By Starrla Cray
WINSTED, MN The Winsted City Council chose four finalists Aug. 21 to interview for the position of Winsted city administrator.
Those selected include (listed in alphabetical order by first name): Adam Birkholz, Amanda Zeidler, Luke Lewis, and Robin Huston.
About the candidates
• Adam Birkholz has been the community development coordinator in Lester Prairie since 2015. Before accepting that role, he was employed in the City of Lester Prairie’s public works department. Birkholz has a degree in interdisciplinary studies from Minnesota State University, Mankato.
• Amanda Zeidler is the current deputy city clerk in Winsted. Before taking that position, she had been Winsted’s utility billing and payroll clerk from 2008 to 2016. Zeidler has a degree in business management and marketing from Judson University in Illinois.
• Luke Lewis has been serving as an adjunct professor at Park University in Missouri since May, and as a private consultant for 5 Sails Consulting since 2016. Before taking those positions, he had been a city manager/CEO for the City of Eagle Lake in Florida for one year. He has master’s degrees in business administration and public administration from Park University.
• Robin Huston was the city administrator for the City of Wells from 2013-2017. Before that, she served as principal city planner for the City of Oshkosh, WI for three years. She has a master’s degree in public administration from Minnesota State University, Mankato.
About the hiring process
A total of 27 people applied for the city administrator position previously held by Dan Tienter.
From there, 10 semi-finalists were given video interviews. Council members then individually ranked their top four candidates, and shared their choices with the rest of the council at Tuesday’s work session.
Candidates were not identified by name, because the names of the people who were not chosen is private information. Instead, each candidate was given a number, one through 10.
The council plans to meet with these candidates in person Wednesday, Sept. 19. The day will include one-on-one meetings, a tour, lunch, and interviews with the entire council. Candidates will be asked to give a presentation that is relevant to the City of Winsted.
Gary Weiers, who is the consultant leading the search process, said there are significant background checks that take place prior to the final interviews. He added that the interviews were originally targeted for the week of Sept. 10, but one council member was not available until the following week.
Odds and ends
In other business, the council:
• authorized an agreement with SafeAssure Consultants to provide a safety program for the City of Winsted at a cost of $3,078.
• authorized the sale of a 2013 Ford Explorer SUV and equipment for $8,000.
• adopted ordinances to amend four sections of city code, including utilities, wireless communications, buildings/structures, and zoning. The full texts of the ordinances can be obtained at city hall during regular office hours and at www.winsted.mn.us.
• heard that items causing blight at 121 Baker Avenue have been removed, as requested by the city. Interim City Administrator Patty Fitzgerald said two people have expressed interest in dismantling the grain bins on the site. Mayor Steve Stotko recommended that the council set aside some time in the future to thoroughly discuss the future of this property.