The Willmar City Council unanimously approved a contract for Leslie Valiant to be named the city administrator. She begins on Monday.
Welcome to Willmar, Ms. Valiant!
The new city administrator's background certainly meets the needs of the City Council and Willmar residents. She has 39 years of experience working in and for cities in west central Minnesota.
She has worked as the Spicer city administrator since 2009 and as the economic development director for the Spicer Economic Development Authority since 2015.
So she is no stranger to the Willmar Lakes Area and Kandiyohi County. She also is a graduate of Litchfield Public Schools.
Previous to her time in Spicer, she worked as a finance technician for the city of St. Joseph and as a senior account clerk for the Litchfield Public Utilities.
She has a strong academic background with a bachelor's in business administration and in accounting from the College of St. Scholastica and an associate degree in accounting from Ridgewater College. She also has a human resources certification from the University of Minnesota Continuing Education.
Another advantage Valiant brings to the city is a good knowledge of Willmar. She has served as a member of the Willmar Lakes Area Vision 2040 Steering Committee and also chairs the Project Review Committee.
"She knows Willmar, she knows Willmar politics and she knows the players in Willmar. She's a very good hire," Willmar Mayor Marv Calvin told the West Central Tribune after the June 28 special council meeting when her contract was finalized.
In addition, she knows Minnesota and is familiar with the statutes and processes that a Minnesota city administrator needs to know.
There are challenges that she will face in Willmar, including developing and maintaining good communication with the City Council, improving and maintaining morale within city staff, funding city infrastructure improvements, staff recruiting and managing the various city improvement and building projects.
Valiant believes she can be of assistance to the City Council and staff in addressing the city's challenges and needs. She values open communication both with the City Council and city staff.
She appears to be a great match for what the city of Willmar needs of this leadership.
We are looking forward to Valiant's arrival and the start of her Willmar tenure.
This West Central Tribune editorial is the opinion of our Editorial Board, which consists of publisher Steve Ammermann and editor Kelly Boldan.