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Nisswa: City hires interim city clerk - Council will look at clerk/administrator position

The Nisswa City Council on Wednesday, Feb. 15, agreed to hire an interim city clerk and awarded a contract to pursue filling the position.

The council accepted Laurie Hemish's resignation effective Friday, March 2, and praised her service. She has worked for the city for 20 years, including the last 10 as clerk/treasurer.

The council agreed to contract with David Drown Associates, who has worked with area cities, including Pequot Lakes and Baxter, to fill city clerk or administrator positions. Council members liked the partnership David Drown Associates has with the National Joint Powers Alliance (NJPA), and the resulting cost break that gives Nisswa because the city is an NJPA member.

David Drown Associates' proposal included the following cost breakdown:

• Interim clerk: $60 per hour, with the NJPA paying half of that so Nisswa's cost would be $30 per hour. An interim clerk, Scott Saehr, could start immediately, initially working up to 30 hours per week.

Saehr, former Pierz city administrator, has provided interim services to Motley and Pierz as part of the NJPA process.

• Clerk/administrator evaluation: $4,000 cost with the NJPA paying half of that so Nisswa's cost would be $2,000. This evaluation could be completed by the end of March.

• City administrator search process: $14,000 with the NJPA paying half of that so Nisswa's cost would be $7,000. A search for another clerk/treasurer would cost an estimated $10,000, with NJPA and the city splitting that cost as well. This could be completed about two months after a decision about a clerk/administration position.

Council member Gary Johnson said he was impressed with Gary Weiers' proposal for David Drown Associates on Feb. 7, and he supported looking into the option of hiring a clerk/administrator.

Council member John Ryan also liked that David Drown Associates would talk to and involve city staff as part of its proposal.

Council member Don Jacobson said the council could explore the clerk/administrator option first and then decide whether it wanted or needed to look at the city administrator option. Other council members agreed.

The council also received proposals and information from Springsted, the city's financial adviser, and the League of Minnesota Cities.