Nisswa won’t lose its planning and zoning administrator after all.

Instead, Brittney Cotner will become city planner at a higher salary after the Nisswa City Council unanimously agreed to change from having a planning and zoning administrator to having a city planner. The council agreed to offer the new position to Cotner, and she accepted.

At a special meeting Monday, Feb. 1, City Administrator Jenny Max told the council that when she learned Cotner was offered a position at Sourcewell in Staples and subsequently resigned to take that job, Max wondered if the city should update that position, considering what the city’s real needs and goals should be over the next 20-plus years.

The council supported that endeavor, she said, and Max recommended the council:

  • Change the position from a planning and zoning administrator to a city planner.

  • Approve the city planner position at a grade 15 on the city’s salary schedule

  • Offer the opportunity for Cotner to stay as city planner at pay grade 15, step 3 (currently the position is at grade 13, step 3). This would result in a pay rate change from $26.60 per hour to $29.89 per hour.

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The council unanimously agreed to the recommendations.

Cotner joined the city in May 2019 and her last day was to be Wednesday, Feb. 17.

Council members believed having a city planner was a step in the right direction. Council member Don Jacobson said adding site inspections to the job description was needed. Once issued, permits were seldom checked to ensure conditions were being met, he said.

Jacobson said he’d like the city planner to take the comprehensive plan off the shelf and use it as a template for long-range planning for the city since so much time, energy and money were spent on the plan.

Other council members liked the emphasis on long-term planning for the city, and they agreed the salary change was fair.

Nancy Vogt may be reached at 218-855-5877 or nancy.vogt@pineandlakes.com. Follow her on Facebook and on Twitter at www.twitter.com/@PEJ_Nancy.