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Kandiyohi County Administrator Larry Kleindl announces intent to retire in 2023

At Tuesday’s County Board meeting, Kandiyohi County Administrator Larry Kleindl announced his intention to retire. He has been the administrator for more than 16 years. His last day will be Feb. 24, 2023.

Kandiyohi County Administrator Larry Kleindl shown May 3, 2022, at his seat in the board room during a County Board meeting in Willmar
Kandiyohi County Administrator Larry Kleindl has announced his intention to retire. He told the Kandiyohi County Board on Tuesday, May 3, 2022, he plans to leave his post in February 2023.
Shelby Lindrud / West Central Tribune

WILLMAR — Change is coming to Kandiyohi County. Administrator Larry Kleindl, at Tuesday's Kandiyohi County Board meeting, announced his intention to retire in February 2023.

"It is with mixed emotions," Kleindl said. "I love this job."

Kleindl has been the administrator for 16 years, starting in July 2007 . Prior to that, he worked in the Family Services Department, first as a supervisor starting in 1994 and then taking over as director in 2001.

His last official day as administrator is tentatively scheduled for Feb. 24, 2023, though he said he is willing to extend into April if the County Board has not found his replacement by this November.

"I will do everything in my power to make the transition to a new administration as smooth as possible," Kleindl said.

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The county commissioners thanked Kleindl for the adequate notice regarding his retirement plans.

"I want to thank you for giving us so much notice," said County Board Chair Corky Berg. "We need to take this seriously and jump on that."

The board's next step will be to decide whether they want to do a candidate search in-house or hire a search firm to help with the process. Kleindl is recommending the board hire a search firm, as it can help find quality candidates from across the state and nation.

"You'll still be involved," Kleindl said.

The average recruitment time to find a new administrator is between four and six months, depending on the process the firm uses, Kleindl said. He would hope the county could find his replacement by the fall and he is confident they should be able to do so.

"Kandiyohi County is well-respected across the state for the work we do and the vision we have, and I believe that will continue," Kleindl said.

More Kandiyohi County Board:
The letter writer wrote "We believe this information about the change is important to share with all the people in Kandiyohi County. We hope that the commissioners reverse their decision."

Kleindl's reason for retiring is simple: He wants to enjoy life.

"There are only so many calendar days left," Kleindl said. "I want to make sure I do everything I can to live to the fullest of my life."

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That being said, making the decision to retire wasn't an easy one for him. He said he has thoroughly enjoyed his time with the county and said working with the staff, department heads, administrative assistants and the County Board has been an awesome experience. He has also liked the challenges the job has given him over the years.

"It gives you a reason to get up in the morning and come to work," Kleindl said.

While the County Board accepted Kleindl's notice of retirement, it was bittersweet. The board is grateful for all the years Kleindl has served and members said they the county has been lucky to have him for as long as it has.

"I personally feel we accept this with regretfulness," Berg said. "We are losing somebody with extreme knowledge of Kandiyohi County operations, of experience, of leadership. You will be missed a lot."

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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