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Search goes slow: Applications for new county administrator starting to trickle in

BEMIDJI – It has been more than four months since Beltrami County Administrator Tony Murphy submitted his resignation and the search for a replacement is moving slowly.

Commissioner Joe Vene, a member of the hiring committee, said that no one has been interviewed for the position yet, but that applications are starting to trickle in.

“We hope to be in position to have made a hire or a decision to hire sometime between November and the end of the year,” Vene said.

Vene said the selection committee will meet within the next week to begin weeding out applicants before the interview process begins.

At Tuesday’s County Board work session, County Attorney Tim Favor followed up a prior request by Commissioner Jim Lucachick to add two department heads to the selection committee. 

The county’s Management Information Systems Director Ron Pula and County Jail Administrator Cindy Borowski joined the committee, which also includes Natural Resources Director Richard Moore and County Engineer Bruce Hasbargen.

The county administrator position has been vacant since Murphy’s resignation, which was effective May 1, from a job that paid him more than $104,500 per year.

The county teamed with Springsted, a St. Paul hiring firm, which helped create a position profile for the administrator position. In its proposal before the search process, Springsted outlined a five-month hiring process at a cost not to exceed $17,900.

The job has been posted since July 9. Vene said the hope is to fill the position in November.

Meanwhile, County Auditor Kay Mack remains in the interim administrator role.

“(Mack) has done an admirable job,” Vene said.

Murphy kept quiet about his plans after his resignation but according to his online LinkedIn account, he took a job as the business development director at eDocument Resources, a Minnetonka-based company that offers document management software and consulting for state and local governments, healthcare and insurance.

He has been in the position since June.