The city of Milaca will have a new city manager in place on May 1.
Tammy Pfaff has accepted a contract offer to succeed Greg Lerud as the city’s next city manager. Pfaff signed her contract Monday, April 3, according to Bob Derus, interim city manager.
Pfaff, a longtime Isle city clerk, has worked the past three years as the city clerk in Aitkin. She emerged as the Milaca City Council’s finalist after on-site interviews March 15 with Lindstrom deputy clerk Kathy George and Luke Welle, of Bemidji.
The city began the search process with 38 candidates, a list that was whittled down to 16 by a ranking system administered by Bob Derus. The 16 interviewed by telephone.
The list was pared to seven. In-person interviews were held with five of the candidates. Two interviewed by phone. From that process, Pfaff, George and Welle were identified as the three finalists.
In her interview with the City Council, Pfaff stressed a commitment to her continued education. She is a state certified trainer in municipal liquor operations and is extensively trained in airport operations.
A resident of Mora, Pfaff left her longtime job as Isle city clerk to help her father in the last stages of his life after the passing of her mother.
She was now seeking a job closer to her Mora home, and the Milaca position presents her with a 25 minute commute. The fact that Milaca provides administrative services to the city of Ogilvie – situated between Milaca and Mora on Highway 23 – was another attractive aspect of the job. Pfaff also has a familiarity with Milaca.
“My husband comes here for auto parts, and my eye doctor is here. And who doesn’t know of Unclaimed Freight,” Pfaff said.
She said the Milaca city manager job mirrors what she’s presently doing in Aitkin.
Pfaff said she likes to get very involved in economic development, something the Milaca council members saw as a plus. She talked about her work in Aitkin expanding housing and how the city attracted 41 assisted living units to Aitkin’s former armory. While in Aitkin, Pfaff says she has supported downtown businesses in seeking “storefront loans.” Just last year, Stern Rubber Co. announced an expansion project that doubled the company’s footprint in its industrial park.
Whether it’s creating a thriving housing market, commercial district or industrial base, “I believe in going the extra mile to make things come together,” Pfaff said. That approach resonated with the council.
Pfaff said she was very good at multitasking and is accustomed to wearing many hats, she said. She also said she is very comfortable being the face of the community.
Pfaff also said she is an experienced grant writer and said she looks for every opportunity she can find to apply for grants.
During her interview with the council, Pfaff was asked what power she would like to possess if she were to be a superhero.
“Magic,” she quickly responded. “I’d use magic to make sure we had funding when we need it,” she said.
Pfaff is an avid hunter who enjoys traveling and spending time with family. One of her most satisfying moments in life was when she shot a 10-point buck, she said. Professionally, she finds satisfaction in writing a grant, seeing it get awarded and then seeing a funded project through to development.
Pfaff told Milaca City Council members that her dream job is in their city.
“It fits in with my experience, I’m very familiar with the city, and it’s closer to home,” she said. “I feel that this is where I want to be,” Pfaff said.