Brainerd's and Baxter's new city planners may have differing backgrounds, but the two men now share the same task of directing their respective city's growth.
Greg Wagner, who started as Baxter city planner Aug. 5, graduated from St. Cloud State University with a degree in city planning. His goal was to work in environmental consulting and for a time he did with General Electric in the Twin Cities, conducting environmental compliance testing. "I would inspect the smokestacks," he said.
But after serving in Bosnia with the Minnesota Army National Guard in 2003 and 2004, the 27-year-old Fergus Falls native decided to get back into city planning and he took a job with the city of Baxter.
Mark Ostgarden, 48, started work as Brainerd's city planner on Jan. 10. The Thief River Falls native received a degree in urban and regional studies from Minnesota State University-Mankato, and his master's degree in public administration from Central Michigan University.
After spending 18 years as a city planner in Midland, Mich., which is about 120 miles north of Detroit, Ostgarden and his wife were ready to return to their native Minnesota. The Brainerd city planner job opening provided that opportunity.
MATT ERICKSON can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 855-5857.
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