The City of Clarkfield is on the lookout for its next administrator Current City Administrator Scott Weske has accepted an administrator’s post with the City of Long Lake.
“We're going to miss him,” said Clarkfield Mayor Gene Kockelman. “I can't blame him for wanting to better himself. But he’s done a lot for the city and I’d just assume keep him here.”
Weske was hired by the City of Clarkfield in place of former administrator, local Kathy Kittelson, who retired in May of 2011. At the time, the then 27-year-old Weske had just completed a degree in Urban and Regional Studies from the Minnesota State University, Mankato and his time in Clarkfield marked his first job serving in an administrative capacity.
Weske said he has thoroughly enjoyed his time in Clarkfield in terms of both educational and life experiences, and that he can’t express his appreciation for the manner in which he was welcomed into the community enough.
“Everybody was accepting of me even though I was an outsider,” he said. “Clarkfield will always have that special place in my heart.”
Despite all the positive associations, Weske said his desire to be closer to the cities and to explore the limits of his college degree was enough to pull him elsewhere.
“I’d like to be in the outer ring of the metro. It’s not that I need downtown Minneapolis but you don’t appreciate the proximity of amenities until you have to drive to them,” Weske said. “I’d also like more opportunities to utilize my college degree and expand my level of experience.”
Mayor Kockelman was highly complementary of Weske’s time in Clarkfield, the outgoing administrator said he views the fruits of both his own and the city’s efforts in the past few months as something he is proud of.
In generic terms, Weske said the city streamlined a number of processes, improved city official accountability and made financially beneficial decisions that were geared toward the long run. Specifically, he noted his work facilitating the renovation of the city EDA owned apartments as well as that which helped allow for the Prairie Grain Partners grain elevator expansion.
“At the time it seems there were a lot of projects that didn’t seem that big, but when you add it all up the city has really accomplished a lot,” Weske said.
Asked what he hopes for the city of Clarkfield in the future, the outgoing administrator said that he’d like to see the council continue moving forward with an eye on the future, and for the community general to maintain an open mind about new possibilities down yonder.
Page 2 of 2 - “We’ve come a long way in two years. I hope the council and new administrator continue to look into the future to make decisions about what’s best for the community,” Weske said. “It’s not uncommon to come across people in the areas that automatically think that change isn’t going to work and is going to be a bad thing. But change is not necessarily a bad thing and the community needs to support new ideas.”
One way the Weske is hoping to facilitate the continuation of momentum is through careful documentation of his job duties––so as to develop a program of sorts––that will allow the next administrator to come in and integrate his or herself into the role seamlessly. Much of the mindset directing such preparation, both Weske and Kockelman said, is based on the council embracing Clarkfield’s role as a starting point for high quality young professionals before moving onto larger cities.
According to a job posting, Clarkfield is seeking an individual to fulfill administrator/clerk and treasurer functions. Requisite qualifications include a BA in public administration, business, finance, planning or related field and two years of related experience or Master’s degree in a related field. The starting salary, which is dependent on qualifications, is $38,000 to $45,000. A deadline to receive applications has been set for December 16.
As of Monday, Clarkfield had yet to receive any applications but it was noted that the process has only just begun and the timing with holidays may also play a role.
Weske’s last day with the city is December 20. However, he has agreed to aid in the transition to a new administrator, including potential trips to the area, up until January 5.