Do you ever have conflicts or get mixed messages from your boss? Try having seven bosses with varying priorities and see how well you perform at work. Such is the predicament city and county administrators sometimes find themselves in as they attempt to implement the policies set by duly elected representatives.
Brainerd City Administrator Dan Vogt walked that tightrope for more than 23 years and his announcement on Monday that he would retire effective June 30 places a formidable task before the council as it begins to select a successor to Vogt.
Vogt has been recognized with numerous professional awards. In 2009 he received the Dr. Robert A. Barrett Award for Management Excellence for outstanding service to local government from the Minnesota City/County Management Association. That award is designed to recognize a person who is an exemplary role model, leader and mentor in the profession of local government management.
He received positive reviews from the council for his job performance, but that opinion was not always unanimous. Indeed, he has received persistent criticism and questioning from his critics on the council. How Vogt dealt with that criticism is a testament to his patience and professionalism. When he or his office were criticized by a council member at a meeting he never once lashed out or lost his cool in public. He put aside his feelings and kept focused on his job of keeping the council on track.
From the newspaper’s viewpoint, he was a straight shooter, sharing information with the public and assisting reporters with the sometimes complex issues that came before the council.
Both the Brainerd City Council and the city should be grateful for his years of service in a difficult post.
— Editorial board