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Applicant is offered Frazee admin post after dropping out

FRAZEE -- After offering the Frazee administrator position to one candidate who turned it down, the city has offered the position to another candidate who had pulled her application.

The Frazee City Council offered candidate Matt Klemetson the position of administrator. He came back with a counter offer, which was in turn countered by the council. Klemetson then declined the job offer.

Klemetson lives in Ulen and serves on that city council. He declined to comment on his reasons for not taking the position, but said, "In the end, I guess this is what I had to do."

At a special city council meeting held Thursday evening, council members said Klemetson would have had to take a pay decrease for the administrator position.

After advertising for the position two months ago, the council narrowed the field and had a list of six possible candidates. Over a period of time, three of the finalists withdrew their applications, and Klemetson, Ken Bucholz and Stephanie Graham remained.

But Thursday evening, the personnel committee -- council members Donna Ouart and Ken Miosek -- suggested to the council that former candidate Julie Lammers, who had been contacted and stated that she might be interested in the job if she was offered step 3 pay of $19.51 per hour, be offered the job.

The administrator position opened up when Kelcey Klemm left to fill the Perham city administrator position, after Bob Louiseau moved from that job to the open Detroit Lakes city administrator position.

During initial discussion, Miosek said, "Ken (Bucholz) has got schooling, but there's something there we don't know."

He added that Frazee needed someone with experience to jump in and that Lammers could do that. Lammers has been serving as assistant clerk in Pelican Rapids for over 10 years.

Council member Don Trieglaff made a motion to offer the position to Bucholz, but the motion died due to lack of a second.

"I'm frustrated and quite frankly a little angry," he said. He said two candidates dropped out of the race, one sent nothing and only one complied with the city's request for transcripts. He wanted to know why the city wouldn't hire the one person who complied with the council's request.

"Quite frankly, it's almost embarrassing to hire someone with this crowd," he said.

Council member John Dermody said he had an uneasy feeling about hiring Bucholz because his resumé "wasn't quite what he said" with regard to his employment history. Bucholz listed interning in administration in his history, but according to a reference letter sent with the application, he worked more in public works.

Dermody added that he thinks Bucholz will do well at a job, but he's still uneasy about hiring him. He said he thought it would actually be a good idea to open up the position and re-advertise for it. He pointed out that the city had reopened for the liquor store manager position and made an excellent choice doing that.

Ouart said the hiring of the city administrator and liquor store manger were two different situations.

After more back and forth on who to hire or reopening the position, Trieglaff said he didn't care because he only had 11 months left on the council and the decision wouldn't affect him that much.

A motion was made and seconded to offer the position to Lammers at step 3 pay and $2,000 for moving costs.

Dermody said he realizes the pressure to hire someone, but the council shouldn't make any hasty decisions either.

"This is not a good foundation to hire. We haven't even talked to the lady," he said.

"Let's just do it and get it over with," Trieglaff said.

Ouart said the council runs the risk of not knowing how any candidate would work out until he or she is in the position for a period of time.

The council then took a five-minute recess so Mayor Hank Ludtke could call Lammers and see if she was interested in the position.

He returned to say she would be interested in the position, but she wouldn't move to Frazee because her husband works in Pelican Rapids and her children are in school.

The council voted unanimously in favor of offering the position to Lammers. As of Friday at press time, she hadn't officially accepted the job.