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Council adds to Halliday’s pay

WILLMAR -- The Willmar City Council has decided to give its interim city administrator a bump in pay, but some job duties are still under review. The City Council voted unanimously Monday evening to add $24,266, about $2,022 a month, to City Cler...

WILLMAR - The Willmar City Council has decided to give its interim city administrator a bump in pay, but some job duties are still under review.
The City Council voted unanimously Monday evening to add $24,266, about $2,022 a month, to City Clerk Kevin Halliday’s annual salary while he serves as interim city administrator.
Halliday, who has been city clerk for years, was appointed interim administrator after the City Council terminated former Administrator Charlene Stevens earlier this year.
Council members discussed whether they would need to have the city attorney review Halliday’s job duties, as the new position puts him in the position of supervising peers who are members of the same bargaining unit of city department heads. That bargaining unit is currently working with an expired contract and in negotiations.
After approving the interim salary, council member Audrey Nelsen made a second motion to have City Attorney Robert Scott review potential conflicts that could arise in day-to-day management of the city.
It would not be appropriate for an interim administrator to do employee evaluations of people who are his peers, and he also would not be involved in negotiations, she said.
Council member Steve Ahmann, who chairs the Labor Relations Committee, said the city’s labor consultant and members of the committee would be ready to step in if needed. Mayor Marv Calvin said the matter had been extensively reviewed, and Halliday said he and the department heads have a good working relationship.
Nelsen suggested that the city should be prepared and protected legally if something unforeseen came up. “I don’t see why it’s a problem to get legal clarification,” she said.
“I think there has to be a level of trust,” Ahmann said. “But it’s a good point, and I appreciate your concern.”
Nelsen’s motion was passed on a 7-to-1 vote, with Ahmann, Nelsen, Denis Anderson, Rick Fagerlie, Jim Dokken, Andrew Plowman and Tim Johnson voting in favor and Ron Christianson voting against. The council will hold a special meeting at 4:45 p.m. today in the council chambers to consider hiring a search firm to find a new city administrator.
In other business, the council voted unanimously to hire Frank Hanson as the city’s new fire chief/fire marshal. Hanson is an officer in the Willmar Police Department who has been a volunteer firefighter for 22 years. He was hired contingent on his passing a psychological exam, which is the standard practice for department heads.
The council approved a contract with Andi’s FenceAll for $21,500 to build a fence for a dog park at Lions Park. That will come from a $150,000 budget for park improvements.
The group KC Dog plans to raise funds to outfit the park. The group has applied for a grant from Pet Safe and also plans to sell memorial bricks for a walkway.

Related Topics: WILLMAR CITY COUNCIL
In 42 years in the newspaper industry, Linda Vanderwerf has worked at several daily newspapers in Minnesota, including the Mesabi Daily News, now called the Mesabi Tribune in Virginia. Previously, she worked for the Las Cruces Sun-News in New Mexico and the Rapid City Journal in the Black Hills of South Dakota. She has been a reporter at the West Central Tribune for nearly 27 years.

Vanderwerf can be reached at email: lvanderwerf@wctrib.com or phone 320-214-4340
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