First steps were taken in the search for a new city administrator by the Brainerd City Council Monday night, contacting hiring consultants to help assist in replacing long-time city administrator Dan Vogt. Vogt announced his retirement during council’s May 7 meeting.
Council President Mary Koep said she contacted the League of Minnesota Cities to request their list of consultants who do executive searches with a request for letters of interest by Monday. Hearing back from three consultants — Brimeyer Fursmen in Maplewood; Springsted, Inc. in St. Paul; and Personnel Decisions Inc. in Minneapolis — Koep suggested interviews to choose a hiring consultant to begin at 4:30 p.m. between May 30 and 31.
“We (council) want to move expeditiously and wisely,” Koep said.
Council member Bonnie Cumberland said that a meeting to form a plan would be beneficial for all council members, recommending council meet at 4 p.m. on Thursday to set-up “a game plan for hiring.” The Council unanimously agreed.
Koep reminded council and those in attendance during Monday’s meeting that every council member will be present during the entire process of hiring both the consultants and the future city administrator.
“As we’ve clarified before, it will be full council in interviews,” said Koep. “I think that this is a council decision, and I think this is the biggest decision this council will ever make. We will be judged by it, whether we want to or not, and I always say I will take responsibility for my decisions but if I didn’t make it I don’t want to be blamed for it.
“So I think the council has got to be in the driver’s seat on this and say we are going to interview candidates with the consultants as a council.”
Vogt’s retirement will be effective June 30 after 23-plus years of serving the City of Brainerd.