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Willmar, Minn., Municipal Utilities general manager search is narrowed to top eight applicants

WILLMAR -- Officials involved with the process of finding a new general manager for the Willmar Municipal Utilities have received 23 resumes from around the country, including the upper Midwest, and have narrowed the search to eight candidates, reports Dave Baker, Utilities Commission president.

Baker said he met last week with David Unmacht, senior vice president and consultant with Springsted Inc. of St. Paul, and Commissioner Matt Schrupp, chair of the commission's Labor Committee.

Baker said they were updated on the total resumes received and all applications were carefully reviewed.

"Our screening process has begun, and we are narrowing the pool of applicants to find the most qualified candidates,'' Baker said. He said no candidates have been officially eliminated; however, the group identified the top eight applicants who will receive a nine-point questionnaire.

"These questions are designed to further explore their interest and qualifications for the position. Once received and further evaluated, the Labor Committee will meet to determine who will be invited for the first round interview. The full commission will be involved in the second round and final interviews,'' Baker said.

"We are very excited to have a strong pool of candidates and high interest in Willmar,'' Baker said. "We will be advancing the recent WMU assessment plan and organizational charts so the applicants can look at what direction and objectives we have agreed to focus on.''

Once the questionnaires have been received and reviewed, Schrupp will call the Labor Committee together, Baker said.

"We hope to see this position filled in the near future, and the final interviewing process will be guided by Springsted, and other community members may be invited to help as well,'' he said.

"This is a key role we are filling in the near future. We really appreciate the extra efforts of the current staff, our two co-managers, commissioners and city leaders during the past few weeks,'' Baker said.

The new general manager will replace Bruce Gomm who was terminated by the commission Feb. 27.

-- Staff reports