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One more candidate interviews for county administrator job

Cook County Administrator Jeffrey Cadwell talks to Becker County commissioners via Skype on Tuesday. Nathan Bowe/Tribune

Cook County Administrator Jeffrey Cadwell was interviewed Tuesday by Becker County commissioners for the county administrator opening at Becker County.

He has been Cook County administrator since 2015, and before that served as city administrator for Mahnomen from 2012 to 2015 and city administrator for Browns Valley from 2010 to 2012.

Cadwell said his greatest professional accomplishment at Cook County occurred in July, when when two key department heads left within two weeks.

"For three months last year, I was county administrator and acting highway engineer and acting Health and Human Services director," he told the commissioners via Skype. "Those two departments are darn near half our staff."

He said his strongest skills lie in human resources — working with and developing employees — and in strategic, long-term planning.

Some of his biggest challenges come in the form of personnel issues, working through conflicts between department heads and employees.

He has experience working with tribal government, and one of the Cook County commissioners is Grand Portage tribal member. Cultural differences require different approaches, he said.

"It's Minnesota Polite, you have to have a relationship before you conduct business," he said.

He has a bachelor's degree in history and political science from Concordia College in Moorhead and a master's degree in public administration from Minnesota State University Moorhead.

Becker County commissioners invited him to interview in person on Thursday, along with two other candidates who interviewed earlier — Greg Pruszinske, who has served as city administrator of Becker, Minn., since 2009, and Michael Brethorst, who has served as city administrator of Melrose, Minn., since 2011.

The Springsted Waters executive search firm is working with Becker County to fill the opening that will be left when Becker County Administrator Jack Ingstad retires later this month.