NORTH MANKATO — The interviews are done, and the North Mankato City Council could decide as early as Monday which of three candidates should be the city’s next CEO.
Mayor Mark Dehen said he will ask council members at Monday night’s regular council meeting if they’re ready to state their preference or would prefer more time to consider the three finalists.
If council members want more time, the decision will probably come at a special council work session Aug. 27.
“Ideally, they’d be willing to make the decision (Monday),” Dehen said.
In either case, the council’s choice won’t be a final determination to hire either Blue Earth City Administrator Kathy Bailey, former Melrose City Administrator Brian Beeman or Afton interim City Administrator Ron Moorse. The council will settle on its preferred candidate, and then final background checks will be done before a formal council vote is taken to hire the chosen candidate, Dehen said.
The city has been operating with an interim city administrator — City Planner Mike Fischer — since Wendell Sande retired at the end of May following 16 years in the job.
Dehen is willing to wait another week to make sure all council members have had enough time to weigh the merits of the finalists, who were selected from 24 applicants by Dehen, Councilman Bill Schindle and others on a special committee assigned to privately recruit, review and interview candidates.
“It’s a monumental decision for us as a city, and we want to make sure we make a good one,” Dehen said.
Sande’s 16-year-tenure was preceded by an even longer run by Bob Ringhofer, who served more than three decades as the top appointed official in the municipal building. The longevity of the previous administrators had advantages, but so does the chance to bring in a new leader, Dehen said near the end of Moorse’s interview on Thursday.
“We’ve been blessed with long-term city administrators in the past,” Dehen said. “This is an opportunity now for change. We want to continue our success with that, but we also want to leverage those opportunities to make the next stride — to take our city to the next level for us and for our citizens and our businesses.”
He told each of the candidates — who were interviewed on Monday, Wednesday and Thursday — they could expect to be informed of the council’s decision within two weeks. The salary range for the new administrator is $74,868 to $111,300.