Rochester, Olmsted County delay search for planning director
A committee charged with finding a new Rochester-Olmsted Planning Director has appointed an interim director and decided to delay the search for a permanent one.
Former director Phil Wheeler retired Dec. 31 after 23 years in the position. Assistant Planning Director Mitzi Baker will take the helm for at least six months, and the Planning Administrative Services Committee will decide whether to advertise the job again, said Olmsted County Administrator Richard Devlin, who is a committee member.
The county advertised the job for about 50 days toward the end of last year. Ten people applied and Devlin and Rochester City Administrator Steve Kvenvold, also a member of the committee, selected four people to interview. One of those candidates withdrew from the process, resulting in three interviews, including Baker.
However, the committee believes there should be a larger pool of candidates to consider before making a final decision, Devlin said.
In the meantime, the group will have the opportunity to see how Baker performs as the interim department leader.
The other members of Planning Administrative Services Committee are: Olmsted County commissioners Ken Brown and Paul Wilson; City Council members Randy Staver and Michael Wojcik; Chatfield City Administrator Joe Young; Eyota Town Board Chairman Jim Schumann; Rochester Assistant City Administrator Gary Neumann; and Olmsted County Human Resources Director Dale Ignatius.