As the continues the difficult task of filling the city clerk and city administrator positions, Mayor Mark Meehan came to the group with the idea to send out a public notice regarding the transitional time within city hall.
The cost for this to be sent out would be $563 unless it was included with utility bills that go out around May 23 or in the next newsletter which would be July.
Council member Larry Sorenson asked for clarification on who the notice would be from and what it would say.
"My fear is it will be more political than informational," he said Monday night.
"My hope is to move forward instead of backward," Meehan said.
John Vetsch agreed that an introduction to the new city clerk, new front desk person and a timeline of the city's plans would be helpful.
However, Dan Wagner suggested the next newsletter. "If people are interested they can get that information from minutes or in the next newsletter."
"I need to see it before I can say I support it, and I'm not O.K. with any additional non-budgeted expense. So I would be O.K. with the newsletter," Sorenson said. "I'm all for informing the public."
Meehan suggested adding the topic to the next regular council meeting and discussing further at that time.
The city received 68 applications and they have all been scored. "Tina [Lannes] has really led these efforts," City Engineer Adam Nafstad reported.
"We're down to between three and nine candidates, and the next step will be interviewing before bringing them to council," Tina Lannes said.
Council member Jillian Hendrickson has expressed interest in being involved in the interview process, representing the city council.
Albertville City Attorney Mike Couri brought a draft agreement between the city and Government Services for an arrangement in which Government Services would lay out candidates that would fill the position in the interim.
"This gives us more flexibility as an interim position because they wouldn't be a city employee they would be on a consultant basis," Couri explained.
Advantages of hiring someone temporarily are not having to pay PERA or having to provide unemployment at the end of the position.
The Government Services employee would not be eligible for the permenant position and would be paid a rate of $50/hour.
"After a brief look, I don't think this is the direction I want to go," Hendrickson said. The Government Services company is a new company and the current agreement Couri had showed a 40 hour work week which Hendrickson believes could be shortened. "I would really like to see it as a part time position for the interim."
"If we don't go through Government Services, we must hire an employee? Is that right?" Sorenson asked.
"We can't hire someone as a temporary employee, or as a contractor, so yes," Couri explained.
Meehan changed the direction of the discussion by asking if the position could be filled internally. "Can we move an existing employee to this position?"
When asked if this would be for the interim or permanent position, Meehan explained that he hoped it could be for both. "Then we could use the candidate from Government Services to help train during the interim," he said.
"Do you have someone in mind?" Sorenson asked.
Meehan incidicated yes and Hendrickson stated that "I think Adam [Nafstad] would be a good candidate but would require training."
Nafstad was just hired as the city engineer last month. He had been working with Albertville in a consultant before being brought on staff.
The council agreed to further discuss that possibility at the council meeting on May 21. At that time, they will also have proposals from two consulting firms, Brimeyer Furstad and Springstead, for the permanent position.
"This is possibly the most important decision we will make as a council, so let's take our time and go over the options." Sorenson said.