City administrator candidates named

Published 12:00 am Friday, February 21, 2003

Six city administrator candidates were notified they were finalists Thursday in the selection process to replace retiring administrator Patrick McGarvey.

The Brimeyer Group, a search firm helping the city find a new administrator, released their names and background information Thursday afternoon. The Austin City Council picked the top six of 10 Wednesday night.

The candidates will be interviewed March 14 and 15.

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The following are those candidates and their background, which was compiled by Brimeyer and the city:

Jim Hurm, Dakota Dunes, S.D.

Education: PhD, Hamline University, M.A.P.A., Northern Illinois University and B.A., Loras College.

Jim Hurm currently is the executive director of the Siouxland Interstate Metropolitan Planning Council, a position he has held since 2001. He served as city administrator in Shorewood, Minn., for nine years and in Tracy, Minn., for two years.

As administrator in Shorewood, Hurm was involved in the development of a city-owned apartment complex and oversaw the construction of a new library and community center.

Hurm said he is interested in Austin because it's near extended family and said he likes characteristics of the community.

Connie Kinnard, West Des Moines, Iowa

Education: B.A., Buena Vista University.

Connie Kinnard has been the operations administrator in Dallas County in Adel, Iowa, for about three years. She has not held a city administrator position previously, but has worked for the Soil and Water Conservation Society and was an account clerk for the Iowa Department of Correctional Services.

While in her current position she was involved in a project to develop an industrial park and is now developing low to moderate income funding to support a county housing development.

Kinnard said she thinks Austin is a "most beautiful town" and family members live here.

Jeff Pederson, Vermillion, S.D.M

Education: MPA and B.S., University of South Dakota-Vermillion.

Jeff Pederson served as the city manager for Vermillion for 13 years. He also served as city administrator in the City of Eagle Grove for four years. In that position, Pederson was involved in the relocation of Polaris Industries to the town and created a 100-acre industrial park using tax increment financing. He also coordinated a 250-acre annexation and established a TIF district for a golf course and housing development.

He said he would prefer to work in the upper Midwest.

Joe Pepplitsch, Lexington, Neb.

Education: MPA, University of South Dakota-Vermillion, B.S., University of South Dakota.

Joe Pepplitsch is the city manager of Lexington, a position he has held for three years. He started as an assistant city manager and was a city administrator in Bloomfield, Neb.

As city manager, Pepplitsch initiated and directed a plan to redevelop Lexington's downtown, industrial area and a commercial corridor. Because of a local plant, IBP, the city of Lexington has a large Hispanic population. Pepplitsch said he understands the issues of a diverse population.

Pepplitsch has spent time in Austin previously, visiting relatives and would like to work in a larger community, such as Austin.

Dave Schornack, Jefferson, Wis.

Education: MBA, University of South Dakota-Vermillion, B.S., Northern State University

Dave Schornack has been city administrator for Jefferson for about seven years. He has also served as city administrator in Fairmont, Minn., and LeMars, Iowa.

As city administrator in Jefferson, he established three TIF districts for an Industrial Park, downtown improvements and apartments. He worked with the council to construct a new police department/utilities department headquarters building and an aquatic center.

Schornack is seeking a position in a larger city.

Brian Wagner, Maquoketa, Iowa

Education: B.A., Wartburg College, M.S., Iowa State University

Brian Wagner is currently the city manager for the City of Maquoketa, a position he has held for six years. He also served as a city coordinator/administrator for Lakefield, Minn., and was a council member in Fairbank, Iowa.

As city manager in Maquoketa, Wagner helped to recruit a company that created 400 jobs and recruited a retail distribution center that created 500 jobs. He also worked with the Housing and Redevelopment Authority and has secured loans for rehabilitation.

Wagner said he would like to create options for Austin's priorities and wants to work in a city with a larger staff.

Cari Quam can be reached at 434-2235 or by e-mail at