31 city administrator applicants whittled to a dozen; they'll make videos next

Mike Christopherson

After the first attempt this past spring to secure applicants for the City of Crookston’s vacant administrator position bore less than fruitful results – the consulting firm leading the search, in noting the shallow pool of applicants, recommended that none be interviewed – a second attempt attracted 31 applicants, and a dozen have been recommended by David Drown Associates for advancement to the next step. (Actually, the firm recommended 13, but one candidate has since withdrawn.)

The next step involves the dozen remaining candidates producing a video in which they make their case as the best choice for Crookston’s next administrator. The position has been vacant for several months, since Shannon Stassen and the city council agreed to the terms of a separation agreement. Finance Director Angel Weasner has been serving as interim city administrator since; when a new administrator is hired she will return to her finance director position.

The 12 candidates will be sending their videos to council members and Mayor Dale Stainbrook this week. Council members and the mayor will view them in advance of a special council meeting on Tuesday, July 21 at 5 p.m., at which they will discuss the candidates and their videos and, presumably, narrow the field to finalists who would subsequently be interviewed.

At Large Council Member Tom Vedbraaten used Stainbrook’s update on the administrator search process at Monday evening’s Ways & Means Committee to ask if CHEDA Executive Director Craig Hoiseth is included on the council member email list so he can review the administrator candidate videos as well.

“Craig’s going to have to work with this guy,” Vedbraaten said, in noting the recent joint council and CHEDA Board meeting, held at the high school, at which members of the two entities discussed ways they could work better and more closely together and be more transparent with each other.

Friction between Stassen and Hoiseth was the primary factor that led to Stassen’s departure.

Ward 6 Council Member Dylane Klatt, in response to Vedbraaten’s comments, questioned the necessity of adding Hoiseth or anyone else such as City department heads to the council email list so they can watch the administrator candidate interviews. “Where do you stop?” Klatt said. “The council makes the decision.”

Ward 4 Council Member Don Cavalier said that only council members and the mayor should view the videos. 

Stainbrook said he’d check with Weasner, who was not in attendance Monday, about the possibility of adding Hoiseth to the council email list.

“The City’s got to work with CHEDA, but CHEDA’s got to work with the City, too,” the mayor noted.