objectives at that time as they relate to the city.

During committee discussion, Ron Christianson suggested a few goals for Stevens. He said one goal could be to keep the council informed of whatever is happening, especially in the areas of public works and public safety. Christianson is chairman of the Public Works/Safety Committee.

Another goal, Christianson said, would be during the next budget process to “maybe help the mayor a little more with the budget.’’

He also thought another goal could be to encourage the Moving Willmar Forward group and the West Central Tribune “to quit attacking council members, who are your boss.’’

“I know you have an influence with them and I think that’s a goal. I think it’s a goal that could be accomplished, even,’’ he said.

Committee member Denis Anderson questioned how Stevens would necessarily influence Moving Willmar Forward and the Tribune, and Anderson questioned if that is her role.

“If we’re the ones that have a problem, then we need to work on it,’’ Anderson said. “I don’t know that she’s the intermediary. I’m not sure how we would measure it. I have a little bit of a problem with that one.’’

The Labor Committee discussion of goals and objectives was mentioned by committee chairman Steve Ahmann during Monday night’s City Council meeting.

In his report, Ahmann said that after some discussion, it was suggested that the goals could be refined as the year went on, but that it was a good starting point. The matter was for information only, he said.

In other business, the council:

- Approved a resolution certifying unpaid utility charges totaling $13,978.92 to the Kandiyohi County auditor to be placed as liens against 31 properties for collection along with other taxes. The council followed the recommendation of City Attorney Robert Scott and removed two properties, Willow Run I and Willow Run II Apartments, from the list because the properties are in bankruptcy proceedings. Both properties owe a combined $12,605.40 in unpaid utility charges.

- Voted to authorize the interim city engineer, Bolton & Menk of Willmar, to prepare a feasibility report for street and utility work, referred to as the 2014 improvements. The improvements include street and utility construction in multiple locations. The areas were selected based on the five-year capital improvement plan and on input from the city engineering staff and Municipal Utilities staff.

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