By Jennifer Kotila
HOWARD LAKE, MN After 10 years as Howard Lake’s city administrator, Kelly Hinnenkamp has decided to move on and expand her career.
“This is an opportunity for me to make a professional change,” Hinnenkamp said. “I’ll still live in Howard Lake still be part of and involved in the community.”
Last week, Hinnenkamp accepted the city administrator position in Annandale, which is a little larger than Howard Lake. Her last day in Howard Lake is scheduled to be June 22.
“This was a really, really difficult decision, because Howard Lake had been more than a job to me,” Hinnenkamp said. “I made Howard Lake my home, and have enjoyed having my job be so much a part of my life.”
Hinnenkamp, who interned for the city of Howard Lake in 2001 while still studying for a degree in community development, has spent her whole career in Howard Lake, she noted.
She was hired as the community development assistant in December 2001, and took over administrative duties after the former city administrator resigned in January 2002.
Hinnenkamp was officially given the position of Howard Lake’s city administrator in May 2002.
“I have developed many strong relationships with members of the community,” Hinnenkamp said, noting that the transition to the city of Annandale will be easier for her, since she will continue to be part of Howard Lake as a resident.
However, Hinnenkamp is also looking forward to the new challenges that being an administrator for a larger community will bring, she said.
She also noted that change is good for both Annandale and Howard Lake. “Having a new set of eyes looking at things is a good thing,” Hinnenkamp said.
“Howard Lake really gave me a good opportunity. They got me fresh out of college. The community backed me that was huge,” Hinnenkamp said. “I hope giving them 10 years was enough, and I hope the community thinks I did a good job.”
Before leaving, Hinnenkamp plans to have ongoing projects in Howard Lake, such as the Thriving Communities initiative and the assisted living facility, in a position so others will be able to oversee them.
“I want to make sure all projects are lined up so nothing suffers from me being gone,” Hinnenkamp said.
In the meantime, the personnel committee will be meeting, and will probably have recommendations for the council on finding Hinnenkamp’s replacement at Tuesday’s meeting.
Hinnenkamp has offered to help the city with the transition in any way she can, she said.