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home : news : news May 30, 2016

1/31/2014 8:23:00 AM
Lake City administrator top pick for CF job

by Ken Haggerty

Current Lake City administrator Ron Johnson is the top pick of a Cannon Falls city council committee to replace Aaron Reeves as city administrator.

At the January 21 city council meeting, the committee brought forward a motion to offer the job to Johnson. The motion was tabled until the next council meeting on February 6 as some council members wanted to learn more about Johnson before approving the offer.

The committee consisted of Mayor Robby Robinson, Council Member Bill Duncan, assistant city administrator (and interim administrator) Lanell Endres, and Greg Wulf, First Farmers&Merchants bank President and a member of the city's Economic Development Authority board.

Robinson said about 50 people applied for the job. Reeves helped narrow the list down and the committee interviewed five candidates. Two finalists were interviewed a second time and the committee chose to recommend Johnson.

Robinson said Johnson has been at Lake City about ten years and was administrator at Zumbrota for 15 years before that.

Robinson said the committee liked that Johnson had experience and contacts for dealing with Goodhue County and the SE MnDOT office. Robinson said Johnson "can hit the ground running." Johnson lives in Red Wing.

The base offer for Johnson is for $103,800 with a full benefit package including a vehicle allowance. Duncan said the total compensation package is less than what Reeves was receiving. Endres said the benefits are a standard package in a boiler plate contract from the League of Minnesota Cities.

Council members Merle Johnson and LeRoy McCusker said they were led to believe that the entire council would be more involved when the applicant pool was narrowed. Non-committee members had not received any information on Johnson until the day of the meeting.

McCusker wanted to know if internal candidates had been considered, if a younger candidate who was willing to move to Cannon Falls and might be willing to work for about $75,000 was considered, and if Ron Johnson was a delegator, like Reeves, or more of a hands-on guy.

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