Group to bring administrator favorites to council Monday

By Per Peterson

The city council last Tuesday laid out the next phase of its plan in the process of hiring a new city administrator.
A committee made up of Mayor Anthony Dimmers, council member Jeri Schons and interim city administrator Shane Daniels, will vet each of the candidates (there were 11 as of last Tuesday) after each council member determines their top candidates by using a scoring matrix after reviewing the applications — that was to be completed by Monday, Nov. 18. They will then bring the list of either two or three finalists to the council at the regularly-scheduled council meeting on Nov. 25.
Interviews will tentatively take place the first week of December.
There had been some back-and-forth about adding a community member or two to the committee, but eventually the council deemed it was vital to have as quick of a process as possible to meet its Jan. 1 deadline. Therefore, the prevailing thought was that the council just go with three members to simplify the process.
The City had offered the position to one of three finalists in October, but that candidate ultimately declined the offer. Dimmers felt that process didn’t include enough discussion and relied more on the scoring system.
“I felt like there was a piece missing,” he said.
Council member Tony Peterson said in the past a hiring committee of between five and seven members did include members of the public — former council members, school board members and business owners, who reported to the council.

“Then the council scored it, picked the finalists and did the interviews,” he said. “I’d like to see all the apps and I’d like to be able to score them.”
Dimmers added that it would be good to have the public involved; Schons, however, said the council is there to represent the community and should be able to make decisions like this themselves. And while she didn’t want to run the risk of hiring the wrong person just for the sake of speeding through the process, she knows the clock is ticking to when Daniels will no longer be serving in that capacity.
“It’s coming quick and fast — with the holidays and everything, January is going to be here before you know it,” Schons said. “I have no problem with community members’ involvement, but how are you going to make it fair (for everyone) — are you going to ask for applications from people that would want to be on this? I think it would get it drug out more than what I would want to see.”
Peterson agreed, saying a committee of two or three council members would suffice.
The application for the position closed last Friday. Daniels has once again been serving as interim administrator since Kris Ambuehl’s departure this summer.

The council on Monday also …
• Accepted the resignation of Dave Algyer from the Airport Board.
• Approved a plumbers’ license for Quist Plumbing & Heating.
• Set a snow date of Dec. 16 for the Truth-in-taxation meeting (the meeting is scheduled for Dec. 9)
• Approved a resolution to designate the Veterans’ Memorial Center as a polling place for 2020.
• After the clean-up work on Phase 3A1 is done on streets affected by this fall’s road work, ISG reported that crews will be back in Tracy around May 1 to continue work on the infrastructure project.