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Spicer approves agreement with new administrator

SPICER -- Leslie Valiant will begin duties as the new city administrator and finance director for the city of Spicer on April 13.

City council members unanimously approved an agreement with Valiant during a special meeting on Saturday, Spicer Mayor Denny Baker said.

Valiant, who is from Litchfield, is currently working for the city of St. Joseph.

She has more than 20 years of experience in municipal government and is currently completing a degree in municipal financial management, according to the mayor.

Valiant emerged as the favored candidate from a field of 56.

Baker said her experience and background in municipal finances makes her both qualified and ready to step right into her new role. She is already familiar with the accounting and utilities billing systems used by the city.

The mayor said the city has been fortunate to have interim administrator Wayne Thompson assist while the search for a new administrator was underway.

Thompson will work alongside Valiant to help with the transition period, he added.

Valiant succeeds former administrator Andrea Aukrust.

Aukrust and the city of Spicer recently finalized a severance agreement; Spicer and the League of Minnesota Cities will pay Aukrust $25,000. The former administrator had threatened litigation against the city since mid-November for reasons never stated publicly.