WILLMAR -- The Willmar City Council has approved a Labor Relations Committee recommendation to fill a vacant full-time Assessing Department position by promoting an individual from current clerical staff.
At the same time, the council asked officials to explore the possibility of hiring a township assessor if a current employee is not promoted.
The clerical duties and responsibilities would be shifted to other employees and the position would not be filled, under council action Tuesday.
If no one from current staff is interested, officials will return to the committee with other options. Up until recently, the Assessing Department had three full-time positions and a part-time seasonal data entry position.
The vacancy occurred after an employee resigned to take an assessing position with Kandiyohi County.
The individual holding the part-time position has indicated she will not return after the end of this year.
City Clerk-Treasurer Kevin Halliday has said a partnership with Kandiyohi County is not viable and he said private appraisers were not interested in obtaining the necessary certifications to conduct city appraisals.
During discussion, council member Rick Fagerlie asked if Halliday had considered contracting with township assessors or small-city assessors. Halliday said he did not know of any in Kandiyohi County.
Fagerlie said he knew of some in Redwood Falls, Montevideo and Meeker County.
"If you hire somebody from within, it's going to take a year or two to get up to speed,'' said Fagerlie. Halliday agreed.
Council member Ron Christianson asked about the option of hiring a township assessor if no one from within is hired. "I think maybe it should be explored,'' he said.
City Administrator Charlene Stevens said she would explore the option.