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Willmar, Minn., council to interview city attorney applicants

WILLMAR -- The Willmar City Council will meet at 4:45 p.m. today to interview applicants for the position of city attorney that will be vacated when longtime City Attorney Rich Ronning retires on March 31.

The council had authorized city staff to request proposals from law firms interested in filling the position and three proposals were received from the law firms of Flaherty and Hood of St. Paul; Anderson, Larson, Hanson and Saunders of Willmar; and Couri and Ruppe of St. Michael.

A four-member committee of City Administrator Charlene Stevens, City Clerk-Treasurer Kevin Halliday, Planning and Development Director Bruce Peterson and Ronning reviewed the applications and selected the Flaherty law firm and the Anderson law firm for interviews, said Halliday.

He said the committee selected the Flaherty firm because it quoted lower rates and because Willmar is familiar with the firm and its work with the Coalition of Greater Minnesota Cities, of which Willmar is a member.

The Anderson firm was selected because it is local, said Halliday.

Also, the committee felt it only needed to interview two firms, Halliday said.

A representative or representatives from each firm will have 15 minutes for a presentation and council members will then ask questions.Halliday said the council could make a decision tonight or ask city staff to do more research on the firms and make a decision at the March 19 meeting.

Ronning has served as city attorney for 37 years.

David Little
David Little covers the Willmar City Council, Willmar Municipal Utilities and other city news.
(320) 235-1150