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Paynesville Press - November 14, 2001

Council to choose new administrator

By Linda Stelling

The Paynesville City Council is expected to choose a new city administrator at its regular council meeting tonight.

Last week, three finalists were interviewed for the position: John Harren of Sauk Centre, Steve Helget of Eagle Lake, and Nelda Remis of Zimmerman.

During the interviews on Wednesday, Nov. 7, each candidate was asked 24 questions by the council members. Questions ranged from their personal attributes and career experience to their working knowledge of city administration and the reasons they were interested in the Paynesville position.

The separate interviews of the three candidates lasted a total of two and a half hours.

Following the interviews, each council member ranked the candidates, and these rankings have been tabulated. The council will use the tabulated results tonight as well as discussing the candidates before making a decision.

The council could choose to offer the position to one of the three finalists or continue their search for a new city administrator.

The council received 24 applications for the vacant position, and then narrowed the field to three finalists. A background check was conducted on each finalist, seeing if they had a police record, assessing their job performance, and checking their references in their community.

Harren has two years experience as the public utilities manager in Sauk Centre and 18 years of experience as the city administrator in Freeport.

Helget has been Eagle Lake's city administrator for two years and previously served eight years as the city administrator for Tyler. Remis has been the clerk/treasurer in Zimmerman for seven years. She has also worked six years for the city of Greenfield.

The city administrator position has been vacant in Paynesville since April.

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