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Swenson retiring from position as city administrator

Swenson

Wadena Mayor George Deiss dropped a bombshell at the end Tuesday’s city council meeting by announcing City Administrator Brad Swenson will be retiring April 30.

Swenson, who has more than 40 years of service with the city, has been hinting at retirement for several years according to Deiss.

Swenson has volunteered to help the city council and the new administrator with the transition process. As city administrator, Swenson has the overall responsibility for all city departments.

“He made a career for himself here and did an excellent job,” Deiss said. “He’s very experienced, very down to earth and very protective of his city, which is good.”

City Councilman Bruce Uselman has known Swenson since 1989 when he joined the Wadena Police Department. Uselman became a department head under Swenson when he was named chief of police in 2003.

“Brad was very instrumental during the time of the tornado (in 2010). He was key in working with the city council and with FEMA,” Uselman said. “Brad is a man of strong character and patience. Over the years he has worked with many, many personalities. He enjoys what he does and it will be very difficult to see him leave.”

Retirement is something Swenson knows very little about.

“It’s going to be different,” Swenson said. “I’ve worked for a long time. It’ll be an adjustment.”

Swenson, 62, is a 1973 graduate of Wadena High School. Swenson attended the Wadena Technical School after high school and graduated in 1974. He began his career as a clerk before moving to Finance Officer. He became City Administrator in 1988 when Bruce Nelson was mayor. He resides south of Wadena with his wife, Julie.

I’ve had a good career,” Swenson said. “I’ve learned a lot.”

Deiss said Swenson’s position will be advertised.