Chamber, United Way head Stassen among those seeking city’s top job

    Four candidates seeking to become the City of Crookston's new administrator interviewed for the job Wednesday at city hall. The full city council, along with Interim City Administrator Pat Kelly and Mayor Dave Genereux conducted the interviews.   

   The interviewees are:   

    • Shannon Stassen, the current president and CEO of the Crookston Chamber of Commerce and executive director of the United Way of Crookston. Before taking the reins of those two agencies, he was best known as being the longtime head football coach at the University of Minnesota Crookston.
    • Barbara Hoyhtya of Hector, Minn. She has experience as city administrator there, and interviewed for the city administrator position in Tracy, Minn. this past summer. She also has prior stints as city administrator in the Minnesota towns of Lanesboro and Canby.
    • Brian Heck of Plymouth, Minn. He was most recently city administrator in Shorewood, Minn., from June 2008 until March 2012. His most recent administrative post was as interim city administrator in Thief River Falls from Oct. 2012 to Jan. 2013. He currently lists himself as a self-employed project management and mediation consultant in Minneapolis.
    • Andrew Marquardt, a management intern for the City of East Grand Forks who's working toward his masters degree at the University of North Dakota. He earned his bachelors degree in 2012 from UND in political science with a minor in public administration.   

    The four candidates mingled with a crowd that approached 40 people at a public reception Tuesday evening at the Crookston Inn & Convention Center. Wednesday's interview schedule at city hall kicked off with Hoyhtya interviewing at 10 a.m., followed by Heck at 11 a.m. After lunch, Stassen interviewed at 1 p.m. and Marquardt concluded the schedule with a 2 p.m. interview.   

    It's unclear what next steps the council will take following the interviews. They will meet and discuss the candidates and their interviews, and if they identify one or two top choices, more detailed background checks and potential in-person visits to cities in which they've worked could commence. It's always possible that the council will decide that they don't want to hire any of the four, too.   

    The goal remains to have a new administrator on the job by January 2014.