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Kruse resigns as Willmar city administrator

WILLMAR--After only nine months on the job, Larry Kruse resigned as Willmar City Administrator at the end of Tuesday's City Council meeting. "I hereby give my 30 days' notice to resign my position as city administrator," Kruse said. During his re...

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Larry Kruse

WILLMAR-After only nine months on the job, Larry Kruse resigned as Willmar City Administrator at the end of Tuesday's City Council meeting.

"I hereby give my 30 days' notice to resign my position as city administrator," Kruse said.

During his remaining month in office Kruse will use some of the vacation time he has accrued, but will be available to assist during the transition.

"I will be available as they need me," Kruse said.

Mayor Marv Calvin accepted Kruse's resignation on behalf of the council.

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"You came to us, worked hard, put a lot of hours in. Thank you for your work," Calvin said.

A motion was made and approved for Calvin to approach the League of Minnesota Cities about a possible interim administrator as the search for Kruse's replacement begins. A small city committee will also be formed to vet any potential interim candidates.

"This puts us in a position again to look for a new city administrator," Calvin said.

While Kruse gave no specific reasons for stepping down, he said following the meeting that he has personal reasons for leaving.

Kruse thanked Willmar city staff and residents for welcoming him to the community.

"I appreciate their warm welcome," Kruse said.

He continued by thanking the department heads and his administrative assistant Janell Sommers for all of their help.

"Willmar has a truly great bunch of employees," Kruse said.

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Kruse was offered the position of city administrator on Nov. 13, 2015, and started work in Willmar on Dec. 21.

He filled the position formerly held by Charlene Stevens. She had served for three years and nine months until she and the council approved a separation of employment agreement March 16. Her last day on the job was April 17.

Kruse served as Thief River Falls city administrator prior to coming to Willmar. Kruse has over 30 years of experience in government administration, also working for the cities of Albertville, Baxter, Park Rapids and Red Lake Falls.

Kruse was chosen as Willmar's administrator in part due to what council members saw as his humility and consensus building, according to Tribune archives.

However, just this past July, when Kruse was given his six-month performance review, communications and judgment were raised as areas of concerns. There were issues with Kruse not sharing information with the entire council before it reached the council chambers, a lack of follow-through regarding communication requests and not coming to the council when he needed assistance.

While his time in the community was short, Kruse said he hopes Willmar continues to succeed in the future.

"Willmar is a great community and I truly wish you well," Kruse said.

Related Topics: WILLMAR CITY COUNCIL
Shelby Lindrud is a reporter with the West Central Tribune of Willmar. Her focus areas are arts and entertainment, agriculture, features writing and the Kandiyohi County Board.

She can be reached via email slindrud@wctrib.com or direct 320-214-4373.


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