Commissioners vote to offer Odden coordinator position
Ryan Odden was a unanimous choice Tuesday for a part-time position as Wadena County Coordinator by the Board of Commissioners. The five-man board nailed down their last big plank in providing the county's department heads with a go-to person by m...
Ryan Odden was a unanimous choice Tuesday for a part-time position as Wadena County Coordinator by the Board of Commissioners.
The five-man board nailed down their last big plank in providing the county's department heads with a go-to person by making their decision after interviewing two candidates.
Vice Chairman Bill Stearns nominated Odden for the position with a second coming from Board Member Jim Hofer. Stearns and Board Chairman Sheldon Monson will now carry the hiring and negotiations process forward with Odden along guidelines suggested by Gary Weiers, a management consultant with DDA Human Resources, who was present Tuesday as the interview process was carried out.
Odden will have served as the Wadena County Highway Engineer for nine years on April 1. He will continue to devote 60 percent of his working time to his highway position. The rest of his time will be spent in coordinating the activities of departments within the county.
The board posted the position in February but as Hofer pointed out they have been "kicking the can around" for the last eight to 10 months. Hofer pointed out a salary for the position has been built into the current budget.
Odden and Human Resources (HR)-Information Technology (IT) Director Curt Kreklau were the only two candidates to apply for the new position. Kreklau joined the county when he was hired to fill the positions of county coordinator, HR director and IT director. He held all three jobs for two years before the board abolished the position of coordinator.
"I guess the board probably felt it was too big an undertaking to do all three," Stearns said.
The answers Odden gave the board during the interview process revealed a man with a management style the is clear in direction and expectations, but not heavy-handed.
"I try to give my supervisors clear goals, this is what I expect," Odden told the board. "I let them do their job."
Stearns summed up the board's goal for re-creating the position as being one providing been better consolidation and coordination of the county's departments along with a better use of personnel.
What do the taxpayers of Wadena County stand to gain by having a coordinator for all departments?
"A better-running county government, one person with a global mission to run the county more efficiently," Stearns said.