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Sanford Center: City council to consider executive director candidate

BEMIDJI – The Sanford Center could have a new executive director next week.

The Bemidji City Council will consider a recommendation for the position during its Monday night meeting. The Sanford Center Advisory Board is scheduled to meet that morning, when it will make the recommendation on a preferred candidate, said city manager John Chattin.

While the executive director is not a city employee, the city council has veto power over the position, Chattin said. Chattin declined to name the preferred candidate.

Currently, David Ross is serving as interim executive director as a contracted employee for VenuWorks, the company Bemidji has contracted to manage the center.

As of late October, one person had interviewed for the position, but the advisory board wanted to interview more candidates for comparison. VenuWorks Vice President Tammy Koolbeck said Thursday that three people interviewed for the position.

The new director probably won’t begin until early 2013, she added.

The search comes after Roger Swanson was fired from the executive director post in August after about seven months on the job. He replaced Bob LeBarron, who resigned in October 2011.

The Sanford Center opened in 2010.

John Hageman

John Hageman covers North Dakota politics from the Forum News Service bureau in Bismarck. He attended the University of Minnesota in the Twin Cities, where he studied journalism and political science, and he previously worked at the Grand Forks Herald and Bemidji Pioneer.  

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