BAXTER -- Baxter City Council members Wednesday received advice about how to search for a Baxter city administrator.
Crow Wing County Administrator Peter Herlofsky Jr. and Brainerd School District Superintendent Jerry Walseth, both Baxter residents, met Wednesday with the Baxter City Council to help the city council develop a process for hiring a replacement for former Baxter City Administrator Larry Kruse, whose contract was terminated by the council Nov. 19.
Herlofsky said the city council needed more focus and determination in its hiring process for a city administrator.
"This is not something that's going to take a little time to accomplish," said Herlofsky. "If you don't take responsibility for the steps along the way, you'll get to the end and wish you would have."
Herlofsky prepared a recruitment plan outline for the Baxter City Council. The plan was broken down into several steps, from preparing recruitment materials in April to offering a contract in October. The entire process, however, will be determined by the city council.
"This is your process," said Walseth. "It doesn't belong to Peter (Herlofsky) or I or anyone else. We're here on a temporary basis."
Council member Darrel Olson said the direction from Walseth and Herlofsky is what the city needed.
"That's your job, you two. Push us," said Olson.
Before the council's next city administrator search meeting, which will be 5:30 p.m. May 7, Herlofsky and Walseth asked council members each to prepare a list of characteristics they would like to see in an administrator. They also suggested having city staffers prepare a profile of the city of Baxter for that meeting.
"By the time you're done with that, each of you should have a clear vision of what you want," said Walseth.
Also put on the agenda for the May 7 meeting were discussion of recruitment materials, identifying a closing date and finding a contact person for prospective applicants.
While the city council is preparing a process to hire a city administrator, Walseth said the city should consider hiring an interim city administrator, but Olson said it could be too late to do that, noting the amount of time it would take to bring an interim administrator up to speed with city business.
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