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Wadena Board interviews five county coordinator candidates

The Wadena County Board of Commissioners spent five hours on April 14 interviewing five candidates for the new position of county coordinator. Human Resources Consultant Cheryl Goettig coordinated the interviews, greeted the candidates, supervised their completion of required paperwork, and read the set of 17 questions to each candidate.

The new position of county coordinator has a large number of responsibilities. Chief among them are serving as clerk to the county board, serving as chief human resources officer (HRO), serving as director of information technology (IT), and preparing the county's annual budget.

The five candidates to be interviewed were chosen from a pool of applications submitted to the county as a result of advertising the county coordinator position on websites specializing in local government matters, newspapers with local circulation, and newspapers that were distributed in the five-state area. All the candidates selected for interviews were from Minnesota.

The five candidates interviewed were Michael Nicholas, James Knight, Tyler Treichel, Curtis Kreklau, and Diane Miller.

Three of the five had no experience in local government, and two had extensive experience in local and state government. Two were in the process of completing their Master's degrees in public administration. Three had experience in human resources, while two did not. Two had experience in IT, while three had little experience beyond using their computers for carrying out job duties.

Following the five hours of interviews, commissioners, County Attorney Kyra Ladd, and Goettig discussed the next steps to be taken. Commissioners decided to take a secret ballot straw poll. They selected three candidates for background checks.

The background checks will be conducted largely by a private firm, because the Sheriff's Department does not have the staff time to devote to them — an estimated 20 hours per finalist. The private firm will do all of the background check except for the financial check, which the Sheriff's Department will do. The background check process is expected to take at least a full week.

Commissioners hope to be able to make a decision on the person who will be offered the position sometime during the week of April 28. If the offer is not accepted, then another person will be offered the job.