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Afton hires former interim city administrator as consultant

The Afton city staff has grown by one.

Afton City Council approved a contract with former Interim City Administrator Ron Moorse to serve as a government affairs consultant for a trial three-month period.

The vote passed 3-2, with Mayor Pat Snyder and Council Member Peg Nolz dissenting.

Moorse will work 20 hours per week, as an independent contractor, at a salary of $58 per hour.

Moorse started in the new position on Monday.

"I'm excited about keeping Ron," Council Member Randy Nelson said.

The new position was developed to help the new city administrator, Sara Irvine, transition from assistant city administrator to her new role.

Moorse will be taking on many of the projects he has been following for the past nine months.

The agreement Moorse presented to City Council stated the duties he foresees himself working on would include storm water improvement, the multi-year street improvement and funding plan, pursuing funding sources for capital improvements, and oversight of capital improvement projects.

The list also includes continuing work on the comprehensive plan, the open space ordinance, the parks and open space plan, monitoring and representing Afton at regulatory and partnership organizations and facilitating the Old Village project Department of Natural Resources grant funding.

Additionally, Moorse said he would be willing to be a resource for Irvine as well as provide assistance in any other capacity.

"I hope we can pick Ron's brain," Council member Bill Palmquist said.

Not everyone was on board with Moorse's hiring, however. Snyder and Nolz voted against the contract because they said he was taking on too many duties.

"I think we're doing this backwards," Nolz said. "We should come up with a list of projects and then look for a consultant."

Additionally, Nolz said Moorse's hiring would have multiple people working on the same project.

"A lot of these projects are infrastructure, but those are being handled quietly, beautifully by (engineer firm) WSB," she said. "This is a duplication of effort.

An addition City Council made to the contract was that Moorse would submit weekly reports of activities and undergo a monthly review.

Amber Kispert-Smith

Amber Kispert-Smith has been the schools and Afton reporter at the Woodbury Bulletin since 2008. She holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Minnesota. She previously worked as a reporter for Press Publications in White Bear Lake.

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