TOUR— City Council here on Monday accepted the resignation of Clerk-Treasurer Victoria Ranua and formed an ad hoc committee to begin the search for her replacement. Ranua announced earlier this month that she would be stepping down to pursue a business venture she had been planning for more than a decade.
She will continue her job as a tower firefighter and emergency medical responder.
The council also voted to approve immediate posting of the position in local newspapers and with the League of Minnesota Cities, which has a widely used job posting service for city positions. City attorney Mitch Brunfelt told council he could advertise the job before drafting a new job description. Ranua, in a brief she prepared on the subject, had suggested that the board refine the job description before posting, but Brunfelt argued that this was not necessary.
The draft job description prepared by Ranua underscored the holistic nature of the position as it has evolved within Tower over the years. The position oversees all administrative functions of the city, oversees all municipal services, utilities, public works, parks and playgrounds, 2,000 acres of forest land, a busy airport and emergency services . The position oversees approximately 40 employees and an annual municipal budget of approximately $ 3.9 million.
The position currently pays approximately $ 53,000 per year.
Mayor Orlyn Kringstad suggested the ad hoc committee would want to consider possible salary scale adjustments for the position, although other council members appeared to oppose a new look at salary. The board was generally not receptive to Ranua’s arguments earlier this year for a rate of pay commensurate with the responsibilities of the position. The board gave her a three percent raise this year, but she will step down after more than a year and a half, still earning about $ 3,000 less than her predecessor, Linda Keith.
The council took steps to appoint members of a hiring committee, including Kringstad, Nancy Larson, the city’s grants manager, former clerk-treasurer Ann Lamppa, current clerk-treasurer Terri Joki Martin and board member Joe Morin. The council has not set any deadline for the search and will keep the application date indefinite. Ranua has agreed to continue in his position until a replacement can be formed. “There would be a great benefit to having some overlap,” said Morin. “The length of this period would depend on the qualifications of the new person. “
In other cases, city attorney Mitch Brunfelt introduced Karl Sundquist as the new lawyer for Colosimo, which would likely provide legal assistance to the city. Sundquist most recently served as Assistant District Attorney for Virginia-based St. Louis County. Brunfelt noted that recent retirements have left the Colosimo company understaffed, resulting in delays in their ability to respond to issues and questions raised by city officials. Brunfelt said hiring Sundquist is part of the firm’s efforts to provide quality legal services to its clients.
The board also heard from Dave Rose with input from the public, who reported on the progress made in their RV fleet. He said he had received the “green light” from the Ministry of Labor and Industry for his design of utilities and plumbing, but is still awaiting approval from the Ministry of Health. He also said he had a letter from the Natural Resources Department authorizing the removal of stilts from the river in front of part of his property, in order to allow campers to moor boats along the river.
In another action, the advice:
• Approved a resolution authorizing the request to the Bureau of Management and Budget for additional surety funds for the Tower-Breitung Joint Water Treatment Plan and the City Water Line Improvement Project.
• Received a report on recent sewer line camera work, which indicated two areas that may be significant sources of inflow and infiltration into the wastewater treatment system.
• Heard an update on the Police Advisory Committee, which will be holding public meetings next week to gather public comment. These meetings are scheduled for Wednesday June 23 at 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. at Breitung town hall, Thursday June 24 at 6 p.m. at the Herbert Lamppa civic center, and Friday June 25 at 9 a.m., also at the civic center.
• Approved a resolution allowing the temporary transfer of money from the city’s general fund to the special ambulance fund to cover a payment of $ 21,000 to the state, which will result in a reimbursement of approximately $ 49,000, according to Ranua. . When paid by the state, she said the ambulance fund would reimburse the general fund. In approving the transfer of funds by resolution, Ranua noted that the city is respecting the provisions of the charter.
• Heard a report from Morin on a bid he received for approximately $ 6,000 to extend 60 amp electrical service to the port area to allow the operation of food carts or musical entertainment as a means of attracting customers. people in the area. He said he would try to get additional quotes.
• Did not respond to Ranua’s suggestion to consider replacing one of the large garage doors at the fire station. She said a garage door technician who came to do minor repairs said the city should consider a replacement as soon as possible due to the age and condition of the door.