Milaca council identifies top manager candidate

The Milaca City Council came to a consensus on who it would like to me its next city manager and authorized a three-person team to begin negotiations with the candidate.

The city council and a committee of city staff members conducted separate interviews of three candidates on Wednesday, March 15.

By the time the Thursday, March 16 city council meeting rolled around, the council was set to make a job offer – pending the successful outcome of background and reference checks.

That offer will tentatively go to Tammy Lou Pfaff, a longtime Isle city clerk who has worked the past three years in Aitkin. Kathy George, a 20-year veteran of Aitkin city government and the current deputy clerk of Lindstrom, is the council’s second choice. A contract offer could go to George if negotiations with Pfaff are not successful, Milaca Mayor Pete Pedersen said.

Luke Welle of Bemidji appears out of the running for the post.

The city began the search process with 38 candidates, a list that was whittled down to 16 by a ranking system administered by interim city manager Bob Derus. The 16 interviewed by telephone.

The list was parred to 7. In-person interviews were held with five of the candidates. Two interviewed by phone. From that process, Pfaff, George and Well were identified as the three finalists.

Pedersen said Thursday night that there was a consensus among the council in the 1-2-3 ranking of the three finalists after the March 15 interviews.

City Council member Dave Dillan told his fellow councilors that he was pleased with all three candidates. Council member Ken Muller said, “This was a real good crop of candidates, and all three could help ther city.”

Pedersen reiterated to the council what he told the Union-Times two weeks ago: “All seven of the final candidates would have been good for the City.”

According to Pedersen, some real touch decisions had to be made by the City Council in parring the list of candidates to one finalist.