BRITT | The city of Britt is back in the market for a city clerk/administrator.

On Tuesday, Dec. 19, Curt Gast, mayor pro-tem and councilman, notified the city council that Lory Young, Riverside city clerk, rejected its offer to take a position in Gaylord, Minnesota.

“They were more aggressive and more willing to compensate her higher than what we were willing to do,” he said.

The announcement came five days after the city council met in special session to discuss Young’s counter-offer requesting more money, more benefits and more perks than it initially offered in early December. Although the city didn’t provide her everything she requested, it budged on vacation time and relocation expenses, but it wasn’t enough to entice her.

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Young was one of four applicants a committee consisting of council members and city department heads interviewed in mid-November after Shell Anderson, Britt city administrator/clerk since July 2015, resigned and accepted a position at IMT in Garner. Her last day was Oct. 26.

“I don’t think she was ever serious,” said Mike Ostercamp, a 20-year city councilman, who will retire from his post at the end of the year. “I think she was job shopping.”

A large part of the hour-long council meeting was focused on what the city could do moving forward to get a city clerk/administrator hired. Britt has been without a full-time city clerk/administrator since late October.

“From the interviews that we did, I don’t know if there’s another candidate that we were really super interested in, and the rest of the applicants, no one had the right education,” Gast said.

Gast said Mayor Ryan Arndorfer spoke with officials in Garner, Forest City and Emmetsburg, who recommended the city hire a professional recruiting firm to assist it in finding “someone with the proper education and credentials.” Their recommendation was to hire Patrick Callahan, owner of Callahan Municipal Consultants LLC, which has more than 40 years of experience in city government.

Callahan Municipal Consultants assists cities with the recruitment and selection process to hire a city manager, city administrator, city clerk or department head from establishing a position profile to screening, interviewing and selecting a candidates.

“He does a lot of stuff for the fee,” Gast said, noting it cost about $13,000 from start to finish.

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Ostercamp and Gast said the expense would be covered by money the city isn’t using to pay a full-time city clerk/administrator.

Police Chief Dan Cummings asked if the company was capable of providing relief to the city during its budgeting process, which will begin in January.

According to the Callahan website, the company can assist cities with annual city budget review and analysis.

Some council members said Britt could seek assistance from other cities’ administration, the Iowa League of Cities or local accountants, but that’ll likely be a decision that’s made during the process.

The city council unanimously, with Bryan Aitchison absent, hired Callahan for expenses not to exceed $13,000 to assist it with its city clerk/administrator search.

Also during the Dec. 19 city council meeting:

  • The city council OK’d the job posting for a public works department employee. Earlier this month, full-time public works department employee Matt Matern resigned. His last day was Dec. 15. the resignation of full-time public works department employee Matt Matern.
  • The city council approved the payment of $194,927.31 for McKiness Excavating for underground utility work completed at the Burgardt Commercial Park.
  • The city council agreed to pay Treeback Inc. $8,575 for the removal and trimming of trees it completed throughout the city this fall.

Reach Reporter Ashley Stewart at 641-421-0533. Follow her on Twitter at GGastewart.