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Finalists named for Brainerd City Administrator position

Brainerd City Council members took another step forward in their quest for a new city administrator Wednesday night, identifying six candidates that they want to proceed with for an interview.

Using the aid of Sharon Klumpp, senior vice president of the St. Paul-based executive hiring consultant agency Springsted Incorporated, 10 applicants were narrowed down from a total starting field of 54. Those 10 applicants went through a pre-screening interview with Klumpp, who then brought more information to the council on Wednesday where the field was narrowed to six remaining candidates.

“For starters, you selected 10 people for me to interview, and of those, nine wanted to move forward,” said Klumpp, adding that one of the candidates dropped out shortly after being notified. “Of that I made some notes on what individual had desires to come here and comments that might have raised some questions.”

Following information on all 10 applicants, council members — with the exception of Kevin Goedker, who was absent — and Mayor James Wallin raised their hands to signify who they would like to see for an interview. Those candidates included:

• Nathan Burkett, county administrator for Todd County.

• Brian Heck, interim city administrator for the City of Wells.

• Nathan Mathews, city administrator for the City of Staples.

• Greg Pruszinske, city administrator for City of Becker.

• Joel Peck, city administrator for the City of St. Croix, Wis.

• Larry Thompson, President American Artstone Company in New Ulm.

The six finalists will meet with council members Sept. 10 and 11.

“I think meeting with these people face-to-face will give us a better idea of who we want,” said Council President Mary Koep. “I would like to think we put in the time we need to make certain that we are getting the best possible person out there. This is tremendously important for the future, and I am glad we are going in with our best foot forward.”

Council member Bob Olson said he’d like Steve Lund, current Brainerd School District business manager, as administrator. Koep and council member Bonnie Cumberland clarified that Lund was not a candidate under discussion, or even an applicant for the position.

JESSI PIERCE, staff writer, may be reached at 855-5859 or Follow her on Twitter at (@jessi_pierce).