County sets special meeting after administrator job offer turned down

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With a 3-2 vote Jan. 17, the Swift County Board of Commissioners offered the job of county administrator to Larry Timmerman. However, Sunday Timmerman notified commissioners that he was declining the job offer.

Commissioners have now set a special meeting for Friday at 1 p.m. to consider their options. It is likely that they will offer the job to Kelsey Baker, a candidate whom two of the county board members had supported over Timmerman.

Since 2014, Timmerman has been the senior program evaluator for Ramsey County Health & Wellness/Economic Growth and Community Investment. Prior to that he served as the county administrator for Wabasha County in 2013 and the senior planner for the Washington County Office of Administration from 2007 to 2013.

While Commissioners Gary Hendrickx, District 1-Appleton, Ed Pederson, District 2-north Benson, and Joe Fox, District 4-Hegbert Township, supported Timmerman, Commissioners Eric Rudningen, District 5-Kerkhoven, and Pete Peterson, District 3-south Benson, favored Baker.

Baker has been the executive director of The Legends at Heritage Place in Sartell, a facility offering assisted living, memory care and independent living options, for the past year. Prior to that she served as the marketing and communications specialist for the State of South Dakota from 2012 to 2016. She was the marketing/executive assistant for the South Dakota Housing Development Authority from 2010 to 2012.

The third candidate Bradley Alberts was Pope County coordinator in 2016, but resigned suddenly last month with no reason given.

During the discussion of who to hire, Fox said he would be willing to support Baker’s candidacy if Timmerman declined the job offer. That would give her a majority of the board in support of offering her the job.

Commissioners started looking for a new administrator shortly after Mike Pogge-Weaver who left for the city manager’s job in Carroll, Iowa, in October. Interim Administrator Jan Fransen was hired to fill in for Pogge-Weaver, but her time with the county ended earlier this month. Currently, several county staff members are covering county administrative duties on top of their other duties....


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