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The search for a new Willmar city administrator continues

The city of Willmar's search for a new city administrator is ongoing. According to a timeline from the search firm Baker Tilly, an employment offer could be made by late January or early February. Before that happens though there are several steps to go through, including two interviews.

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Willmar is still looking for its next permanent city administrator. An update on the search was given during the Nov. 4 city council meeting. File photo / West Central Tribune

WILLMAR — Baker Tilly, the search firm hired by the Willmar City Council to head the national search for a new city administrator, is continuing the process with a hope to hire by early next year.

"We are fast approaching the next phases in the search for our next city administrator," said Councilor Shawn Mueske at the Nov. 4 Willmar City Council meeting. Mueske and Human Resources Director Samantha Beckman gave the council an update on the search process at the meeting.

The advertising and recruitment phase of the process ended on Nov. 11. Baker Tilly will then review the applicants, including administering a supplemental questionnaire and completing video interviews with the applicants.

Based on the preliminary timeline from Baker Tilly, the council could receive a confidential report on semi-finalists by the first week of December. The council will then have to select the applicants it wants to move forward as finalists.

At that point, Baker Tilly will complete checks on the applicants' references, backgrounds and academic records. A finalist report will be presented to the council around Dec. 18.

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The two rounds of on-site interviews with the finalists will occur following the holidays, around the second and third weeks of January. City staff will be able to meet with the finalists during the first round and the council will choose its top candidates for the position. Community members will be able to meet with the final candidates during the second round of interviews. Both staff and community members will be able to provide the council with their thoughts.

"Assuming everything goes according to schedule, that will lead to an employment offer at the end of January, early February," Beckman said.

Even after an offer is made and accepted, it will still be several weeks before the new administrator is at city hall.

Willmar has been without a full-time, permanent city administrator since Ike Holland's last day June 18. Holland resigned in late March after serving the city for two years.

This will be Willmar's third full-time administrator in three years, following the nine-month tenure of Larry Kruse and then Holland.

Currently, the city has an interim administrator, Brian Gramentz. He was hired in early June and will work for the city until the new administrator is in place.

Baker Tilly was hired in May to lead the national search for Willmar's next administrator.

"It is nice to have an update," Mayor Marv Calvin said.

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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