The Wadena City Council has narrowed their search for the next city administrator to five people from an original field of 18 candidates.
Those five include applicants all involved in city government and three have master's degrees in public administration. One is currently employed in Wadena County. Just one is a woman.
The filtering took place during their regular city council meeting Tuesday, July 13. In interesting fashion, council members reviewed the field of 11, narrowed down from 18 after an initial screening by Gary Weiers, of DDA Human Resources, Inc., and announced their top three candidates — by number. They were asked not to identify applicants to protect them during the hiring process.
Top three picks from council members Wade Miller, Mark Lunde, George Deiss and Bruce Uselman (councilman Jessie Gibbs was not present) included only five candidates, so all five were able to move on. Some candidates were chosen as the No. 1 choice for multiple council members, though their identities were not shared.
Glenn Anderson who currently serves as the city administrator/economic development director for the City of Sibley, Iowa, (pop. 2,798) where he has been in the position since 2014. Prior to this, he served as the city administrator/economic development director for the City of Ackley, Iowa, for one year, and as the economic development director for Lyon County, Iowa, for three years. He is also self-employed with High Point Consulting, LLC. Anderson holds a bachelor’s degree in education/social sciences.
According to KIWA radio out of Sheldon, Iowa, Anderson was also a finalist for a city administrator job in Kasson, Minn., in 2019.
Richard Downey is currently employed with the Village of Kronenwetter, Wisc., (pop. 7,796) as the village administrator. He has served in this role for nine and a half years. Prior to this, he served as city administrator for the City of Washington, Ill., for two months, for the City of Rock Falls, Ill., for eight years, and for the City of Elkhart, Kan., for three years. Downey holds a bachelor’s degree in political science and a master’s degree in public administration.
Jake Huebsch currently works for Sourcewell as the Community Development Administrator where he has been employed for over three years. Prior to this, he served as transit director for Wadena County, Minn., for seven months. He has also held the position of community and transportation planner for the City of Mankato, Minn., for four years, and the community and transportation planner for the Region Five Development Commission for over three years. Huebsch holds a bachelor’s degree in sports management and recreation as well as a bachelor’s degree in community development/urban studies.
Joseph Rotz was most recently employed with the City of Corcoran, Minn., (pop. 5,911) where he served as an accountant. He was in this position for four and half years and resigned in June. Prior to this, he served as a senior accountant for Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota for six years and as a general ledger accountant for NAU Country Insurance, LLC for 10 months. Rotz holds bachelor’s degrees in accounting and public administration and a master’s degree in public administration.
Rozlyn Tousignant currently serves as an office support specialist with the City of Bloomington, Minn., where she has been in the role for two and a half years. Prior to this, she served as deputy city clerk for the City of Brooklyn Center, Minn., for three years. Ms. Tousignant holds a bachelor’s degree in geography and a master’s degree in public administration.
Mayor Deiss pressed the council to give very careful consideration to these candidates. These five candidates will be interviewed Wednesday, Aug. 4, starting at 1 p.m. and continuing into the evening. The interview process will include an interview from each of the department heads, a tour with Mayor George Deiss and interviews with the city council, which are open meetings.
The city council agreed to allow giving candidates reimbursement for one night hotel stay in Wadena during their visit.