Clara City looks west again in hiring new city administrator Steve Jones
Steve Jones, former city manager in Montevideo, has taken over as city administrator in Clara City from Windy Block.
CLARA CITY — The city of Clara City has tapped its neighbor to the west for a second city administrator.
Steve Jones, formerly the city manager for Montevideo, has begun duties as the new city administrator for Clara City.
Jones succeeds Windy Block, also of Montevideo. Block had served as city administrator in Clara City since October 2010.
Block had announced his intentions to retire and the city began a search for a successor last year. Clara City Council members reopened that search when a finalist offered the job declined it to remain in her current position.
Council members offered the position to Jones after interviewing three new finalists this spring.
Jones served as city manager in Montevideo for 20 years. He accepted a retirement agreement from the city at the end of 2018. He was serving as community development director in Bemidji when he learned of the opening in Clara City.
Jones said he saw it as an opportunity to return home and be close to family, as well as to get back into city administration. While he enjoyed the change and opportunity to work in community development, Jones said he missed city administration more than he had expected.
Jones began his duties in Clara City on April 13, and worked alongside Block during the first week.
The COVID-19 pandemic has definitely made it different, he said. The City Hall is closed to the public as are some businesses in the community.
He would like the opportunity to get out and meet residents in the community, but that is difficult with the social distancing requirements.
The new city administrator said his predecessor, council and city staff have done a great job.
“It’s not like I have to come in and make a lot of changes,” Jones said. “(I’ll) do the best job I can and keep adding to what they’ve already done.”