Afton hires new city administratorInterim City Administrator Ron Moorse accepted the position of city administrator on Sept. 21.
By: Amber Kispert-Smith, Woodbury Bulletin
Ron Moorse has been a familiar face in Afton for the past two years and he will continue to be a familiar face now that he has been hired as the city’s permanent city administrator.
Moorse accepted the city administrator position on Sept. 21.
“I enjoy working with Ron and am happy to have him on board,” Mayor Pat Snyder said. “We’ve had a lot of turnover in this position over the years and I am hopeful that Ron will be happy here and stay a while – it’s important to the council and residents to have stability.”
City Council Member Bill Palmquist shared Snyder’s sentiments.
“Ron has done a very good job for us in his interim role, and will be able to hit the ground running,” Palmquist said. “It is my hope and expectation that he will be here for years to come and begin to provide that continuity I think is so important for a local government.”
Moorse will work a total of 30 hours per week at a salary of $75,000 per year.
Previously Moorse has served as the city’s interim city administrator and its government affairs consultant.
“I’ve really enjoyed my time in Afton,” Moorse said. “I think it’s a great fit.”
Moorse takes the full-time reins after his predecessor, Sarah Irvine, left the city in February.
Irvine was Afton’s first permanent city administrator hired by the city since February 2008 when then-city administrator Shelly Strauss resigned.
Before coming to Afton in April of 2010 Moorse, of Burnsville, worked as city administrator for the cities of Arden Hills, for two years, Orono for 17 years, and Roseville for 10 years.
In January 2011 Moorse took on the position of government affairs consultant, when then-assistant city administrator Irvine was promoted to city administrator.
In February 2012 Moorse returned to his interim city administrator position when the city and Irvine parted ways.
Many enjoyable projects
Over the past two years, Moorse said he has greatly enjoyed his time in Afton, thanks in large part to the City Council.
“I think what I’ve enjoyed the most is just working with the council,” he said. “I’ve just had a good relationship with the council and they’re a council that’s kind of all heading in the same direction – it’s always enjoyable to work in that sort of an environment.”
Additionally, Moorse said he has enjoyed working on a number of the city’s projects.
One of the first projects that Moorse began work on, and has continued to work on, is the city’s flood hazard mitigation grant levy project.
“When I got here they had kind of decided they thought it was a good idea but wasn’t entirely sure how it was going to fit into the budget,” he said. “So I helped them take a look at how that would work from a financial standpoint.”
Other projects Moorse said he enjoyed working on included: developing a street maintenance plan; updating several of the city’s ordinances; working to develop a set of historical preservation guidelines; and finalizing the city’s 2008 Comprehensive Plan.
“I wanted to make sure that when it was finished it was saying what it was the city wanted to say,” he said. “The neat thing about Afton is its philosophy of preserving its rural character; it’s a philosophy that I agree with and that I enjoy working under.”
A permanent position
Moorse said taking a permanent position in Afton was always something he wanted to do, but the fact that it was a part-time position made it a bit more difficult – financially.
However, things have worked out for the better now since Moorse is currently working part time as a zoning administration consultant for Lakeland, so Moorse will spend about three-fourths of his time in Afton and a quarter of his time in Lakeland.
“It works out so nicely,” he said. “It’s really a great match. It’s a really great sort of a combination that makes this all work.”
Snyder said she is pleased at how the partnership with Lakeland has unfolded.
“We were fortunate to work out a job share with the city of Lakeland for his services and I believe that both cities will benefit from his extensive knowledge and experience,” she said. “In these times of budget shortfalls it’s essential to work together and be creative in our approaches to reduce spending.”
Moorse said he is hoping to make Afton a long term position for himself.
“It’s been a great fit, it is a great fit,” he said. “I think things have just fallen into place to make this work.
“I’m looking forward to continuing the positive relationships I’ve had with the council.”