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Spicer hires backup help for absent city administrator

SPICER -- The Spicer City Council hired two part-time employees Wednesday to serve as a backup system to Spicer's absent city administrator.

Acting on a recommendation by the Personnel Committee, the council hired Wayne Thompson as Spicer's "emergency, temporary part-time interim city administrator" and Lori Campbell as the city's "emergency, temporary part-time assistant city administrator."

Campbell has been serving in that capacity since Nov. 3. She is also the city's assistant financial officer. She was appointed to the backup position after the council placed City Administrator Andrea Aukrust on unpaid medical leave for 60 days during the Oct. 29 meeting.

County Attorney Barry Darval reported Wednesday the city received a medical report from Aukrust's physician sometime after the council's Nov. 12 meeting. Last month, the council gave Aukrust a two-week period to submit a detailed report of her medical condition.

Darval did not describe Aukrust's medical condition, but said it would not permit her to return to work immediately. He also said he could not comment on whether her condition would allow her to return before the end of her 60-day leave.

Councilman Troy Block of the Personnel Committee recommended Campbell fill the "emergency, temporary part-time assistant city administrator" role until the end of the year. He said she will work 30 hours each week and perform the administrator and billing clerk duties.

He also recommended she be retroactively paid a new wage of $18.50 an hour for work since her Nov. 3 appointment.

Thompson will serve as the "emergency, temporary part-time interim city administrator" until July 1, 2009, or until the city terminates his contract, Block said. He will be paid $25 an hour.

Thompson previously served as Kandiyohi County's administrator from 1977 to 2007.

Block said the Personnel Committee interviewed both of the hires last week.

In other business:

- City Engineer Randy Sabart gave 2008's final Lake Avenue South project update to the council. Sabart said construction for the season will halt this week and resume in the early spring. Sabart said the contractors will not lay two coatings of blacktop before suspending work for the season.

- The council approved a resolution supporting a trail extension from New London to Sibley State Park. Block said the extension is part of a trail proposal that stretches from the New London-Spicer area to Alexandria.