Mayer selects new administrator

By Ivan Raconteur
Interim City Administrator Luayn Ruch told the Mayer City Council Monday that the city has an agreement with its new city administrator.
The council interviewed three finalists for the position July 20. After those interviews, the council directed Pat Melvin, a management consultant with David Drown Associates, who coordinated the administrator search for the city, to work with the personnel committee to negotiate a contract. The city extended an offer to Nicholas Johnson, the council’s first choice. Johnson accepted.
Johnson will receive a salary of $97,000 per year. He will start Monday, October 3.
Following Monday’s meeting, Melvin noted that Johnson “impressed the council with his knowledge and experience in local government.”
Melvin provided the following information: Johnson currently serves as the city administrator for the City of Fairfax, where he has been in the role since 2017. Before this, he served as the city administrator for the City of Marshall for one year and as the city administrator for the City of Canby for six years. Johnson holds a bachelor’s degree in political science and a master’s degree in public administration from Minnesota State University – Mankato.
Ruch expects to present a contract to the council for approval at its next meeting.
The council discussed extending Ruch’s contract from September until Johnson is available to start in October. The council also approved an additional four hours per week for Ruch, who is currently approved for 20-24 hours per week.
Contract awarded for park shelter
The council awarded a construction contract for a new park shelter to Project One Construction in the amount of $458,000. The city council and park board have been planning a shelter for Old Schoolhouse Park for a number of years.
The city has the funds for the project in the park improvement fund, which has a balance of $515,099. The city also levied $50,000 for parks this year.
The completion date for the project is May 1, 2023.
Sale of old fire
station considered
Ruch told the council the city had been approached by two separate parties that wished to purchase the old fire station at 400 Ash Ave. North, and she asked the council for direction.
The parties presented information to the EDA.
She noted that selling the property would require rezoning and a comprehensive plan amendment.
The council discussed options. The city has not listed the property for sale, and one question was whether the city should seek buyers or consider the proposals it already has.
Another question was what to do with things the structure is currently being used for, including providing space for the Carver County Sheriff’s Office and storing public works equipment off-season.
Council members expressed some interest in selling the property to get it on the tax rolls.
As a next step, the council directed Ruch to get an appraisal for the property.

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