New Richmond hires new administratorAfter two days of interviewing, and a lengthy discussion about who to hire, the New Richmond City Council voted to offer Mike Darrow, current city administrator in Gilbert, Minn., a contract to become the community’s next city administrator and utilities manager. He accepted the job after talking it over with his family.
By: By Jeff Holmquist, New Richmond News
After two days of interviewing, and a lengthy discussion about who to hire, the New Richmond City Council voted to offer Mike Darrow, current city administrator in Gilbert, Minn., a contract to become the community’s next city administrator and utilities manager. He accepted the job after talking it over with his family.
“It was an amazing experience,” Darrow said of the weekend process. “I got to know the other candidates and any one of them could have been hired for the position. I felt very honored and humbled just being in the top five.”
He said his family was impressed with the community during their visit.
“We are all very excited,” he said, noting that he and his wife were impressed with the school district and other amenities in and around the community.
During the interview process, Darrow said he especially appreciated talking with members of the citizens’ panel, staff members, City Council and utilities commission, to get a better sense about the direction New Richmond is headed.
While a starting date has yet to be negotiated, Darrow said he looks forward to helping lead the community.
“It was a long two days, but I felt like I connected,” he said. “By the second day, it felt less like an interview and more like a conversation.”
Five finalists for the combined position of city administrator and utilities manager took part in interviews, tours and a community open house on Friday and Saturday. When the information gathering was all done, the City Council went into closed session for several hours Saturday afternoon to discuss their final selection.
Darrow currently serves a community of about 1,800 people on the Iron Range of northern Minnesota.
He has been city administrator and utility manager for Gilbert, Minn., since January 2009. He has worked for the past 15 years as a consultant and administrator in the public and private sectors.
He holds a Master’s degree in community development and urban planning from Minnesota State University in Mankato and an undergraduate degree in urban studies from the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities.
Other candidates considered for the city position included:
— Adam Hammatt, former village administrator for Suamico, a community of more than 11,000 just north of Green Bay.
— Peter Kling, interim director of the St. Croix County Planning and Zoning Department and longtime agent with the University of Wisconsin Extension office in Baldwin.
— Dan Koski, current New Richmond city engineer, street superintendent and stormwater utility manager.
— Brian Wagner, city manager for Maquoketa, Iowa, a community of about 6,100 in eastern Iowa.