BRITT | The Britt City Council has selected three finalists for the city administrator/clerk position.
The finalists, who have been granted confidentiality throughout the process by the council, will be interviewed by city staff and city council members on March 9 and 10.
“Since we have such strong consensus on the top three, I think we can save you money and save me time by skipping the Skype interviews,” said Patrick Callahan, founder of Callahan Municipal Consultants LLC, during a work session Tuesday, Feb. 20, to update the council on the search process.
The elimination of the Skype interviews accelerates the city’s initial timeline, which had finalist interviews on March 16 and 17, and reduces the city’s fees $1,500 for Callahan.
Callahan was hired by the city in December for expenses not to exceed $13,000 after its top candidate for the city administrator/clerk position rejected its offer. The position has been vacant since Shell Anderson resigned in October.
Callahan’s nearly three-month search process began the week of Jan. 15 with him interviewing members of the city council, city staff and local organizations to create a community and position profile that were shared with interested candidates. Applications were accepted until Feb. 19.
Seven applications for the city administrator/clerk position were received, reviewed and ranked by the council members.
The three finalists received the highest composite scores based on the council members’ rankings.
“At end of the day, I trust the collective wisdom of the entire council because this is a decision you have to make together,” Callahan said.
The finalists will arrive in Britt the afternoon of March 9 to speak with the city’s department heads, who will then have the opportunity to provide feedback to the council by ranking each candidate.
“I’d love to see their thoughts, too,” said Mayor Ryan Arndorfer.
The city council will have the opportunity to meet each finalist in three settings: an informal meet-and-greet reception at the Britt Industrial Development Corp., or BIDCO, spec home on March 9 as well as a small-group interview and a full-council interview on March 10.
“I’m excited for the interviews and the meet-and-greet,” said Councilman Chad Luecht. “It’ll be fun.”
Callahan said the council will determine the next city administrator/clerk — and the offer — before it dismisses for the weekend.
“Can you work with them? Can you trust them? Would you be proud to have them represent your city wherever they go?,” Callahan said. “Based on what I know of these three (finalists), my gut feeling right now is I think any one of the three could be very capable of doing the job, and I’m hopeful at the end of the day, you’re able to say yes to all three of these questions for all three of these candidates.”
A fourth candidate was selected by the council as a backup in case one of the three back out ahead of the final interviews.
The city will be on the hook for lodging at the Garner Inn & Suites and mileage for the candidates, Callahan said, noting the three finalists live within driving distance of Britt, so it won’t have to pay airfare. The candidates will be responsible for their own meals.
The city may also be responsible for a group transportation option, like a van or suburban for the candidates, and refreshments during the evening reception unless an individual, business or organization steps forward to donate them.
In January, the city council agreed on $50,000 to $70,000 as the salary range for the city administrator/clerk position. The previous city administrator/clerk made about $56,375.
The council also agreed vacation time, sick leave and a moving allowance would be negotiable. The city will offer medical, dental, life and vision insurances and retirement as well as mileage reimbursement for work-related travel expenses. It also discussed a six-month severance package and performance evaluations.