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Familiar face returns to Howard Lake city administrator’s office
Oct. 12, 2015

Ivan raconteur
Editor

HOWARD LAKE, MN – Howard Lake City Council approved hiring former City Administrator Nick Haggenmiller as the city’s interim administrator during Tuesday’s meeting.

Haggenmiller was the city administrator from Aug. 2012 to Aug. 2014.

Jennifer Nash accepted the position in 2014 after Haggenmiller resigned to take the administrator position in the City of Northfield.

Nash resigned in September to take a job with the City of Buffalo.

Haggenmiller emerged as a possible candidate for the interim position in Howard Lake when the council learned Haggenmiller and the City of Northfield were parting ways.

The StarTribune reported the Northfield City Council, voted 4-3 to dismiss Haggenmiller “after a female department head complained he wouldn’t leave her alone when she tried to end an intimate relationship with him.”

The council conducted two closed meetings in September. It placed Haggenmiller on paid administrative leave Sept. 15, and terminated his employment at the end of September, according to the StarTribune.

Haggenmiller and the City of Northfield signed a separation agreement which releases both him and the city from any liability, and includes a denial of “any form of wrongdoing,” by both parties. A positive recommendation will be placed in Haggenmiller’s personnel file, according to the StarTribune report.

Haggenmiller’s annual salary in Northfield was $107,990.

Under the terms of the separation agreement, he was paid a lump sum payment upon termination equal to two months’ salary and any unused vacation time. He will also retain insurance coverage until Nov. 30.

During Tuesday’s meeting, Mayor Pete Zimmerman said he had been in contact with Haggenmiller regarding the interim administrator position.

The council discussed some items that Haggenmiller requested.

Regarding his request for a 30-day notice when the city ends the interim position, the council noted this is an at-will position. The interim administrator is a contractor, and the city will not provide 30-day notice.

Regarding his request for paid holidays, the council noted the city does not give other contractors holiday pay.

Zimmerman said if the city hires Haggenmiller, he could start right away.

Council Member Mike Mitchell said Haggenmiller would not need to be trained, and this would save the city money.

“He did a good job when he was here,” Council Member Tom Kutz commented.

The council voted to hire Haggenmiller as interim administrator at $50 per hour, for up to 40 hours per week.

During a workshop session after the regular meeting, the council discussed the hiring process for the new city administrator.

Zimmerman said there were 14 or 15 applicants.

The top three candidates will be interviewed during a special meeting Wednesday, Oct. 14 beginning at 5 p.m.

Zimmerman said Haggenmiller is among the top candidates for the administrator job.

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