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DL offers city admin job to Louiseau

Perham City Manager Bob Louiseau may become Detroit Lakes' city administrator this fall.

After a day filled with interviews Saturday, the Detroit Lakes City Council moved to negotiate the hiring of Louiseau, scheduled to begin Oct. 1.

Aldermen, Mayor Larry Buboltz and Public Utilities Com-mission representative Mitch Wimmer spent hours Saturday interviewing five candidates for the position that will be left va-cant when long-time city administrator Rich Grabow retires at the end of September.

"He's a known quantity," Buboltz said of Louiseau. "I think he can walk in on a Monday and take off."

During the interview process, Louiseau -- who served as community development director in Detroit Lakes from 1983-1990 -- said the first thing he'd like to do after beginning his job in Detroit Lakes is "spend a portion of the first month or two months, however long it takes, to visit with people in the community. Especially those in leadership."

He added he wants to get to know staff and learn more in-depth about the city's functions and facilities.

He defined his management and leadership style as "informal. I'll work with people in a one-on-one basis."

He has an open-door policy with staff and the community, he continued. He said he wants feedback so he can take the in-formation back to the council and keep them informed.

"Look at my history. I've been able to accomplish what has been set out by the council. I try to be a person of my word," he said in the interview.

Louiseau has also served as associate planner for Arrowhead Regional Development Commission from 1975-1983. In Per-ham, his resume lists that he is responsible for eight department heads in police, fire, public works, liquor, resource recovery facility, library, finance and ad-ministration. He serves as executive director of the HRA and secretary/treasurer of the EDA. He manages 35 full-time and 20 part-time employees.

Deciding on Louiseau wasn't necessarily an easy decision for the council. After narrowing the field to two candidates, the men debated for some time, split evenly on the two candidates.

After discussions on taking Detroit Lakes to a higher level, leadership versus management skills and personal preferences, the council voted unanimously to support and offer Louiseau the position.

The city cannot legally require Louiseau to live within the city, but it is highly stressed in the offer. The city is kicking in a relocation allowance as well.

Louiseau and his family live in Perham. His son recently graduated from Detroit Lakes High School, he coaches Detroit Lakes youth hockey and his wife works for Minnesota State Community and Technical College in Detroit Lakes.

When asked if Louiseau was still interested in the position after a long day of interviewing, he replied, "I wouldn't be sitting here if I wasn't. This community is blessed with a lot of assets."