Prospects for new city manager meet with public

John Nelson

John Nelson

The Brookings City Council held a reception in the Performing Arts Center on Nov. 7 to meet with each of the three finalists who are vying to serve as city manager.

Either Jeff Weldon, former city manager of Yankton, S.D., Michael Nolan, city administrator of Norfolk, Neb., or Greg Sund, city administrator of Dickinson, N.D., will be the third full-time city manager for the city of Brookings.

The City Council will offer a contract and employee benefits to the candidate of its choice.

Since the interim city manager, retired police chief Dennis Falken, announced his intent to resign by the end of the year, the city has received 52 applications to fill the position.

“It has been very tough for the council to narrow down the field of applicants,” said Sherry Thornes, city clerk. “In November, the City Council will announce their decision, and then the new city manager will assume many roles including chief policy advisor to the council.”

According to Thornes, the new city manager will be met with many challenges, including a new business park expansion and planning for the future SDSU research facility.

“The office of the city manager is very sought after, probably more so than the office of the mayor,” said Thornes. “Brookings has a lot on its plate right now with business expansion and the growth of SDSU. There is no doubt that the appointed manager will need to be very qualified.”

During the next week, the three finalists will be touring Brookings, meeting with city department managers and interview with the mayor and city councilors.

The Council tentatively says it will select one of the finalists by Nov. 13.

The City of Brookings operates with the council-manager form of government adopted by a city charter in 1999. In this system, the six council members and the mayor hire a city manager to implement the council’s policies.

The city manager represents a link between the city council and the mayor and also deals with city issues, projects and programs.

Before December of 1999, Brookings featured a mayor-commission system in which the mayor and commission held managerial and administrative authority.

#1.883147:400017898.jpg:citymanagerthingy.jpg:Students’ Association members chat with potential city manager about student housing issues during the reception at the PAC Monday night.:John Dahmen