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TH council approves reposting of administrator job

Phil Arnold from the Two Harbors Area Food Shelf asked the Two Harbors City Council's support for a new building at a July 14 city council finance committee/agenda meeting. He was backed by about 20 supporters in the audience.

"We're outgrowing where we're at," Arnold said. "The problem is, business has gotten too good."

Arnold said the food shelf is hoping to expand, but is having trouble finding grants or other funds to rent a new building or build another facility. They currently run their nonprofit out of the Arrowhead Economic Opportunity Agency on Eighth Avenue in Two Harbors.

Arnold said the Lake County provides $7,500 to the food shelf annually. He said that about 80 percent of the people who use the food shelf are from Two Harbors.

Councilor Robin Glaser said she was worried that paying the bills for a nonprofit could set a precedent. She suggested using the liquor store fund instead of taxpayer funds. That fund is fed by taxes collected on liquor sold at the Two Harbors Municipal Liquor Store.

The council referred the issue to its budget committee.

The council approved new wording for the responsibilities and hiring guidelines for the city administrator position. Current administrator Lee Klein is retiring in less than three weeks. The job had already been posted, but there were questions about the job description. Human resources consultant Terri Kragseth advised the changes to the previous posting. They included clarifying the experience needed, among other things.

Members of the council said they were concerned that changing the posting in the middle of the process would be unfair to an internal candidate who had applied under the original guidelines. Another question was whether the new description had to be approved by the union under which the city administrator is covered before it could be posted.

Kragseth said the internal candidate wasn't qualified under either the old description or the new description and that, according to the contract between the city and the bargaining unit, the new description could be posted without union approval.

The council approved a motion to disqualify all current candidates for the position, which passed with Glaser and Councilor Roger Simonson dissenting. Then, they approved the updated job description as recommended by Kragseth and the posting of the job externally.

In other council news:

- The council approved charging people parked with RVs at the Richard B. Helgeson Airport in Two Harbors a parking fee of $50 per month. Councilor Seth McDonald said all of the RV owners rent or own hangars at the airport, but they are hooking up to electricity and the city is footing that bill.

- The council is exploring its options for a relocation of the municipal liquor store and the city’s electrical department. They approved a motion to assess and get an appraisal on a building in Two Harbors where the two could potentially move.

LaReesa Sandretsky
LaReesa Sandretsky is a Two Harbors High School graduate and Duluth native who began working at the News-Chronicle in 2012 as a reporter. She took over as editor in 2014. She covers County Board, including the Lake County broadband project.
(218) 834-2141