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Crow Wing County names Liedl interim community services director

Crow Wing County commissioners appointed Mark Liedl interim head of community services.

After the idea came up at last month’s board meeting, Liedl put together a consulting proposal for a two-phase approach.

Phases are for managing the day-to-day operations following Beth Wilms’ departure as community services director. Wilms’ last day is Thursday.

Liedl plans to spend four days in community services and one day with land services.

In addition to the daily operation for a department with 150 staff members, Liedl offered to provide a more in-depth assessment. That may include looking at what other counties are doing in health and human services.

The board agreed to increase Liedl’s pay by 10 percent, or $4,870 for six months to oversee the department. Liedl makes about $97,000 a year before the increase. Non-cash compensation credited Liedl for his combined total of six years with the county, giving him three weeks of paid time off.

What Liedl could be compensated for his consulting work is yet to be determined.

Commissioner Paul Thiede said expectations are high but added Liedl’s compensation should be reviewed. Thiede said Liedl’s work is aimed at preparing the county to find the right person for the job and identify areas that need the most attention.

Administrator Tim Houle said county staff wasn’t forwarding a recommendation on the compensation for the consulting assignment, but were leaving that open. Houle said the compensation should consider what the county has paid others and what it paid Liedl for his past consulting work with the land services department. So far, the county has received nearly 30 applications to head the community services department.

Liedl, who owns Culver’s restaurant in Baxter with is wife Bea, joined the county as land services director in 2008 after he served as an independent consultant creating a 267-page document as a summary and action plan related to the county’s land use policies. He was an assistant county attorney from 2000 to 2002. Liedl also served on a planning commission before joining the county attorney’s office.

Liedl served as special assistant to the secretary of the Wisconsin Department of Health and Social Services. For six months of that assignment, Liedl reported he was special assistant at health and social services. Tami Laska, human resources director, said some people were surprised to learn of Liedl’s background in health and human services.

Liedl reported he was the third ranking official at the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development, which had 2,600 employees and a $1 billion annual budget. The county’s list of Liedl’s administrative responsibilities when he was in Wisconsin, included employment and job training, welfare reforms, child support and family services, unemployment insurance, worker’s compensation, vocational rehabilitation, employment laws and equal rights provisions of state law.

Commissioner Phil Trusty was absent.

RENEE RICHARDSON may be reached at 855-5852 or Follow on Twitter at

Renee Richardson
Richardson is a Pacelli High School graduate from Austin, Minn., who earned an applied science degree from the University of Minnesota, Waseca, with an emphasis in horse management. She worked extensively in the resort industry. She received an associate’s degree from Central Lakes College, where she was editor of the Westbank Journal student newspaper, as well as a summer intern at the Dispatch. She graduated from St. Cloud State University summa cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in mass communications and interned at the St. Cloud Times covering business while attending SCSU. She's been with the Brainerd Dispatch since 1996.
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