City administrator resigns for new job closer to home
By Clay Schuldt
Special for the Argus
Caledonia City Administrator Jennifer Feely announced her resignation at the Monday, June 18, special city council meeting.
Feely has accepted the position of city administrator for the city of Jackson, Minn., in Jackson County.
Feely said the reason behind her departure from Caledonia is the chance to move closer to home.
“My hometown is in Fairmont, Minn., and (Jackson is) just closer to my hometown,” she explained. Jackson is a 32-mile drive from Fairmont.
Feely has served as Caledonia’s city administrator for more than two years, beginning in March 2010. Her last day is July 13.
With the departure of Feely, the City Council intends to fill her position with an interim administrator until a permanent replacement is found.
The council plans to begin interviewing for the temporary position at its next meeting on Monday, June 25, with the intention of approving an interim administrator at the following meeting on July 9.
Brimeyer Fursman LLC has submitted a proposal to the council offering to perform “recruitment and success planning” for the administrator position. The council has yet to make a decision on whether to hire Brimeyer Fursman, or to go through the hiring process without a consultant.
The council also has the option of hiring an existing city staff member to the interim position. Feely recommended this option.
Feely suggested that accountant Stephanie Mann fill the position until a permanent replacement is found.
A list of consultants and retired city administrators was obtained from the League of Minnesota Cities, and the council has asked Feely to contact various individuals and consultants to interview at 5 p.m. Monday, June 25 for clerk/administrator services.
Feely said she is excited about her new job, but will miss the city of Caledonia, noting that she enjoyed working for the present City Council, as well as the dedicated and proficient city staff.
Jackson will be the third city in which Feely has served as city administrator. Prior to Caledonia, Feely worked in Winnebago, Minn.
Feely noted several moments that stood out in her time as city administrator in Caledonia: working collaboratively to promote the city with the EDA, Chamber of Commerce and Caledonia Area Convention and Tourism Bureau; working with the Area Aquatic Center Steering Committee; and her involvement in the Caledonia Lions Club and Rotary Club.
One of her greatest successes in Caledonia, she said, was bringing the sewer fund and general fund into the black with the help of the City Council.
Feely said she will miss interacting with Caledonia residents on a daily basis at City Hall.
“I am leaving on good terms in Caledonia,” said Feely. “I’ve really enjoyed working with the City Council and staff. Caledonia has a lot of positive things working in its favor. We’ve had some recent commercial expansion in Caledonia with Sno Pac Foods and Miken Sports. There’s a lot of good things happening in Caledonia and a lot of good people, which is why I’ll miss being in Caledonia.”