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Overstaffed at city hall

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opinion Brainerd,MN 56401
Brainerd Dispatch
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Overstaffed at city hall
Brainerd MN 506 James St. / PO Box 974 56401

Brainerd City Administrator’s office has been overstaffed for years. The accounts payable clerk has resigned.

Why did six of seven council members vote to fill this position without conducting a feasibility study to see why it is necessary to have one employee doing the accounts payable and another employee doing bi-monthly payroll for 70 city staff? Why not find out if it would be cheaper to out-source the work of these two employees to a private firm. The payroll cost of these two employees is about $100,000 annually.


In 2010 eight employees were compensated for early retirement. Replacement staff wasn’t hired. The services provided to the citizens didn’t decline and all necessary work with fewer employees has been accomplished.

Payroll expenditures were reduced over $500,000 annually.

Example: There were three secretaries in the Planning, Inspections and Engineering Departments before 2010. Two secretaries are now providing the needed service and work is being accomplished and service to citizens hasn’t declined.

The recreations coordinator has retired at the Park Department, over 50 percent of the participants in the sports programs are non-residents of Brainerd. Why is the council and parks department hiring a full-time recreations specialist? This position should be handled by a part-time employee with help from the park secretary, saving thousands of dollars in payroll cost.

There are other city departments that are also overstaffed. Sixty percent of the city’s 2014 budget expenditures will be used for payroll.

Council member Koep voted no on replacing the accounts payable clerk. The city of Brainerd needs more representatives who will be committed to protecting the financial interests of the tax payers and still provide the necessary services for the citizens.

Bob Olson


BOB OLSON formerly served as Brainerd mayor and as a Brainerd City Council member.

Denton (Denny) Newman Jr.
I've worked at the Brainerd Dispatch with various duties since Dec. 7, 1983. Starting off as an Ad Designer and currently Director of Audience Development. The Dispatch has been an interesting and challenging place to work. I'm fortunate to have made many friends, both co-workers and customers.
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