Afton fighting for administratorAfton City Council has begun the fight to keep Interim City Administrator Ron Moorse, who has been exploring other job opportunities. The council held a special meeting March 29 to approve a change to Moorse’s contract.
By: Amber Kispert-Smith, Woodbury Bulletin
Afton City Council has begun the fight to keep Interim City Administrator Ron Moorse, who has been exploring other job opportunities.
The council held a special meeting March 29 to approve a change to Moorse’s contract.
Afton City Council increased Moorse’s hours from 20 to 30 per week and increased his annual compensation from $50,000 to $75,000, which equals out to about $48 per hour.
“Ron is having a difficult time getting all of the work done in the 20 hours,” said Mayor Pat Snyder. “Plus, with summer coming, things do get busier.”
Moorse’s future with Afton is currently up in the air since he is one of two finalists for the Becker County administrator position.
On March 28, Moorse and the other finalist went through hour-long interviews at the Becker County Courthouse. Cass County administrator Bob Yochum facilitated the interviews asking both candidates 13 questions individually.
The Becker County administrator position has been open since September of last year.
Becker County commissioners agreed to wait until the April 10 County Board meeting to make a decision, allowing them to talk to county department heads and review the candidates’ background.
‘Rope him in’
During Thursday’s meeting, Council Member Randy Nelson questioned Snyder, who serves on the city’s Personnel Committee with Council Member Peg Nolz, whether or not there has been any discussion regarding trying to “rope him in” for a more permanent position.
Snyder said that discussion has not been had yet.
Initially the city had discussed reviewing Moorse’s interim status after six months, however Nelson said he would like to see that happen sooner since several city projects are upcoming, including the levee.
“We know what we’re getting with Ron,” he said. “I’d hate to wait six months.”
Council Member Joe Richter asked Nelson how much he would be willing to pay Moorse, since it is likely to be a high number given Moorse’s other job opportunities.
“We’re going to have to spend more than we’ve ever spent before,” he said.
Nelson said he didn’t have a specific number in mind.
“I think we need him,” he said. “There’s been too much of an interim with the city. I would like to connect with someone and have them here long term.”
Snyder said she would discuss the possibility of hiring Moorse permanently with Nolz at the next Personnel Committee before bringing a recommendation back to the council.
Moorse told City Council that he would be willing to provide a listing of administrator salaries in surrounding cities.
Richter said he would like to have a good discussion about finances, and administration needs, before moving forward with any offer.
“I don’t feel there is an immediate need to decide it now,” he said. “We have to have a real discussion on how much the city can afford before we go out and buy the Cadillac.”