Beltrami Commissioners approve administrator retirement plan, replacement hiring process

Beltrami County Administration Building web art

BEMIDJI -- The groundwork for Beltrami County Administrator Kay Mack's retirement, and the process to hire a replacement, was formed at the Board of Commissioners' meeting Tuesday.

During the meeting, the commissioners learned that Mack, 63, is going to use a Public Employees Retirement Association, or PERA, phased retirement plan. As a result, Mack will reduce the number of hours she works to 30 per week from Aug. 1 through the end of November when she leaves the position.

The intent, Mack said, is to give both an extended notice of retirement from the position, allowing time to fill the vacancy, and making overlap possible with a new administrator coming into the role. Mack's reduction in hours as part of the retirement plan will save the county $13,287.

The board, as part of its consent agenda, also authorized staff to begin a search for a firm to conduct the hiring process for a new administrator. As part of the discussion, District 4 Commissioner Tim Sumner recommended the hiring process include consideration to hire a Native American for the role.

In response, Mack said a hiring firm will take into account the demographics of the county, and will discuss what kind of qualities the county is looking for with department heads and commissioners.


Mack has been in the administrator role since 2012 and was previously the auditor/treasurer. She originally started working for the county in 1977.

Another action taken by commissioners Tuesday was to approve a bid to restore the Highway Department's O'Brien Shop near Blackduck, which was damaged by fire. The restoration will include removing and replacing most of the interior and repairing sections of the roof.

The base bid approved by the county was from Christiansen Construction of Bemidji for $309,600.

The offer from Christiansen Construction also included the following alternates:

  • Miscellaneous owner improvements for $3,000.
  • Resurfacing and sealing the shop floors for $28,000.
  • Painting hollow metal doors and other metals for $4,000.
  • Replacing office flooring at $1,900.
  • Replacing EPDM material roofing for $22,400.

District 1 Commissioner Craig Gaasvig confirmed during the meeting that by approving the base bid, the county has the ability to negotiate the project alternates.

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